U.S. District Judge Denise Cote smacked Apple down in the federal ebook anti-trust investigation like they'd insulted her mother, she appointed former inspector general Michael Bromwich to watch them like a hawk, lest they dare offend again. Now, however, it's Apple who's claiming offense, and suggesting the court has crossed the line from judge to prosecutor. Philip Elmer-DeWitt writing for Fortune:
Apple's sharply worded motion raises several legal objections -- including the constitutionality of being "investigated by an individual whose personal financial interest is for as broad and lengthy an investigation as possible." (The fact that Bromwich billed Apple more for two weeks work -- $138,432 -- than most federal judges earn in nine months was already making headlines Friday.)
He quotes Apple's motion:
"No litigant," it concludes, "could possibly take comfort in the objectiveness of a court's judgment in ruling on fiercely contested motions and proceedings when the court is regularly meeting privately with a judicially appointed investigator charged with looking to uncover evidence of possible wrongdoing by that litigant. And to the extent the Court actually intended to unleash Mr. Bromwich as its agent in this manner, such order transforms the Court from an impartial arbiter of "Cases" and "Controversies" into Apple's litigation adversary."
Apple broke Amazon's de-factor monopoly over ebooks only to be found guilty of collusion, yet not only do they still feel they were in the right, they now feel the court has gone from being wrong to doing wrong. But do they have a case?