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Alan Dershowitz: Ultra-liberal?

It's a big day for legal news in Washington. The Supreme Court is handing down its final opinions of the term, and has apparently struck down DC's gun ban by a 5-4 vote. The speculation was correct that Justice Scalia was writing the opinion.

Elsewhere, I'm here on Capitol Hill at a House Judiciary Committee subcommittee hearing investigating the administration's interrogation policies, where John Yoo and David Addington are testifying (Addington in response to a subpoena). Yoo's opening statement is here (pdf); Marty Lederman has some preliminary reactions. Addington, who has quite an imposing physical presence, has mysteriously declined to make an opening statement, except to correct two minor factual errors in chairman Jerrold Nadler's opening statement about Addington's past work in the Reagan administration. (Nadler asked incredulously: "Is that the entirety of your statement?") There are a number of orange-clad protestors making some noise in the hall outside the hearing room.

Highlight of the hearing so far: In his opening statement, ranking minority member Trent Franks of Arizona said that "even ultra-liberal Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz" agrees that torture can sometimes be useful. Nadler retorted: "I want to defend Alan Dershowitz against charges that he's an ultra-liberal." Takes one to know one, I suppose.

--Josh Patashnik