My goodness! Article III Groupie -- or "A3G," as Judge Alex Kozinski affectionately calls her (see here) -- had no idea that the nomination of candidates for Superhotties of the Federal Judiciary would be so contentious. Forget the heated arguments going on within the legal community over Blakely v. Washington, or the Supreme Court's decisions in the "war on terrorism" cases. The readers of UTR are ready to go to war -- over which federal judges got it goin' on underneath the robes!
The Superhotties of the Federal Judiciary contest has been greeted by nationwide media attention, from such outlets as Newsweek, in this article, and the ABA Journal, in this article. The competition has also been discussed in highly influential, widely read blogs such as How Appealing and Gawker. (Indeed, "Underneath Their Robes" might be described as the illegitimate offspring of these two blogs.)
UTR's federal judicial beauty pageant has ignited a firestorm of controversy, with readers flooding A3G's mailbox with impassioned letter briefs in support of their favorite judicial hotties. As a result, A3G is practically drowning in superhottie votes and related reader mail. If you have written to her recently and are awaiting a response, she apologizes for any delay in getting back to you; it's difficult to keep up with both the frenzy surrounding the superhotties contest and her day job as law firm document drone. It may also take A3G a few days after the close of voting to announce the winners, so she requests your patience and kind indulgence in advance.
The twenty-one judges nominated for Superhotties of the Federal Judiciary were first announced on July 7, 2004, in this post. Article III Groupie is now writing to point out certain corrections and additions that she has made to the original nominations announcement post, as well as to offer various clarifying comments about some of the nominees. And in a subsequent post, she will "supplement the record" concerning federal judicial hotties, by mentioning certain juicy jurists that were brought to her attention after the close of nominations.
UTR Corrections and Comments:
1. For those of you who viewed the post announcing the nominations fairly early in the game, you may wish to revisit it (which you can do by clicking here). Article III Groupie has added new pictures of Judge Gonzalez, Judge Hull, Judge Seitz, and Judge Roberts (for which she thanks her correspondents). If these pictures alter your assessments, please feel free to change your votes, but kindly do so before Wednesday, July 14, at 11:59 p.m.
2. As explained here, UTR is not afraid to acknowledge its mistakes, and Article III Groupie brings important corrections to the attention of her readers. She now has a significant correction to point out concerning nominated hottie Judge Robert A. Katzmann (known around 40 Foley Street as "the Rock," a nickname arising out of his initials, RAK). Unfortunately, Judge Katzmann was romantically linked in the original nominations post to the wrong Hollywood hottie. The prior version of the post (which has since been corrected) reported that he had been seen in the company of Natasha Richardson. A UTR reader offers the following correction:
[W]e should clear up this Natasha Richardson nonsense. Ms. Richardson, although still lovely, is a veritable crone compared to the woman who is actually the actress linked by British tabloids to hizzoner. That would be Natascha McElhone, the Irish beauty. Your nominator, I suppose, heard the story but misremembered the actress in question.
Check out their pictures (which you can do by clicking on the link for each actress). Wow! Article III Groupie agrees that Ms. McElhone is even more magnificent than Ms. Richardson. Who knew that a federal judge could win such a prize? As the old saying goes, "The judicial power of the United States is the ultimate aphrodisiac!"
3. Supporters of Judge Wood, who is by all accounts both "a brilliant jurist" and "a lovely person," have questioned whether the original post's discussion of Judge Wood might have placed her in an unflattering light, by making her seem like the federal judiciary's answer to Hester Prynne (or, for all you non-readers, Britney Spears). Judge Wood's advocates have argued that such negative coverage might unfairly affect her bid for superhottie status (surely a worthy consolation prize for the post of Attorney General). Early election returns suggest that, if anything, the whiff of scandal has only enhanced Judge Wood's candidacy. But Article III Groupie has conducted further research, at the request of these readers, which has revealed the following facts about Judge Wood:
(a) When Judge Wood and Frank Richardson were dating, Judge Wood and her husband Michael Kramer were already officially seperated, and the terms of their separation agreement allowed them to see other people. Indeed, before she started dating Richardson, Judge Wood availed herself of this freedom to go out on a date with ABC anchorman Peter Jennings. (They went to the movies and saw Schindler's List.)
(b) Kramer issued a statement to the New York Observer in which he stated that the problems with his marriage to Judge Wood were "of long standing, and I view them to be my fault."
(c) Judge Wood and Frank Richardson were classmates at Harvard Law School, where Richardson first developed a crush on Wood. The pair kept in touch over the years, enjoying annual lunches together. When they met up for lunch in March 1995, they both acknowledged troubled marriages, and things proceeded from there. Their romantic relationship began as an outgrowth out of their rekindled friendship; as Richardson explained, they started off as "just two hearts talking."
(d) When Nancy Richardson introduced Frank's diaries into evidence at their divorce proceedings, to support her claim that he committed adultery, Frank Richardson's lawyer responded that the diary entries were merely "the romantic musings of a bygone era," not references to an extramarital affair.
(e) As for her stint as a Playboy bunny, Judge Wood briefly explored such employment as a possible way to help put herself through the world-renowned London School of Economics (also attended by Mick Jagger, as noted here). After finding that working as a bunny was not to her liking, she departed after only a few days of training.
(For those of you with free Lexis-Nexis access, the articles from which most of the above information was gleaned appeared on August 11, 1995, in the Washington Post and over the Associated Press newswire. The Post -- Washington, of course, not New York -- referred to the foregoing events as "[t]he summer's most meaningless scandal." The New York Post, in contrast, exhibited an inordinate and unseemly interest in these happenings, which it covered excessively, as claimed here by Ken Auletta.)
