Article III Groupie is embarrassed to be calling this post a collection of UTR "news" items. She is way behind in both her blogging and her e-mail, which explains why several of these items are so dated they hardly qualify as "news." But here they are, for the record:
1. Understatement of the Year. Professor D. Gordon Smith of Venturpreneur recently issued an interesting series of posts entitled "So You Want to be a Law Professor." The second installment in the series contains this statement, which UTR hereby names the "understatement of the year":
Supreme Court clerks are difficult to find in the AALS database. It allows a search for those who have judicial clerkships, but it does not distinguish those with U.S. Supreme Court clerkships [i.e., "the Elect" or "the Anointed"] from those with other clerkships, and most of us think this might be a relevant distinction.
2. Naughty Nino! He goes on tour, playing to packed houses, and those who don't get in to see him are crestfallen. He thinks orgies "ought to be encouraged." He has groupies (in addition to the undersigned), as well as a fan club. The conclusion is inevitable: Justice Scalia is a rock star!
An update: It seems that Justice Scalia's remarks were misconstrued. As explained in this article by the New York Daily News, entitled "Scalia: Orgies ain't so hot," "it appears the jurist was making a rhetorical point - not revealing himself to be a swinger in black robes."
Hmm, this is disappointing news. Let's just do with it what we'd do with contrary authority that's difficult to distinguish: Ignore it! After all, pretending we never read the correction allows us to enjoy op-eds like this one and this one, as well as the rather disturbing final paragraph of this post, entitled "Scalia Issued Fagistani Passport."
3. Judge Leval to A3G: "Stop peeking beneath my robe!" In this post, Article III Groupie analyzed the Amazon.com "wish lists" of prominent federal judges, including that of Judge Pierre N. Leval (2d Cir.), which at the time contained a Palm Vx. Since A3G issued her post, the Palm Vx has been removed from Judge Leval's wish list, which is now empty. Has Judge Leval acquired a Palm Vx since he first placed it on his "wish list"? Or is this distinguished jurist uncomfortable with people peering underneath his robe?
4. Judge Richard Arnold Passes Away. The great Judge Richard S. Arnold of the Eighth Circuit, a former Arkansas district court judge and also former Chief Judge of the Eighth Circuit, passed away at age 68, of an infection developed during treatment for lymphoma. The dazzlingly brilliant Judge Arnold, a former Supreme Court short-lister and feeder judge (and brother of current Eighth Circuit Judge Morris S. Arnold), was mourned by almost the entire Supreme Court. Click here for a personal tribute to Judge Arnold by Professor Richard W. Garnett, who clerked for Judge Arnold before going on to clerk for Chief Justice Rehnquist.
And now, a digression. (Admit it--you love A3G's frolics and detours!) As A3G previously noted in Inbreeding at One First Street, "marriages between Supreme Court clerks happen with remarkable frequency." She cites as further evidence Professor Richard Garnett's marriage to Professor Nicole Stelle Garnett, who clerked for Judge Morris "Buzz" Arnold and then Justice Thomas--the coolest justice on the Court, per Robing Room Report.
If you're not yet nauseated by all this overachievement, there's more. The Garnetts are on the faculty of Notre Dame Law School along with their good friends, Professor Anthony J. Bellia, Jr., and his wife, Professor Patricia L. Bellia. And who are the Bellias, you ask? Well, he clerked for Justice Scalia (via Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain), and she clerked for Justice O'Connor (via Judge José Cabranes). Someone pass A3G an air sickness bag!
5. Sorry, Ladies. While we're on the subject of Supreme Court clerks getting married, it looks like two more Supreme bachelors are off the market. To their credit, David O'Neil, a former clerk to Justice Ginsburg, and Joshua Waldman, a former clerk to Justice Stevens, satisfied their pro bono duties for the year by marrying members of the Great Unwashed (i.e., lawyers, but not Supreme Court clerks).
To be sure, their wives are highly accomplished. Mr. O'Neil's wife, Laura Michele Billings, is a graduate of the monumentally prestigious Harvard Law School, and she works as a prosecutrix in one of the most respected district attorney's offices in the country: the New York District Attorney's Office, headed by the legendary Robert Morgenthau. Mr. Waldman's wife, Sarah Freitas--who graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth, before earning her law degree at the deservedly distinguished University of Chicago--has a high-powered job at the Department of Justice.
But as Article III Groupie knows all too well, from her own painful experience, all members of the Great Unwashed are equally noisome. You don't get any credit for coming "close" to getting a Supreme Court clerkship (e.g., having an interview, or even multiple interviews). As the old saying goes, "Close doesn't count in Supreme Court clerkships. Close only counts in horseshoes and grenades."
