There's been some blogospheric discussion about the idea that someone may use the Kelo decision to deprive Justice Souter of his home via eminent domain -- a bit of poetic justice, according to some. (I thought it was obviously a joke with a political point, but who knows?)
Dave Hoffman, over at Prawfsblawg, analyzes the the possibility that following through on the idea, or even just linking to posts about the idea, is unlawful. Hoffman said he couldn't opine on whether there had been a violation of the professional codes and professional responsibility. If Hoffman is referring to the ethics of actually starting the legal process, we'd turn to Model Rule 3.1 and anlayze if the process was frivolous. I'm not an expert on that law, but I'm picking up signs that the claim would indeed be frivilous. If so, it violated MR 3.1; it seems designed entirely or primarily to harass -- which is forbidden by procedure codes and Rule 11 type statutes just about everywhere; it would be objectively baseless and hence constitute malicious prosecution; and it might be abuse of process as well.
If Hoffman is referring to the ethics of commenting on the idea (i.e., saying that it's a funny idea, good idea, poetic justice, sauce for the gander, etc.), it's less clear that any particular rule would apply, although Model Rule 8.2 (Maintaining the Integrity of the Profession) and Model Rule 8.4 (forbidding "conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice") come closest. The comments to 8.2 state that "[t]o maintain the fair and independent administration of justice, lawyers are encouraged to continue traditional efforts to defend judges and courts unjustly criticized." But it's quite a stretch, imho, to say that for a lawyer to comment positively on the idea is a violation of either rule. We must be able to criticize judges and the point of the criticism/joke is that the new rule is one that Justice Souter could not abide if applied to himself. As such it's less threatening, it seems to me, than the old "Impeach Warren" billboards.
At the same time, imho, it's awful judgment to specifically refer to the location of the judge's home -- even if it's a joke and if there is a real political point to the joke. Given recent, tragic events involving a federal judge in Chicago, people who care about the independence of the judiciary ought to leave the location of the judge's home out of the discussion.