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Judge Ellis in William Jefferson Corruption Case: Quirky, Caustic, Old School

Whatever you think of Judge Ellis, you can only come away with the thought that he’s a bright, no nonsense judge. A little full of himself? Well…you could probably conclude that as well. Closing arguments, which were scheduled for Tuesday, are now set for Wednesday.

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By Jonathan Tilove
New Orleans Times-Picayune
ALEXANDRIA, VA. — It was the last day of testimony in the government’s case against former Rep. William Jefferson and prosecution and defense attorneys, out of the jury’s hearing, were haggling over the relevance of a flow chart showing how some of the money allegedly exacted by the congressman’s family from business deals he aided in Africa ended up paying Harvard tuition for one of Jefferson’s daughters.

“Having paid some Harvard tuition, I doubt that it was worth it, ” said Judge T.S. Ellis III, Harvard Law School class of 1969. He went on to suggest that colleges these days largely serve a purpose once more capably performed by the military of quarantining adolescents from the broader society, while doing little to provide the classical education that was once their charge.

“We’re losing it, our culture, ” Ellis, 69, fretted from the bench. “In the old days every schoolboy could translate the Aeneid, ” he said, though he allowed he is not old enough to have been one of those schoolboys.

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