A3G recalls a cartoon she saw a few years ago. It showed a car with a rear windshield sticker that proudly read, "Harvard." Right below that sticker was another sticker, in smaller type, that read, "Also admitted at Princeton and Yale." The cartoon captured the silliness of boasting about what might be called a "useless" accomplishment, a "non-achievement" achievement. Almost getting a Supreme Court clerkship is a perfect example of a useless accomplishment.
If you dispute this proposition, consider the evidence. Have you ever seen a bumper sticker reading "My child interviewed for Supreme Court clerkships"? How about a small, yellow, diamond-shaped sign that says, "Supreme Court Clerkship Interviewee on Board"? No, of course you haven't! (Granted, you probably haven't seen any bumper stickers that say, "If you can read this, you're driving too close to a Supreme Court clerk," or any yellow diamond signs that read, "Supreme Court Clerk on Board." But that's just because A3G isn't one of the Elect!) And so, once again, Article III Groupie must bemoan her fate: "She coulda had class. She coulda been a contender. She coulda been someone, instead of a bum, which is what she is, let's face it..."
Right now some of you are probably thinking, "A3G, by glamorizing Supreme Court clerks, and by exaggerating the gap between them and the rest of us, aren't you just making things worse for yourself?" Please, give A3G some credit. A3G may not be one of the Elect, but she's no dummy. She realizes that by issuing frequent paeans to the Anointed in UTR--which is widely read by impressionable law students, among others--she is widening the gulf separating her from the Elect, thus hanging herself with her own rope, hoisting herself with her own petard. She knows all this, but she can't help it. She's sick! (Or, as one of her readers observed somewhat less kindly, in a comment on this post: "Wow, you are totally mental! Lady, check yourself into a psychiatric ward instantly--you are crazy!")
At this point you are probably on the verge of tears, whipping out your Kleenex, and sitting down at your computer to send the troubled soul known as A3G an electronic greeting card to lift her spirits. Indeed, A3G appreciates the many kind e-mails she has received in the past from UTR fans along the following lines: "A3G, it's not the end of the world. You have a lot going for you. You're reasonably smart and intermittently funny (even if your humor is a bit one-note). You write decently, and you have a killer shoe collection. So hang in there!"
But please, don't worry about her. A3G will be okay. Each day is a little easier than the last. She has spent the past few years--and several thousand dollars in health insurance co-pays--working with an excellent therapist. Also, she isn't as troubled by not getting a Supreme Court clerkship as it might seem from her rants in UTR. Sure, about one-third of her breast-beating is genuine. But another third reflects exaggeration for comic effect, and the final third represents the pathetically transparent attempt of A3G, a hopelessly insecure individual, to remind her readers of just how close she came to getting a job at One First Street (so readers will think highly of her intellect and professional accomplishments, which are set forth in her author bio).
6. Links 'n Things. Here is a collection of random funny or interesting items that A3G would like to share with her readers (although, given her blogging delinquency, odds are you've already come across them through another source). She has rambled on enough for now, so she will pass them along with minimal commentary (but they don't really need commentary; res ipsa loquitur).
And so, in no particular order, for your reading or viewing pleasure:
--this amusingly titled post over at Sentencing Law and Policy, kindly brought to my attention by Professor Douglas Berman (and also a quite topical post, given the imminent Supreme Court oral argument in the Booker and Fanfan cases);
--Nomination Nation, a great new blog offering "news, views, and gossip about judicial appointments";
--a puff piece about four NYU graduates who landed Supreme Court clerkships, and another puff piece about a UVA graduate who will be clerking for Chief Justice Rehnquist during the October 2005 Term (after finishing his year as a Wilkinsonian).
With respect to the NYU grads, the article mentions Larry D. Thompson, Jr., the son of former Deputy Attorney General Larry D. Thompson (who left the DOJ last year to take a position at the Brookings Institution, and who recently signed up for the Pepsi challenge). The younger Mr. Thompson was supposed to be starting an OT 2004 clerkship with Justice Thomas after serving a year as a Luttigator--but his name does not appear on the list of OT 2004 Supreme Court clerks. Can someone please tell A3G what's going on?
With respect to the UVA grad, Michael S. Passaportis, who grew up in Zimbabwe (where he played rugby), the deliciously deranged Teresa Heinz Kerry issued the following press release: "I am pleased to see that Chief Justice Rehnquist, who has been justifiably criticized for the Supreme Court's failure to hire more minority law clerks, has finally hired an African American law clerk."
Okay, that's all for now. A3G must get back to working on more important things--such as cutting pictures of Alex Kozinski and Richard Posner out of magazines, for placement in her heart-shaped scrapbook...