Article III Groupie has been swamped at work, frantically preparing to escape for the Thanksgiving holiday. Before she makes her jailbreak, however, she must pass along to you two delicious scoops, exclusive to "Underneath Their Robes," about UTR's two most favorite jurists: Judge Alex Kozinski and Judge Richard Posner!!!
Yes, these two judicial superstars have been covered extensively in these pages in the past. And yes, A3G is well aware of the dangers of overexposure. But these tidbits are simply too scrumptious to withhold, so A3G provides them to you now, just in time for incorporation into your Thanksgiving repast.
First, check out the e-mail below from Judge Posner -- part of a larger chain of correspondence between A3G and Judge Posner concerning a proper judicial nickname for him -- in which he reveals his imminent and exciting return to the blogosphere! As tout le monde knows, Judge Posner guest blogged over at Lessig Blog back in August.
To: Article III Groupie
Subject: Re: A nickname?
From: Judge Posner
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2004 17:17:57 -0600
Dear Ms. Groupie, Yes, the debate [with Judge Kozinski before the Copyright Society of the USA] was fun. Judge Kozinski is a genuine original, and I mean that in a wholly positive sense. . . . .
I have been called many things. One of my favorites is "The Giant Hedgehog." The reference is to an essay by Isaiah Berlin in which he divided all thinkers into hedgehogs and foxes, the former having one idea, the latter a lot of ideas: e.g., Dante v. Shakespeare. I was "The Giant Hedgehog" because the person who named me that (a professor -- I forget who) considered my obsession with economic analysis of law excessive.
Incidentally, here's a scoop for your blog. Gary Becker (famous University of Chicago economist) and I are starting a blog, probably next week, called The Becker-Posner Blog. We will be discussing a variety of current topics of mutual interest, but initially just once a week.
Very truly yours, G.H.
WOW! This is terribly exciting news, and A3G can't wait to welcome The Giant Hedgehog to the blogosphere as a permanent resident.
Just one quibble, from A3G as self-appointed chief publicist for the federal judiciary: Why is the blog to be called "The Becker-Posner Blog," rather than "The Posner-Becker Blog"? Sure, Professor Becker does have that "Nobel" thing going for him. But does he have as many groupies as The Giant Hedgehog? A3G has taken a few taebo classes in her day, and if resort to violence is necessary to settle this matter, she will take on the president of the Gary Becker Fan Club in hand-to-hand combat. She will bench-slap him into oblivion!
As you all know, Article III Groupie also corresponds regularly with the #1 Male Superhottie of the Federal Judiciary. Concerning the debate before the Copyright Society, The Easy Rider agreed with the assessment of The Giant Hedgehog. In a recent e-mail to A3G, Judge Kozinski wrote, "It was fabulous--great fun. There's a tape and there will be a transcript, which I can send you so you can read all about yourself." In another message, he wrote, "BTW, your name was taken in vain several times during the Posner-Kozinski copyright debate. I'm sure your spies reported to you already, but basically half the introduction by Bill Patry, the moderator, was devoted to mentioning Posner's and my connection to A3G."
And now, the scoop. Judge Kozinski has informed A3G that he has a piece that will be appearing in the next issue of Legal Affairs (a superb publication that she recommends most highly, by the way). She has read an almost-final draft, and she must say that it is an excellent essay -- brilliant, funny, and utterly convincing (just like its author). As a teaser, she will share with you the working title of this provocative piece: "The Appearance of Propriety: The judicial canons have got it wrong. The real ethical issues facing judges are hidden from view." She does not wish to steal the thunder of the Legal Affairs crew, so she will not say anything further; she simply urges her readers to keep an eye out for it in the January/February issue.
In the meantime, if you can't wait until then for your Kozinski fix, you can read his recent op-ed, "Don't Split the Ninth Circuit" (link via How Appealing). The piece was published in the Wall Street Journal and co-authored by the Easy Rider and his decidedly liberal colleague, Judge Sidney R. Thomas -- who may be inheriting the Reinhardtian mantle of "Judge Kozinski's Lefty Sidekick," just as She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named will be taking on Judge Reinhardt's role as liberal lion(ess) of the Ninth Circuit. (Speaking of both Legal Affairs and splitting the Ninth Circuit, check out this spirited online debate over at their delightful Debate Club feature, between Jennifer L. Spreng, a former law clerk to Judge Andrew J. Kleinfeld, and Professor Carl W. Tobias, of the University of Richmond School of Law.)
A3G will close this post with a final bit of judicial correspondence from the Easy Rider. As many of you may know, Judge Kozinski is quite the movie buff (and more will follow in these pages concerning his cinematic tastes). For the time being, for those of you planning to spend part of the holiday curled up with the remote control for your DVD player, consider this celebrity endorsement of a movie to rent:
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2004 11:17:14 -0800 (PST)
From: The Easy Rider
To: Article III Groupie
Subject: Lungu, etc
A3G: I'm glad you're helping keep the luscious Judge Lungu in the news. Maybe she hasn't got life tenure, but she seems otherwise well endowed. A propos nothing else, except Romania, may I recommend the following Romanian movie, An Unforgettable Summer.
And here is the EZ Rider's comment on the movie:
While not widely available, the movie can be found in the US at better video rental stores. I found by chance and rented it because I'd never seen a Romanian movie (at least not since I left Romania) and was pleasantly surprised. It's a little gem.
On behalf of her readers, A3G thanks The Easy Rider for the recommendation of "An Unforgettable Summer," which she hopes to check out sometime soon. The plot summary reminds her of something that could happen in a big city law firm. Consider this paraphrase: "An attractive young female associate refuses the flirtatious advances of the assigning partner. As a result, she is reassigned to a brutally bleak and deathly dull document review, where both her relationship with her non-lawyer boyfriend and her humanity are severely tested."
Speaking of work... notwithstanding a reply brief she needs to get drafted, A3G hopes to crank out another UTR post before making herself scarce for the holiday. But if she doesn't succeed in doing so, she wishes everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!
Giving thanks for federal judges,