Like millions of Americans, Article III Groupie has been following news developments concerning Hurricane Katrina quite closely. The devastation that Katrina has left in her wake is literally incredible. The Gulf Coast residents who are now struggling with the hurricane's aftermath are in the thoughts and prayers of the entire country. Information and links concerning how to donate to Red Cross relief efforts are available at the Volokh Conspiracy and How Appealing, among other places.
Updates on how the federal courts are holding up after Hurricane Katrina are available here and here (from How Appealing). A notice posted on the Fifth Circuit website directs attorneys and litigants "not [to] send any filings or documents to New Orleans at this time" and states that "[a]ll filing deadlines on or after August 24 through September 9 are automatically extended to September until September 12, subject to further extension."
The news that Fifth Circuit filings are not to be sent to New Orleans until further notice raises the question of clerkship applications. Under the timetable provided for under the 2005 Law Clerk Hiring Plan, clerkship applications may be sent ("postmarked") on or after Tuesday, September 6, 2005 -- a date that is less than a week away. There are a number of distinguished Fifth Circuit judges who are based in New Orleans. As reflected in this table, they include Judge Jacques Loeb Wiener, Jr.; Judge James L. Dennis; and Judge Edith Brown Clement, the near-miss SCOTUS nominee. How will clearkship applicants submit their materials to these judges?
Of course, Fifth Circuit judges based in New Orleans are not the only members of the federal judiciary affected by Hurricane Katrina. District judges in the Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans), as well as circuit and district court judges in other Gulf Coast cities, must also contend with the destruction wrought by Katrina. Their receipt of clerkship applications -- to say nothing of their discharging the vitally important duties of Article III judges -- may also be impaired by the hurricane.
If you have any information to share concerning how the federal courts in the region are dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, please email A3G (or append a comment to this post). She thanks you in advance for your contributions.
Update: One UTR reader reports: "I can't even connect with the Fifth Circuit's website; instead I get the same page as the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. I'm from the Fifth Circuit, but currently clerking in another circuit. A friend of mine clerking for the Fifth Circuit doesn't answer his email."