You’re So Vain: Judge Denies Witness Chance to See Eclipse
A trial scheduled for today will prevent an agent with the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives from seeing the solar eclipse today because he is a principle witness.
The witness had paid to travel to the “path of totality to view the eclipse. But his plans have been shut down. Federal Judge Steven Merryday of the District Court for the Middle District of Florida shot down the witnesses’ bid to postpone the trial.
An assistant U.S. attorney filed a motion to postpone the trial, to which Merryday responded with a memorable decision, citing the 1970s classic “You’re So Vain.”
In his 3-page ruling, Judge Merryday drew on Greek history as support for the solar eclipse’s prominence in history and art. He called out inaccuracies found in the government’s motion, which claimed that the last total solar eclipse happened in 1918, when in fact they occur every 18 years.
The last time the solar eclipse crossed the continental United States was almost 100 years ago, in 1918.
In his statement, Merryday concludes that when the witness knows that trial is imminent, it’s a bet he plays to pre-pay for a vacation or personal indulgence.
“The present motion proposes to subordinate the time and resources of the court, of the opposing counsel, of the witnesses and of the jurors to one person’s aspiration to view a “total” solar eclipse for no more than two minutes and forty-two seconds.”
In the first page, Judge Merryday cites the Carly Simon song “You’re So Vain” lyrics. Then you flew your Learjet up to Nova Scotia/ To see the total eclipse of the sun…”
The trial, involving a felon accused of possessing illegal firearms, will go as scheduled.
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