That crazy pro se appeal by the congressman’s son isn’t looking so crazy after all

When a pro se criminal defendant files an interlocutory appeal asking the Third Circuit to stay his prosecution so that he can file pro se appeal to argue why his indictment should be dismissed, his odds of success are more or less zero.

But not actually zero, we now know, because earlier this month the court stayed the criminal prosecution of Chaka Fattah, Jr., son of the embattled member of Congress, and ordered expedited briefing. Today Fattah filed his pro se opening brief.

Fattah is not a lawyer; reportedly he has a high-school education. I skimmed his brief, and I’ll go on the record right here: in a battle of untrained brief-writers between Fattah and that chief executive whose petition recently drew Supreme Court ire, Fattah would kick Mr. CEO’s butt.

He’s an avid reader of CA3blog, he told me today by telephone, describing with enthusiasm how my post on Bashman’s brief taught him the importance of proper en-dash use. (!) This supports my heretofore-secret belief that my blog is more useful than law school.

The government’s brief is due April 7. The case is calendared for May 21. The chances that the court will allow a pro se defendant to orally argue his appeal are zero …

… more or less.