March 11, 2003  ·  Lessig

So as the cruel master of fate would have it, on the day that the Eldred case officially ended, I was at Disney World. I was tricked into going to Disney World. I thought the conference was “in Orlando.” But Orlando has apparently morphed into Disney World, and so when yesterday the Court refused a request to rehear the case (totally expected), I learned the news while drinking coffee from a Mickey mug.

With that decision, a self-imposed silence about these things ends too. I accepted this silence after a respectful but strong rebuke by a friend. He objected that it was wrong for me to suggest that “the silent five” were acting without principle. I disagree. I do believe their decision lacked principle, but I also see that it was right to complain about the context within which I was making that charge.

So we filed a petition to rehear the case that made the claim of principle in as careful and balanced a way as possible. Again, such petitions are never granted any more. But if there is a place to express such criticism, respectful of the institution and tradition that these justices serve, it was in this form, without the pressure of publicity.

This stage is now over. I apologize for the silence. More hopeful stuff soon.