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Ouch -- D.C. Calls Former Lawyer and Supreme Court Litigator 'Not Indispensable'

"It's not as if one person is indispensable," said D.C. Attorney General Peter Singer to the Washington Post, explaining why his decision to fire Supreme Court litigator, Alan Morrison won't compromise the District's case before the Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller. The case will address the question of whether the District's handgun ban violates the Second Amendment.  Ouch!  After all, if a Supreme Court advocate like Morrison, with twenty oral arguments under his belt and who played a substantial role in researching and drafting the District's 15,000 word brief due at the Court tomorrow is regarded as fungible, what hope is there for the rest of us?

As Tony Mauro reports at the Blog of the Legal Times, Morrison speculated that he was fired because he was viewed as a "loyalist" of Nickles' predecessor, Linda Singer, who resigned on December 21.  Nickles did not offer any additional explanation for firing Morrison, except to say that the District had decided to take a different direction in the case.  And to be fair, even without Morrison, the District's Supreme Court team still includes top talent like Tom Goldstein and Walter Dellinger, though apparently both are already booked for arguments in other cases before the Court this month and next.

What do you think?  With this kind of "dream team," does the elimination of one of the players make a difference?  Or will Nickles' decision to bench Morrison midway through the case compromise the District's chance of success at the High Court?

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on January 3, 2008 at 01:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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