MADI About Alberto

For those who can't get enough about MADI madness--meaning, of course, the ongoing legal battle between artist Volf Roitman and the Kilgore Law Center about which we spilled gallons of virtual ink last week--there was a small development yesterday. U.S. District Judge Joe Fish sent United States Attorney General Alberto Gonzales a letter informing him there's a defendant in his court "challenging the constitutionality of Acts of Congress," specifically the Visual Artists Rights Act.

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What that means is the AG's office could get involved, if it believes it necessary to defend the 1990 statute. Certainly, it's happened before: In a similar suit brought in federal court in Miami in 1997, then-Acting Assistant Attorney General David Ogden submitted a 15-page document that concluded, "The United States respectfully requests that the Court finds that VARA is constitutional." Then again, the AG back then held a substantially different view about the Constitution than Alberto Gonzales, so it's still anyone's guess what Gonzales will do. And, hell, he probably already knew about this anyway; he's got a phone, Roitman's got a phone, you do the math. --Robert Wilonsky

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