Spitzer endnotes

by Walter Olson on March 17, 2008

  • Well, at least he cleaned up Wall Street; so runs one common valedictory to Spitzer, but Prof. Bainbridge begs to differ (Mar. 13)(and see links at my Point of Law roundup last week).
  • “Should Spitzer really go to jail because of the way he took his own cash out of the bank?” asks Larry Ribstein (Mar. 11). And indeed bank “Know Your Customer” regulations, of which I’ve been critical for a good long time, might now come in for much needed scrutiny (Jack Balkin, Balkinization, Mar. 13; see also). One public figure who likewise faced the prospect of a “money laundering” indictment when personal weaknesses led him into surreptitious payments was ideological antipode Rush Limbaugh, Megan McArdle reminds us (Nov. 24, 2003).
  • Last week’s New York Times article laying out Spitzer’s big crusade against the sex trade, and his successful push for a law lengthening sentences for “johns”, was powerful enough on its own terms. But isn’t it curious that the Times exclusively and at length quoted the feminist and legal-services groups who worked as Spitzer’s allies in that crusade, while not quoting a single source critical of the harsher penalties? Stephen Chapman has one corrective view [syndicated/Chicago Tribune, Mar. 13].
  • Toronto law blogger Garry Wise says that unless Spitzer was diverting public moneys his fall constitutes “just another political lynching by the Monica brigade”, a sentiment I find sufficiently wrong-headed that I’m provoked to jump in with a comment [Wise Law Blog]. P.S. Wise says he was referring not to the governor’s downfall, but to his potential overcharging.
  • How’d the press find out that “Client #9″ was the governor of New York? All signs point to a prosecution leak — the sort of underhanded tactic that should be left to the likes of, well, the departing governor himself [Frum, National Post]. Plus: Don’t assume that all the ill-advised leaks came from the prosecution side [Beldar]
  • Should “Kristen” sue AP and other press outlets for swiping her MySpace pics, she might prove formidable in court: “It’s not often you get a case where there’s someone in the room with a higher hourly rate than the lawyers.” [Steyn @ NRO "Corner"].
  • One reader said he had to check Overlawyered to see whether a certain story was true or a parody, so please rest assured: it’s only a parody (Jason Roth, “Spitzer Sues Prostitute Over Sex Addiction”, Save the Humans, Mar. 11).

{ 2 comments }

1 jkoerner 03.17.08 at 12:17 pm

MSMBS ran a special on the rise and fall of Eliot Spitzer this weekend. It was funny because it was about 10 minutes of coverage on the scandal and 45 minutes about sexual slavery in the world and U.S. He must have pissed someone off there for them to run that kind of association hit job that quick.

2 Alan Kellogg 03.18.08 at 5:41 am

On Letterman Tonight

Dave (paraphrasing): Officially he was known as Client 9, but the girls knew him as Client Four and a Half.

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