We’ve reached the end of 2009 – and what a year it’s been for legal news in Washington! We did a quick scan of DC Dicta’s web hits find some of the most buzz-worthy news topics of the year, according to you. From celebrity legal battles to the confirmation of a new Supreme Court justice, here’s a snapshot of what you read on DC Dicta this year:
Presidential oath redo. In January, the eyes of the world were on Washington for the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Not the best time to make a mistake, and unfortunately for Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., his slip of the tongue while administering the oath not only caused some chuckles, but also spurred conspiracy theorists to suggest the oath didn’t take. So Roberts and Obama had a redo at the White House.
Souter to Sotomayor. The retirement of Justice David Souter kicked off one of the busiest summers DC Dicta has ever had. After Souter officially announced his plans to step down back in May, speculation began to run rampant over who President Obama would select as his first high court pick. The list included Govs. Jennifer Granholm and Deval Patrick, and Judges Merrick Garland and Diane Wood. Obama ultimately selected 2nd Circuit Judge Sonia Sotomayor.
Liveblogging the confirmation. Though at first Sotomayor’s record seemed to ensure a foolproof confirmation process, controversy involving a previous speech she made put the phrase “wise Latina woman” at the center of her confirmation hearings before the Senate – hearings that gave DC Dicta a chance to do it’s first ever liveblog.
Anna’s posthumous legal battles. The original parties in the legal battle between Anna Nicole Smith and her former stepson died before the year began, yet the courtroom battle over the estate of Smith’s late billionaire oil baron husband continued on. Smith’s lawyer and alleged paramour Howard K. Stern tried in vain to get the U.S. Supreme Court to lift a stay of the award, saying Marshall’s kin was pilfering the money. Stern himself would later face his own legal troubles involving claims he illegally procured drugs for the former pinup.
Scalia’s a funny guy. Who says the Supreme Court is a stodgy place. Justices of the high court are known for making the crowd laugh hundreds of times a term, and none is funnier than Justice Antonin Scalia.