Update 1:05pm: The court session has ended. There were four highly intelligent speakers, but only one is the judge. She will await additional written information from lawyers before reaching a decision on “these important constitutional issues.” A fifth person in attendance was a glum, unhappy, pursed-lips Bridget Kelly.
Update: 10:25am: See the proceedings live HERE now
The bar in this case is the Mercer County Criminal Courthouse in Trenton where seating is limited. The Sheriff is the highly respected jurist Mary Jacobson.
The shoot-out takes place this morning not at High Noon but at 10:00am where video cameras and a pooling arrangement is allowed. The shoot-out, instead of guns, uses oral arguments.
Anthony Bocchi is the gunslinger representing the NJ Legislative Select Committee on Investigation (The Plaintiff). Reid Schar is the committee’s attorney. They seek an order from the court to enforce the subpoenas issued to two Bridgegate defendants who have failed to produce the documents ordered.
Michael Critchley is the gunslinger for Defendant Bridget Anne Kelly (formerly Christie’s Deputy Chief of Staff) who argues that the 5th Amendment protects her from from responding to the subpoena in part because she faces a “real and substantial” threat of incrimination. (You remember her “traffic problems” email to David Wildstein, formerly Christie’s second highest staff appointee to the PA.) One counter-argument is that under the 5th Amendment testimony is protected but production of documents is not.
Kevin Marino is the gunslinger for Willam Stepien (formerly Christie’s 2009 and 2013 Campaign Manager). Stepien also invokes the 5th Amendment and adds the privacy argument of the 4th Amendment against “unreasonable searches and seizures,” which some lawyers see as a weak argument.
Long before sunset the ending today will not be a bang but probably only people analyzing and speculating. The Sheriff will likely take some time to prepare a written ruling. Whatever she orders will be disliked by at least one side which will probably lead to an appeal.
Kelly and possibly Stepien, as well as David Wildstein, could likely unlock such mysteries in this case as to who was involved and why the lanes were closed. Arguments regarding the 4th and 5th Amendments can be complex, but you can go to the Judiciary website for documents filed by the lawyers, or read an article in today’s Star-Ledger.