P.L.A. has an excellent, lengthy post about a possible legal outrage that hinges on the decision of the SCOTUS. In this case, it's a legal challenge by a conservative advocacy group against a program that, from Dwight Meredith's description, seems eminently reasonable (full discloure: I am not a lawyer, so I rely on Meredith's interpretation and that of the sources he links to).
Basically, the deal is, lawyers routinely hold money in trust for clients. Back in the '70s, someone hit upon the idea that if all that money--which normally does not earn interest, as the sums are either too small or banked for too short a duration--were pooled, the interest the combined sums earned could be used to fund legal aid services to the poor.
Dwight Meredith fears that the SCOTUS will reverse a summary judgment against the plaintiff and hold that the interest pool is an unlawful "taking" under the Fifth Amendment, despite the fact that, as Meredith points out, the original sum placed in trust is never touched and, were it banked privately, would be unlikely to accumulate any interest at all. This op-ed points out that the plaintiffs seek not reimbursement (which literally amounts to a couple of bucks) but an injunction against the program. [Aside: Given the Fifth Amendment's provision for "just compensation," I wonder if a provision to apply for reimbursement--less banking fees, of course--might not suffice?]
In other words, the only reason there's any interest to "take" is because all the trust money is pooled. The true purpose of the suit, as Meredith sees it, seems to be to destroy the source of funding for indigent legal services.
(via Ted Barlow)