Here are two additional tidbits about Judge Wood that do not relate to her good character but may be of interest to some UTR readers:
--Shortly after Judge Wood returned to work after the vacation she took to escape the media circus during the summer of 1995, one of her first cases was, as described by the Washington Post, "a lawsuit by the Hormel Foods Corp. charging Jim Henson Productions with trademark violation because a villainous and boarish Muppet in an upcoming film [wa]s named Spa'am." The New York Post nemorably referred to the Spa'am litigation as "the meatiest case of the day." (To find out the outcome of the litigation, click here.) Of course, now that Spam is hated the world over, as a term for internet junk mail -- even appearing in the title of a piece of legislation, the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 -- it seems that Hormel has bigger mystery meats to fry!
--The gorgeous lavender dress that Judge Wood wore to the New York City Ballet opening, discussed in the original nominations post, is believed by the majority of UTR respondents to be an Oscar de la Renta gown (although a minority view advocates Carolina Herrera).
4. In the original post announcing the nominees, Article III Groupie offered the following aside concerning Justice Souter: "Groupie, J., would dismiss the writ as improvidently granted. But as they say, 'De gustibus non disputandum est!'" (If you want the ultimate proof that "there's no disputing taste," consider this ardent love poem to Justice Ginsburg, adapted from Christopher Marlowe's The Passionate Shepherd to His Love. A3G has previously opined on Justice Ginsburg's desperate need for the Queer-Eye-for-the-Straight-Justice treatment, in this post.)
Concerning her comments on Justice Souter, one reader asked A3G: "[W]hen you say you'd dismiss the writ as improvidently granted, I know you're just making an inside joke about how much you DIG him. Aren't you?" Alas, no; this reader gives Article III Groupie more credit than she deserves. Abusing her prerogatives as proprietress of "Underneath Their Robes," A3G was engaging in wanton editorializing, imposing her own subjective views of Justice Souter's attractiveness upon her readership. She feels guilty for her conduct, however, and so she will publish the following letter from a Souter partisan, to provide some much-needed editorial balance:
Dear GROUPIE, J.:
While I was of course thrilled to see my nominee SOUTER, J., among the full slate of judicial superhottie nominees, I nevertheless feel I must file an amicus brief on the man's behalf. I fear you may have become a bit too enamored with a certain sprightly, near-elven Italian Second Circuit judge and followed his example by exposing your own views and prejudices, thus tainting the deliberative process so integral to the proper election of super-hot jurists.
For example, while SOUTER, J., "may not seem like an obvious choice" to GROUPIE, J., she must understand that her palpable influence may sway her more intellectually malleable followers. To comment that she "would dismiss the writ as improvidently granted" further evinces what should be [her privately held] views on the subject's prospects . . . .
Moreover, the choice of images -- a photograph showing an unfairly haggard, despondent-looking SOUTER, J. -- may certainly sway potentially persuadable voters. The vast weight of the ocular precedent relating to SOUTER, J., suggests a fit, handsome federal judge of aristocratic carriage and appealing WASP features, with a penchant for Brooks Brothers rep ties in neat, four-in-hand knots. Compare Ex. A [Souter picture at near right, used by A3G in the July 7 nominations post] with Ex. B [Souter picture at far right, submitted by a Souter fan].
Particularly in comparison to his fellow Supreme Court justices, SOUTER, J., cuts an attractive, almost boyish figure, like a varsity prep school athlete amongst his less athletically-gifted peers. Cf. Ex. C [picture above of Supreme Court (presenting SOUTER, J., along with, inter alia, SCALIA, J., who displays the type of jowls attainable only through unrestrained, unaerobic study of the Federalist Papers, followed by plate after plate of duck confit)].
It is my sincerest hope that the court takes the foregoing points into consideration.
Wallowing in my inexplicable straight crush on SOUTER, J.,
[A male reader of UTR]
Confronted with such powerful evidence of her malfeasance, A3G pleads guilty -- to obstruction of justice! (To wit, Justice Souter.) Yes, Article III Groupie did pick the most unflattering picture of Justice Souter that she could find, in a calculated attempt to sabotage his superhottie candidacy. "And if it weren't for you meddling kids, she would've gotten away with it!" Article III Groupie blames her attempt to bias the voting on her unhealthy obsession with that high-handed congressional diva, Rep. Katherine Harris of Florida. A3G developed this fixation after watching this video over and over again, with the sound turned way up. (A3G's reaction to this video is perhaps the exact opposite of the response the video's creator hoped to engender...)
Having acknowledged her errors and even admitted to official misconduct, Article III Groupie has accepted responsibility for her actions, which has led her to set the record straight with respect to federal judicial hotties. She has now (1) provided UTR's readers with pictures of almost all the nominated hotties, (2) linked Judge Katzmann to the correct starlet, (3) amply established Judge Wood's sound moral character, and (4) shared with her readers an amicus brief on behalf of the unfairly maligned Justice Souter (including a kinder, gentler picture). Now she can sleep well, knowing that the integrity of the superhotties voting process has been restored, with all of the nominees receiving a fair shake.
So Article III Groupie has done her part for democracy. Now it's up to you, the readers of UTR, to make your voices heard. There are still two days left in the voting period, which ends on Wednesday, July 14, 2004, at 11:59 p.m. (Pacific time). Please send your ballots -- you may vote for one female nominee and one male nominee -- to me, Article III Groupie, by email.
Listening for the voice of the people,