WHEW! Article III Groupie is absolutely exhausted, after a busy week both in the office and the blogosphere. She doesn't need very much sleep--which largely explains how she can balance UTR and her day job, and which also explains why she e-mails and blogs at odd hours--but she still does get tired. So please don't expect this post, composed on a lazy Sunday afternoon, to display much energy. After taking orders and working her tail off for most of last week (yesterday included), A3G is going to kick back and let others do most of the work today.
In case you've forgotten, today is Halloween. And that means scary federal judges are out and about, haunting litigants and law clerks with their chilling judicial visages. BOO!
In honor of the occasion, here are some Judicial Sight-ations (some of them Halloween-related, others not):
2. As for Halloween festivites, the Ninth Circuit had a Halloween party in its Pasadena courthouse on Friday. Unfortunately, no judges wore costumes. A correspondent reports: "The only adult who showed up in costume was Eve Fisher (no relation to Judge [Raymond C.] Fisher), the deputy in charge of the Pasadena clerk's office, who came dressed as a Tiki drink and brought her tiny new daughter, dressed as mouse with a very long tail."
The absence of judges in costume was (almost) made up for by the fact that four Ninth Circuit judges in attendance were overheard discussing UTR...
(Ah, the delights of ambiguous transitivity...)
After officiating last weekend at the wedding of his law clerk, Thomas Glenn Saunders, to Elizabeth Susan Nathan, Judge Leval presumably had another wedding to attend this weekend. After numerous people reached UTR by Googling "samuel rascoff married" and "samuel rascoff wedding," A3G did some research and learned that Samuel James Rascoff, who clerked for Judge Leval and then Justice Souter (OT 2003), is to be married today to Lauren R. Geller, a doctor-to-be.
As reflected in this wedding announcement, Mr. Rascoff has a résumé that is literally breathtaking: Harvard College, summa cum laude; Marshall Scholarship; Oxford, first-class honors; Yale Law School; Leval and Souter clerkships. He now works as an associate at uber-prestigious Wachtell Lipton, which routinely has the highest profits per partner of any major American law firm, and where associates who are members of the Great Unwashed can actually earn as much as their Anointed counterparts at other law firms.
But A3G derives perverse pleasure and consolation from the fact that Mr. Rascoff is "only" a Marshall Scholar, i.e., NOT a Rhodes Scholar (previously described in UTR as "the pre-law equivalent of the Elect"). She can imagine a cocktail party conversation in which Mr. Rascoff vaguely alludes, with false modesty, to his "time at Oxford," and his interlocutor asks, "When were you at Oxford?" The following exchange ensues:
Rascoff: "I was there after college, on a fellowship."
Cocktail Party Guest 1: "Oh--were you a Rhodes Scholar?"
Rascoff: "No, I was a Marshall Scholar."
Cocktail Party Guest 1 (masking disappointment): "Oh, okay."
HEE-HEE! Yes, A3G really is this bitter and petty. And no, her schadenfreude knows no limits...
4. David Starkoff of Inchoate recently spotted Judge Randall R. Rader of the Federal Circuit. Click here for his account of the sight-ation (for which A3G is grateful, even if it's a bit too substantive for her tastes, as well as lacking in sartorial detail).
5. On Friday, Judge Diane S. Sykes, a nominee for Superhotties of the Federal Judiciary, was sworn in as a Seventh Circuit judge (by Judge Terence T. Evans, for whom she clerked). Click here for the story, and click here for a photo.
A3G admits this is not a true sight-ation, since Judge Sykes was spotted in an official rather than personal capacity. But A3G really liked this picture, which shows Harry Potter in attendance at the investiture. (Okay, that's probably Judge Sykes's son Alex--but he sure does look like Daniel Radcliffe, doesn't he?)
A3G also thought a shout-out to Judge Sykes, whom some people find quite frightening, was eminently appropriate on Halloween. Of course, Judge Sykes is no match for She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named--whose malevolent, unspeakably vast power can barely be kept in check by the entire conservative wing of the Ninth Circuit. (If you're new to UTR and wondering about A3G's obsession with You-Know-Who, read the last few paragraphs of this post.)
