City Paper is not for tourists
This week’s Loose Lips concerns the fate of litigation that the District’s attorney general threatened against the paint industry last summer. Such a lawsuit would have been aimed at getting the industry to clean up properties contaminated with lead paint.
An interesting detail that came to LL’s attention after his deadline:
After Linda Singer quit as attorney general in December, her nemesis-of-sorts—-mayoral counsel Peter Nickles—-fired her top aide, Special Counsel Alan Morrison, who was best known for being the guy in charge of pressing the Heller gun case before the Supreme Court. Besides being the point man on Heller, though, Morrison had been involved in various initiatives in Singer’s office, including the possible lead-paint lawsuit
Anyway, after Nickles sent Morrison packing, he announced that the Heller case would be argued by Walter Dellinger (pictured), another constitutional-law giant already working on the case.
Fun fact: Dellinger, according to press reports, has argued on behalf of the National Paint and Coatings Association on lead-paint matters. Back in 2000, states including Rhode Island and Maryland attempted to pass laws that would make it easier to proceed with lawsuits against lead-paint manufacturers. Dellinger testified before legislatures that such laws would be unconstitutional (which, in all fairness, they probably were).
LL doesn’t mean to imply foul play here. He will call it, say, an evocative coincidence.