Fla. Judge Denies Postponing Trial So Witness Can See Eclipse - NBC Boston
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Fla. Judge Denies Postponing Trial So Witness Can See Eclipse

A large chunk of the ruling cited lyrics from singer Carly Simon's "You're So Vain," which contains a line about flying to witness an eclipse

Find NBC Boston in your area

Channel 10 on most providers

Channel 60 and 8 Over the Air

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    On Aug. 21, 2017, the moon's shadow will darken a path 35 to 71 miles wide from Oregon to South Carolina, blocking out the light from the sun. (Published Monday, Aug. 21, 2017)

    A federal judge in Florida ruled a trial couldn't be postponed just because one of the key witnesses — a federal agent — had travel plans to see the solar eclipse.

    In a droll, three-page ruling issued Friday, Judge Steven Merryday denied the motion filed by an assistant U.S. attorney.

    Recalling popular dialogue from the TV classic "Star Trek," the judge wrote that an "Assistant United States Attorney boldy moves (where no AUSA has moved before)."

    "The solar eclipse is no longer mysterious, supernatural, foreboding or ominous," wrote Merryday. "An eclipse is just another astral event, precisely predictable since the day the Babylonians discovered the governing formula."

    Solar Eclipse Highlights: How It Was Seen Around the Country

    [NATL] Solar Eclipse Highlights: How It Was Viewed Around the Country

    A look at how Americans viewed the first coast to coast eclipse in nearly a century.

    (Published Monday, Aug. 21, 2017)

    Prosecutors wanted Monday's trial postponed because an Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent had booked a trip to see the eclipse on a day when defendant Joseph Bishop was to stand trial for unlawfully transporting firearms.

    Merryday chalked it up to a "cruel fate" that allowed the trial and the eclipse to happen on the same day. The prosecutor's motion "proposes to subordinate the time and resources of the court, of the opposing counsel, of the witnesses and of the jurors to one person's aspiration to view a 'total' solar eclipse for no more than two minutes and forty-two seconds."

    A large chunk of the ruling cited lyrics from singer Carly Simon's "You're So Vain," which contains a line about flying to witness an eclipse.