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.

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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