FROM THE ARCHIVE
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In The Hoop
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2001

Welcome to In The Hoop, Indianz.Com's occasional column about assorted Indian issues.

Here Comes the Judge
U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth called to order Secretary of Interior Gale Norton's contempt proceedings yesterday, heralding the start of the Bush administration's first ever (but probably not the last) trial.

In The Hoop would like to tell you it was a star-studded affair worthy of Assistant Secretary Neal McCaleb's confirmation hearing but alas, it was not the case.

That's not to say it wasn't at all interesting. McCaleb himself showed up, showing off the cane which has provided him support ever since his bursitis flared up at the National Congress of American Indians last month.

Turns out, according to In The Hoop's crack team of investigators, McCaleb saw not one but two physicians in Oklahoma about his condition. Neither of them -- surprise -- was from the Indian Health Service.

It also turns out that one of them, an orthopedic practitioner by the name of Dr. Rick D. Beller of Edmond, initially diagnosed McCaleb with a fracture, which an aide said, thankfully, was not the case.

At any rate, McCaleb appears to doing well, thank you very much. He spent a good portion of the morning looking at his feet and split after lunch, which most likely included a sandwich with lots and lots of mustard.

There Goes the Judge
In case you haven't noticed, Judge Lamberth is a pretty busy guy. One day, he held up a hearing because Attorney General John Ashcroft personally asked him to consider a national security issue.

Today, he resumes the contempt trial but will be breaking in the middle because he has some other heavy matters to preside over. It's all closed and secret stuff, so we can't tell you what transpires.

There Goes the Something
Remember Matthew Fader, that poor Department of Justice attorney who dared test the patience of Judge Lamberth? Well, he appears to have been summarily kicked off Norton's defense team.

In briefs submitted by the Justice's civil division since his weak showing on December 5, Fader's name is mysteriously omitted. And during an emergency hearing held this past Saturday to discuss the state of the Interior's network connectivity, he was not seen entering or leaving the courtroom.

So what happened to him? If past history by the Justice is any indication, he's probably been promoted, given the John Marshall award for excellency in the field of excellence and handed the keys to a brand new car.

In Your Hoop
Where in the world is Secretary Gale Norton? Email In the Hoop and give us your best guess.

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