Hello there, my darling sweet potatoes! Article III Groupie must depart from the blogosphere shortly, so she can "get her turkey on" (metaphorically, not literally; she excels in many areas, but the culinary arts are not among them). She will most likely be away from blogging and e-mail until at least Sunday. Before flying her coop, however, she will leave you with a few quick judicial sight-ations.
A3G acknowledges that almost all of these federal judicial celebrity sightings are taken from other blogs, with little in the way of additional reporting or original commentary from her. She deserves props, however, for her compliance with Rule No. 5 of good blogging: "Link Early, Link Often." (For the complete rules, see this very insightful post over at Notes from the (Legal) Underground, by the rather cute Michael Cernovich -- the blogger formerly known as Federalist No. 84, who is responsible for Crime & Federalism.)
So here are last week's judicial sight-ations (in chronological order):
1. Tuesday, November 16. Via How Appealing: "On Tuesday in the Ceremonial Courtroom of the U.S. Courthouse in Philadelphia, a portrait of Senior Third Circuit Judge Edward R. Becker that was commissioned by Yale Law School alumni to hang at Yale (in the renovated room that was bombed) was officially presented to the law school." For additional information, including discussion of how many of Judge Becker's law school classmates are now Article III judges (it's an impressive number), as well as which judicial luminaries were in attendance, click here.
A3G speculates that Judge Becker had the following reaction to the portrait ceremony: "I'm lovin' it!" Judge Becker -- described by UTR readers as "brilliant," "politically savvy," and "a lover of attention, which he tries to grab with scholarly but vexatiously long opinions" -- reportedly misses the hubbub and hustle of the district court (where he served for many years before his ascension to the Third Circuit). This yearning for more human contact explains why Judge Becker often calls for oral argument in cases that his colleagues regard as suitable for submission on the briefs, and why he is so active at oral argument (during which he often introduces his questions with lengthy preambles and anecdotes). A social occasion like the portrait ceremony, focused on celebrating Judge Becker and his long and distinguished career, must have been a delightful event for him.
2. Thursday, November 18. Courtesy of Waddling Thunder: "The Ames Moot Court Competition is held at Harvard Law School every year. Traditionally, a Supreme Court Justice arrives for the final, along with two judges from the circuit courts of appeal. This year, the judges were Ruth Bader Ginsburg, of the US Supreme Court, Richard A. Paez, of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and [superhottie nominee] Reena Raggi, of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit."
Click here for full details, including Waddling Thunder's lovely, literary description of Justice Ginsburg as "a formidable woman; grim, spare, and quite exact, possessed of a certain impish sense of humor that came poking out here and there during the argument."
3. Friday, November 19. From Blog De Novo: Judge Richard Posner appeared before the Columbia Law School Federalists. PG described The Giant Hedgehog, quite aptly, as "the U2 of law. Well, more like the Alice Cooper; kind of an enfant terrible." PG's post is admirably detailed, both in terms of substance and style (an entire paragraph of keen observation of the judicial wardrobe). A3G has nothing to add; you can't improve on perfection!
It was pretty random. I turned to my buddy and said, "Hey, man, I think Judge Kozinski walked in." He said, "Oh, yeah, you're right -- I've seen his picture on this blog." "This blog," of course, was UTR! You're a star!
A3G contacted The Easy Rider to confirm this sight-ation, which seemed somewhat implausible at first. Perhaps "Judge Kozinski" was just the middle-aged, Eastern European building super, dropping by to complain about the noise? As it turned out, however, the sight-ation was legitimate. When asked if he was in attendance, The Easy Rider wrote, "Yep. It was at my cousin Amir Weinberg's apartment in NY. Amir is an associate at Paul, Weiss."
5. Saturday, November 20. A reader e-mailed A3G to bring to her attention this item from the New York Times: The brilliant and beautiful Judge Kimba Wood (S.D.N.Y.) recently presided at the wedding of Casey Greenfield, a Yale Law School student, and Matt Manfredi, a hot young screenwriter. (You may be wondering: How did the couple, neither of whom clerked for Judge Wood or is even a lawyer (yet), snag the #1 Superhottie of the Federal Judiciary to do the honors? A3G speculates that Ms. Greenfield's celebrity father, CNN senior analyst Jeff Greenfield, may have been involved.)
The reader who brought this item to A3G's attention offered this addendum: "[On a more] personal note about Judge Wood, I clerked for a judge that shared the same office suite with her and can attest that she is as gracious and graceful as you have depicted her -- her tea & cookies floor parties were much anticipated and enjoyed by all."
Finally, in the interest of completeness -- UTR is, after all, the Social Register for the Elect -- A3G would like to draw your attention to a Supreme Court clerk wedding from a few weeks ago that she inadvertently overlooked. Jenny S. Martinez, who clerked for Justice Breyer (OT 1998), and who now teaches international and human rights law at Stanford Law School, married David Silliman Graham, the founder of a company that develops educational audio recordings for high school. Although the bridegroom is not among the Elect, he comes from a good family -- his father is the chief anchor and managing editor of Court TV. Judge Patricia M. Wald, former chief judge of the (gasp!) D.C. Circuit, officiated.
When you all return post-Turkey Day with your bloated bellies, A3G will reach into her horn of plenty, for even more morsels of judicial news and gossip. The yumbolicious treats to be fed to your gaping maws include the Questions Presented interview with Judge Gettleman -- which is looking great, if A3G does say so herself -- and the previously promised collector's edition of Robing Room Report, giving you the dish from the Federalist Fiesta.*
One final message: When you gather round your Thanksgiving table with your family and friends tomorrow, don't forget to say a prayer of thanks for federal judges. These brilliant, hardworking, fair-minded men and women make countless sacrifices, large and small, in order to do justice. Our system of government, committed to equal justice and the rule of law, would not be possible without their tireless efforts. Federal judges, UTR salutes you!
*Yes, this report has been horribly delayed; by the time it comes out, the proceedings in question will be but a distant memory. Unfortunately, preparing such a report takes longer when you must rely exclusively upon field correspondents. A3G loves all of her reporters dearly, she is grateful for all scoops, and she knows it's bad manners "to look a gift e-mail in the header." But when she sends you a follow-up e-mail requesting more detail about the attire of an Article III attendee at the Federalist Fête, she would appreciate something more substantive than, for example, "Um, a dark suit? I couldn't see that well because I came in late and was standing at the back of the room." Come on, team -- Coach Groupie knows you can do better!