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Tuesday, February 28, 2006 

Miss Smith Goes to Washington

Today, the Supreme Court hears oral argument in Marshall v Marshall, more popularly known as the Anna Nicole Smith case. Smith, whose real name is Vickie Lynn Marshall, is trying to get her share of her late husband's estate, which is estimated at $1.6 billion. The actual legal issue (whether state or federal courts have jurisdiction in this matter) is pretty boring to most people, but Smith's celebrity status will keep the media's attention focused on this case.

Smith originially lost her claim against the estate in a Texas probate court. However, when she filed for bankruptcy in a federal court in California, that court ruled that she was entitled to her share of her late husband's estate.

A TrimSpa'ed Smith approaches the Court with who I believe is one of her lawyers. Smith's legal team includes Tom Goldstein of the SCOTUS blog. He's a very capable Supreme Court litigator, so Smith definitely knows how to pick her lawyers.

Here's sort of a weird observation from the article...
Douglas Baird, a bankruptcy expert at the University of Chicago, said: "I'd suspect some justices haven't the slightest idea who Anna Nicole is."
I find that highly unlikely. I'm sure that their clerks have clued the justices in on who Ms. Marshall is exactly. Even so, which justices is Baird talking about? I'd guess that he's assuming that the younger justices know her. I'm sure Justice Thomas knows who she is (insert pornography joke here). If Justice Stevens doesn't know who she is, he'd better watch out. Being 86 years old, he's just her type (but still married).

EDIT: I forgot to add that Solicitor General Clement will also be arguing on behalf of Smith. The Bush Administration supports her claim that the federal courts should have jurisdiction in the matter.

EDIT 2: It was actually Assistant SG Deanne E. Maynard who participated in the arguments today. If you're really interested in the legal minutae of this case, which I have overly simplified above (probably to the point of getting it wrong), here is a summary of the oral argument.

please visit:




The real is posted there!

It's touching to see the mentally disabled join the online community. It really is.

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