To prevent [Sheik Omar Abdel] Rahman from advocating further violence, prison officials had required Stewart and the rest of Rahman's legal team to pledge not to carry messages on his behalf. Stewart broke that pledge. In one instance, she called a reporter in Cairo to announce that Rahman was urging a terrorist organization to withdraw from a ceasefire with the government of Egypt.
Stewart has said her goal was to keep Rahman relevant in Egyptian politics and improve his morale. That argument evinced little sympathy from the bench.
"You can have the intent of serving a client," Judge Calabresi said, "but if the means of furthering that intent are a conspiracy to kill people, than don't you have that intermediate intent as well?"
January 30, 2008
Said 2d Circuit judge Guido Calabresi at oral argument yesterday, reminding me of that "Math is hard" Barbie doll that Mattel had to reconfigure when feminists complained. But, it's common for judges to call cases "hard." Yet it's odd to say — at oral argument — "I'm thinking very hard." It sounds like a quip. It's a hard case, so I'm thinking hard. But it's not an amusing case. It's the case of Lynne Stewart, the lawyer who was convicted of aiding terrorists, and the hard question was the requisite level of intent: