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A Blawger's New Year's Eve

With just 15 minutes left in 2006, Supreme Court reporter Lyle Denniston posted an item at SCOTUSblog, Chief makes judges' pay the top issue, covering Chief Justice Roberts' year-end report. Commendable as it was that Denniston was blogging at 11:45 p.m. on Dec. 31, his post is even more noteworthy for this addendum:

NOTE: The Supreme Court, in issuing the Chief Justice's year-end report, had specified that the report was not to be released publicly until 12:01 a.m. Tuesday. The Washington Post's website, however, broke that embargo well over an hour before the release time, and this has been picked up on the Internet. This blog felt that it could no longer observe the release time, and thus this report has appeared about 20 minutes early.

Denniston's unusual note drew lawyer and journalist Mark Obbie, director of the Carnegie Legal Reporting Program at the Newhouse School, to comment:

I'm not sure what's more remarkable: Denniston's sense of honor -- bordering on fastidiousness -- that forces him to disclose why he is breaking an embargo by 16 minutes, or that he's checking on his competitors and tapping out a blog post just before the ball drops in Times Square.

Obbie's uncertainty is, no doubt, rhetorical, given that both honor and timeliness combine to make Denniston a must-read observer of the court.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on January 3, 2007 at 05:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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