As noted by Will Baude of Crescat Sententia, as well as certain UTR readers who e-mailed Article III Groupie with the news, the folks over at SCOTUSBlog have very kindly made the Vanity Fair article available online (in two parts). In "The Path to Florida: What Really Happened in the 2000 Election," David Margolick, Evgenia Peretz, and Michael Shnayerson offer a behind-the-scenes look at how Bush v. Gore played out at the Supreme Court. A3G previously blogged about the piece here (see item #3, following the "Rehnquist Underwear Update").
Now that you can access the article yourself, Article III Groupie no longer needs to provide you with excerpts of its juiciest portions. But she still has some value to add. Hence this latest installment of Justice Is Blind, which will serve as a reader's companion to the VF piece. As originally explained in this post, "Justice Is Blind" is a UTR feature that (1) publishes so-called "blind items," scrumptious morsels of gossip in which the identities of the federal judges under discussion remain undisclosed, and (2) reveals the identities of individuals featured in the blind items of others. The VF article has a few blind items, which A3G will take a stab at addressing below.
1. Bush v. Gore Dramatis Personae. The VF article contains many references to, and quotations from, Supreme Court law clerks who are identified only by the justice for whom they clerked or by the political leanings of their justice (e.g., "liberal clerks," "conservative clerks," and Justice Kennedy's "four very conservative, Federalist Society white guys"). In reading the article, it may therefore be helpful to know who were the members of the Elect for the October 2000 Term. So here is a list of the holders of Supreme Court clerkships for 2000-2001--a publicly available list, so please don't think of A3G as the next Bob Woodward (or get angry at her for revealing any big secrets):
Chief Justice Rehnquist
Luke A. Sobota (Chicago/Rymer)
Mark T. Stancil (UVA/Ebel)
Jocelyn E. Strauber (Duke/Randolph)
Eduardo Penalver (Yale/Guido-maniac)
Andrew M. Siegel (NYU/Leval)
Anne M. Voigts (Columbia/Bleeding Reinhardt)
Rick A. Bierschbach (Michigan/Randolph)
Jennifer M. Mason (NYU/Kozinski)
Tamarra D. Matthews (Yale/Rogers)
Stanley J. Panikowski (UVA/Wilkinson)
Kevin P. Martin (Columbia/Silberman)
Julian W. Poon (Harvard/Luttigator)
Aaron D. Van Oort (Chicago/Posner)
Eric B. Wolff (Berkeley/Williams/W. Fletcher)
Grant M. Dixton (Harvard/Luttigator)
Brett C. Gerry (Yale/Silberman)
Kevin J. Miller (Chicago/J. Smith)
Eugene M. Paige (Harvard/Kozinski)
Kenneth A. Bamberger (Harvard/Kearse)
Kevin C. Newsom (Harvard/O'Scannlain)
Molly S. Van Houweling (Harvard/Boudin)
Matthew C. Waxman (Yale/Flaum)
Jonathan F. Cohn (Harvard/O'Scannlain)
Kathryn Comerford (Harvard/Luttigatrix)
Eric D. Miller (Chicago/Silberman)
Ann M. Scarlett (Kansas/Bowman)
Eric O. Bravin (Columbia/Ebel)
Robert M. Gordon (Yale/Leval)
Goodwin H. Liu (Yale/Tatel Tot)
Linda C. Lye (Berkeley/Guido-maniac)
Stacey M. Leyton (Stanford/Bleeding Reinhardt/Illston)
Alexander A. Reinert (NYU/Edwards)
Russell K. Robinson (Harvard/D. Nelson)
Danielle Spinelli (Harvard/Guido-maniac)
Justice White (retired)
Joseph T. Thai (Harvard/Ebel)
2. The Sinisterly Liberal AMK Clerk. On page 320 of the article, the authors write:
[Conservatves] had never forgiven [Justice Kennedy] for his votes to uphold abortion and gay rights, and doubted both his intelligence and his commitment to the cause. Convinced he'd strayed on abortion under the pernicious influence of a liberal law clerk--a former student of the notoriously liberal Laurence Tribe of Harvard Law School, who was representing Gore in the case--they took steps to prevent any reoccurrences. Applicants for Kennedy clerkships were now screened by a panel of right-wing stalwarts.
The liberal snake in the AMK grass would appear to be the insidiously brilliant Professor Michael C. Dorf of Columbia Law School. According to Closed Chambers, the controversial tell-all memoir by former Blackmun clerk Edward Lazarus, Professor Dorf was the law clerk who worked with Justice Kennedy on Planned Parenthood v. Casey--to the exclusion of his fellow law clerks, and contrary to the standard practice in Justice Kennedy's chambers of all clerks being involved, at least to some degree, in all cases.
One "right-wing stalwart" who used to conduct AMK screening interviews was former D.C. Circuit nominee Miguel A. Estrada. Estrada came under fire at his confirmation hearings over his allegedly partisan role in selecting law clerks for Justice Kennedy (click here; see especially the block quote in the middle of the page). Reeling from liberal attacks, "the kid from Tegucigalpa" withdrew his name from consideration for a coveted D.C. Circuit seat, saying "adiós" to his judicial aspirations (or maybe just "hasta luego"; could he be nominated again if President Bush wins reelection?).
3. The Brothers Bravin. On page 355 of the article, the authors refer to "[t]he brother of a Ginsburg clerk, who covered legal affairs for The Wall Street Journal, [who] learned that the paper would soon report how, at a party on Election Night, O'Connor was overheard expressing her dismay over Gore's apparent victory."
The reporter in question would appear to be Jess Bravin, brother of former Ginsburg clerk Eric Bravin.
In closing, Article III Groupie would like to underscore that the foregoing information is all based on matters of public record (or easily derived therefrom by any idiot with Google access and a LEXIS password). So please do not level facile accusations of "hypocrisy" at A3G for providing this information while at the same time desiring to maintain her own anonymity. Article III Groupie, an insecure individual who is desperate for attention, would love nothing more than to be publicly known as the notorious blogger responsible for the federal judicial scandal sheet that is UTR. Unfortunately, in order to entertain and enlighten in these pages while continuing to hold down (highly paid) employment in the respectable and stuffy legal profession, A3G must insist on remaining nameless. She appreciates her readers' cooperation toward this end.
Blogging underneath her (bath)robe,