Anna Nicole Smith: One Merry Widow
This morning the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of Anna Nicole Smith, the luscious ex-Playmate seeking a fair share of her late husband's estate. We're not terribly surprised, having predicted this outcome; but we are pleased for her. (It seems the justices were unable to resist Smith's audacious strategy of proceeding pro se before them.)
Okay, this is the paragraph where we'd block quote a key excerpt from the opinion. But we won't do that, since it's kinda boring. Yes, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the opinion, but this time it's not her fault. Despite the high-profile parties, the subject matter of the litigation -- the extent of the "probate exception" to federal jurisdiction -- is less-than-scintillating. We'll spare you the details, and you can thank us later. (If you'd like some actual legal analysis of the decision, check out SCOTUSblog, among many other fine blawgs.)
With a widely expected outcome and a soporific, technical legal issue, we don't have much to say. Two quick observations about the case appear after the jump.
First, and unfortunately, this is not the end of the battle; it's just the beginning of a new one. The Court didn't rule that Smith was entitled to any money. It merely held that she could go back to a lower federal court and pursue her claims there. And E. Pierce Marshall, Smith's adversary in the litigation, shows no signs of giving up, pledging to fight on in federal court. So this sentiment from one of you may be premature: "I hope to see Anna spending her oil money on poodles, percocets and booze!"
Second, as noted, the Court's opinion was by Justice Ginsburg -- the current Court's sole female member. Props to Chief Justice Roberts for assigning her the opinion. Nobody can accuse Justice Ginsburg of being unduly influenced by Smith's considerable "assets." And having RBG write the opinion pretty much kills any lingering sex appeal in the case. While "girl-on-girl" action has broad appeal, we're pretty sure that nobody wants to see -- or even think about -- the two triple-monikered ladies going at it.
As the case winds its way back to the lower courts, we say: "Good luck, Anna! We hope you get the many millions you deserve, for sharing your ample gifts with an ailing oil tycoon in the twilight of his life. If our legal system takes away the incentives for buxom ex-strippers to sleep with rich old men, how on earth will these men get their lovin'?"
Court Rules on Estate Dispute [SCOTUSblog]