A longtime friend of Power Line alerts us to order issued by Judge Steven Merryday of the U.S. District Court in Florida. An Assistant U.S. Attorney moved to continue a trial on the ground that one of his key witnesses had made arrangements to travel out of the state to view last week’s total eclipse of the Sun. Judge Merryday noted the role of total eclipses in history, literature and music. Approaching nearer to the heart of the matter, he wrote:
On this occasion, the Assistant United States Attorney boldly moves (where no AUSA has moved before) to postpone a trial because an agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, has pre-paid the cost of visiting the zone of “totality” of a solar eclipse that will occur on August 21 (about the eclipse, the motion oddly uses the phrase “scheduled to occur,” as if someone arbitrarily set the eclipse, as an impresario sets a performer, to appear at a chosen time and place, subject always to some unstated exigency). Cruel fate has dictated that the August 21 eclipse will occur during the trial of an action in which the agent is a principal participant on behalf of the United States.
If you get the feeling that the court is not exactly oozing sympathy for the ATFE man, you are not mistaken. Read the whole thing here: