As you all know from her incessant complaining, Article III Groupie has been somewhat depressed lately. Many factors have contributed to her malaise, including the demands of work, holiday-related stress, and a recent letter she received suggesting that not all of the Elect live happily ever after.
Well, A3G is feeling a little better now. She's still way behind in her Christmas shopping and holiday card writing, but her spirits have been lifted by a few e-mails, which she will share with you in today's Courthouse Forum.
First, nothing brings good cheer like a Christmas missive from a judicial celebrity:
From: Richard Posner
To: Article III Groupie
Date: Sun, 12 Dec 2004 00:51:10 -0600
Dear Ms. Groupie,
Very sorry to hear that you're feeling overworked and overwhelmed. Take it easy, and have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
How delightful! A3G thanks Judge Posner for his lovely note. She may be a member of the Great Unwashed and a lowly law firm associate, but at least she's on Richard Posner's Christmas card list!
(And while she is on the subject of The Giant Hedgehog, A3G would like to mention one other comment from this brilliant jurist. After A3G e-mailed Judge Posner to thank him for entrusting her with breaking the news of The Becker-Posner Blog, he replied: "Thank you--it is very valuable advertising for us. Everyone reads your blog." What a great celebrity endorsement!)
Next, consider this insightful and exceedingly flattering message from one of our nation's most renowned courtroom advocates:
From: [A Legendary Litigator]
To: Article III Groupie
Date: Sun, 12 Dec 2004 12:32:08 +0000
Subject: rest ye merry
Rest ye merry, A3G, this holiday season. But for 2005 you can ditch at least some of your perennial worries.
First, ditch the one about not being a Supreme Court law clerk. Hey, I missed out too in what might have been one of the nearest-misses ever, and perhaps the most publicized. In the end, people knew I had at least been close, so I got all the mileage and never had to stay up late reading cert. petitions.
Second, don't worry about running out of material. Article III types will continue to provide it. You are a direct descendant of Charles Warren, I think, and his gossip-laden history of the Court and its Justices shows us that some personality traits that go with "leprosy of the bench" -- as TJ's AG Caesar Rodney put it -- are perennials. JM's tweaking Levi Lincoln during Marbury oral argument is just a small example. Story's letter home about the arguments in Amistad is another.
I hope you keep on blogging because we need you. There are big questions out there for the robed ones. We have never needed Article III judging more than right now, in the tradition of Cranch, Johnson, perhaps even Ex parte Merryman, certainly Paquete Habana, certainly when we think of Hirabayashi and Korematsu, yes in the tradition of Learned Hand in Judith Coplon's case [United States v. Coplon, 185 F.2d 629 (2d Cir. 1950)], and so on. So many of the brethren and sistren are running around in the box they call "the legal mind," fitting parts of ideas together while letting the Executive branch resolve the big issues....
Wow! Article III Groupie does not deserve such praise, but she is certainly gratified to receive it. As for ceasing to fret over not being among the Elect, well, that's easier said than done -- especially when she gets letters like this one (from an unnamed Anointed):
Life as a member of the Elect really is as fantastic as you imagined. Your other correspondent was just trying to make you feel better. Also, there are four fountains in the courtyards at the Court, so that there is less of a wait in line when we have to practice our hydro-ambulatory skills. (The whole thing is a lot like the reindeer-training scene from the Rudolph Christmas special, with [Clerk of Court] Bill Sutter playing the role of Comet with the baseball cap and whistle.)
A3G's reaction to this message, like her reaction to the earlier letter she received from one of the Elect, is mixed. On the one hand, it's depressing to hear about the sensational lives led by the Anointed. On the other hand -- what a relief! This message restores A3G's previously wavering faith in the unlimited power of the legal profession's ultimate credential. Now she can return to being bitter and self-pitying -- which is, after all, what she does best...