Jed Rakoff has an essay in the current New York Review of Books. He criticizes DOJ's failure to prosecute individuals for conduct leading to the financial collapse. Then Rakoff gave an interview to Adam Liptak (tomorrow's Times) elaborating on his essay.
Liptak's column recalls individual prosecutions from past financial scandals and continues:
'"And what of the recent financial crisis? The statute of limitations on most plausible charges is running out, and it seems there will not be a single prosecution of a prominent figure in the entire mess.
"Judge Jed S. Rakoff wants to know why. In a blistering essay in the issue of The New York Review of Books that arrives this week, he argues that the Justice Department has failed in its rudimentary responsibilities, offering excuses instead of action."
The column proceeds to recount highlights of Liptak's interview with Rakoff.
(I pass over "blistering," a cliche that seems especially reserved for judicial opinions -- or medical diagnoses. Judge Leon's NSA opinion was called "blistering" on the News Hour tonight and likely will be so in some stories tomorrow.)
But back to Liptak/Rakoff: One inevitably thinks about the Circuit's removal of Scheindlin. True, she was found (perhaps incorrectly) to have addressed a case then before her. She says not. References to her case did not come from her interviews, she says. (Rakoff did not address a particular case.)
For some reason, Liptak chose not to raise the Schiendlin comparison. Same court, subjects of equally high profile. And Rakoff has handled high visibility financial cases and may again.
A prallel to Scheindlin, so recent, will occur to many. Addressing it would have enriched the piece. Of course, the Times has no interest in questioning a judge's decision to submit to an interview.
My copy of the New York Review has not yet arrived and I will certainly not read it on a screen.
We may now see recusal motions in a Rakoff case, citing the Circuit's Scheindlin decision. Not so farfetched. Whether or not one would succeed is another matter. They rarely do.