by Max Brantley
The Arkansas Blog noted July 17 that it seemed a bit excessive for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette to make its top news story that day a motion to intervene in John Walker's appeal of the Little Rock desegregation lawsuit. Sure it was filed by the D-G's own lawyer, Jess Askew. Sure the paper detests Walker. But it was just a motion to intervene, and it was mostly a political screed at that, lacking much in the way of obvious legal merit.
Some readers thought I was being unfair, not to mention picayunish about the meaning of relative placement of news articles on the front page. OK. So how do these readers square treatment of Master Jess's filing with the fact that John Walker's reply, a poltiical polemic of its own about the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's unhappiness at its inability to control school district affairs, hasn't gotten a line of type in the newspaper? It was filed last Friday, Walker said, and amended in an electronic filing Saturday. Here it is. Not entirely law here, either. Walker matches Askew's polemic and raises the ante. But I do think he's right in characterizing the Askew intervention as mostly sour grapes:
The proposed intervenors' motion to intervene is not really a legal pleading. It is a rage filled political manifesto more suited to the editorial page of a newspaper than a court clerk's office.
Walker also tells me that Chris Heller, attorney for the school district, has filed a motion asking that the Askew petition for intervention be denied. Perhaps all this news will be rounded up in tomorrow's newspaper. Upper righthand corner of Page One, right? Better late than never. Walker said Heller is also agreable to the delay Walker has asked in filing of his appeal while mediation is sought.
TUESDAY UPDATE: John Walker's response to Master Jess's newspaper-leading intervention motion still doesn't qualify as news in the DOG.