6. Justice Thomas recently paid a visit to the University of Kansas School of Law, as reported here by the Lawrence-Journal World. As noted here by How Appealing, the reporter responsible for the article could use a civics lesson, having written the following about Justice Thomas:
"I look at it as a job," he told students. "When you think you're all that important, you run the risk of thinking you can raise the level at which you impact the country. I am a Title 3 (federal district court) judge, and I will not try to be God."
Mortifying! How could anyone confuse Article III of the Constitution with "Title 3"? If "Title 3" is supposed to be referring to Title 3 of the United States Code, then we're not even talking about the correct branch of government. (Alas, this reporter isn't the only one who makes such mistakes--someone recently arrived at UTR after running a Google search for "title iii groupie.")
Furthermore, how could anyone confuse an exalted Supreme Court justice with a mere district court judge? With all due respect to our esteemed federal trial judges, several of whom read UTR (and correspond with A3G), A3G will now quote from the explanation of the federal judicial system contained in America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction, by Jon Stewart and the writers of the Daily Show (a very funny book that A3G recommends highly, despite her ideological disagreements with Mr. Stewart):
It all starts with the U.S. district courts, the first stop whenever someone decides to "make a federal case" of something. Judges in these courts can barely read, and instead of gavels bang their thick skulls against their desks to bring the court to order. It is not unusual for a district court judge to throw his sandwich at a lawyer he dislikes.
Actually, Mr. Stewart and his colleagues may be in need of correction. The foregoing description would be more accurately applied to icky state court judges!
The article about Justice Thomas's visit to KU contains another statement in need of correction or clarification. The article quotes one student as follows about Justice Thomas: "He was very easy-going and easy to talk to," said student Holly Hydeman. "We make them (justices) out to be demagogues [sic; demigods?]. He's a guy who drives a Saturn."
Say what? Contrary to Ms. Hydeman's statement, Article III Groupie's research discloses that Justice Thomas is the proud owner and driver of a far more fabulous vehicle, a black Corvette ZR1 (as noted here, here, and here). Presumably Ms. Hydeman's reference to a Saturn was a rhetorical flourish intended to underscore how down-to-earth Justice Thomas is (or maybe CT rented a Saturn for his visit to KU). Unfortunately, her statement could very easily be misinterpreted, which is why A3G feels compelled to clarify matters. (If A3G is incorrect, and Justice Thomas has traded in his magnificent ZR1 for a Saturn, please let her know. And if you have any other tidbits about Justice Thomas and his Corvette, please send them to A3G for inclusion in The Wheels of Justice.)
Of course, those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Two recent posts on UTR were not as complete as they could have been, and A3G would like to set matters straight. For filing under Amended Opinions, A3G directs your attention to two excellent posts on other blogs that supplement these incomplete UTR posts:
--Stuart Buck, of The Buck Stops Here, offers additional commentary on liberal judicial diva Susan J. Dlott (S.D. Ohio) in this post (scroll down for hilarious discussion of Judge Dlott's canine obsession); and
--this post over at the Bertrand Russell Blogspot points out that A3G's correspondent, Southern Diva of New York, "missed the most fabulous element of Judge Loretta Preska's outfit": the judge's fabulous, bright red high heels!
Speaking of pumps,* it's time for Article III Groupie to take off her own and put her tired feet up on the couch. She is completely beat! She blames her fatigue for the fairly dry tone of this overlong post, but she promises to make it up to you in the days ahead. Lots of UTR goodies are on the way, including the latest installment of "Courthouse Forum," featuring sizzling new judicial (and judicial spousal) correspondence. And tomorrow morning, A3G will unveil the "Questions Presented" interview of Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw. If you enjoy Judge Wardlaw's wise and witty responses half as much as A3G did, you'll love 'em!
Trick or treat, smell her feet, give her judicial gossip to eat,
*A3G is referring to rhetorical pumps; even she doesn't wear heels on the weekend (unless she has a special event to attend that requires them).