After a weekend that was less productive than it should have been, Article III Groupie is up to her silky smooth armpits in work. So after this post, you may not hear from her for a while. With precious little time, let's cut to the chase. Here's the information that you've all been waiting for, the latest installment in A3G's series of Supreme Court clerk puff pieces: SOC's clerks for the October Term 2005!
Please give it up for these three extraordinary individuals, who will be clerking for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor next Term:
(a) he was editor-in-chief of the Stanford Law Review, as well as a moot court star;
(b) "Ben devours recently released Supreme Court opinions with the same ferocity that the rest of save for the new issue of Us Weekly";
(c) despite his "gunner exterior," he "enjoys any movie with the Wayans brothers, watches The Apprentice every week, and makes a mean pappardelle with lamb ragout";
(d) a man of many talents, Mr. Horwich is also "quite the showman -- he played Harold Hill in his high school's (Latin School of Chicago) production of The Music Man, and years later sang about life as a gunner in the law school musical"; and
(e) "[o]ne of his stranger hobbies is gaming the frequent flyer system of United Airlines," sometimes flying from San Francisco to Frankfurt and back (without leaving the airport), just to protect his cherished 1K status. (Hmm... did Ben Horwich drive United into bankruptcy?)
(a) she is a former Marshall Scholar and current fellow at the Information Society Project of Yale Law School;
(b) while at Yale, she led a successful effort that pressured the university and Bristol-Myers Squibb into "relinquish[ing] their South Africa patent on a crucial AIDS drug" (but as noted in this very interesting article by Daryl Lindsey, Kapczynski's activism -- like so much liberal crusading -- may have unfortunate and unintended consequences);
(c) as noted by Lindsey, Amy "looks more like a protypical activist than a lawyer," with her "close-cropped brown hair, pierced eyebrow, and a penchant for wearing Carharrts and T-shirts"; and
(d) she has an extensive record of liberal activism, having worked for a lengthy laundry list of left-leaning groups.
3. Alexander "Sasha" Volokh (Harvard '04/Kozinski)
(a) he has a "fantastic singing voice" and a weakness for showtunes (showtunes? sorry, boys, he's married -- to a woman);
(b) he founded the HLS Target Shooting Club and has a love of firearms;
(c) his hobbies include Scrabble and stamp collecting;
(d) despite his training as an economist, Sasha Volokh also has a more artsy side -- he's a prolific writer, poet, and translator; and
(e) when he and his older brother Eugene Volokh (of Volokh Conspiracy fame) were living in Washington, back when Eugene was clerking for SOC, Sasha is rumored to have stood on the corner of Connecticut Avenue and K Street, "reciting epic poetry for a fee for astonished passersby."
To follow up on item (e), apparently Sasha made a very good impression on Justice O'Connor while his brother was clerking for her. Volokh the Younger got his SOC clerkship without an interview (a fact UTR originally mentioned here). One day Sasha got a letter in the mail from SOC offering him the job. Talk about "You've Got Mail"! It's the federal judicial equivalent of an envelope from Ed McMahon: "Sasha Volokh, you may already be a Supreme Court law clerk!"
What a remarkable crew! A3G suspects that this trio of legal geniuses is marked by, um, a healthy amount of ideological diversity. A Kozinski clerk and gun nut, clerking alongside a Guido-maniac and liberal do-gooder? Next Term should be an interesting one in SOC's chambers, to say the least. (The oenophilic Horwich may need a lot of pinot noir to get him through next year -- and a few long weekends in Frankfurt might not be a bad idea...)
Right now you're all wondering: "Hey A3G, where's the fourth SOC clerk?" Article III Groupie issued a UTR discovery request for this information, but she received no responses from her usually helpful readership. From this silence, A3G infers that Justice O'Connor has not yet hired a fourth clerk -- which is highly unusual for her, since she tends to be on the early side in her clerk hiring.
Okay, Article III Groupie will now go out on a limb. She will offer you what she warns you will be the rankest speculation. Here's her personal (and completely unsubstantiated) theory: SOC is saving a fourth spot for one of Chief Justice Rehnquist's hires, in case the Chief retires from the Supreme Court at the end of this Term.
This is not as daring a prediction as it might seem. First, there is a longstanding tradition of the remaining justices making a strong effort to pick up the hires of their departing colleagues. For example, as recounted here, Judge Kozinski was hired by Chief Justice Burger after Justice Douglas announced his retirement (even though Burger and Douglas weren't exactly ideological soulmates).
Second, Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justice O'Connor have a decades-old friendship, dating back to when they were classmates at Stanford Law School -- where they finished first and third, respectively, in their graduating class.* If anyone has a good idea of the Chief's plans, it would be SOC. (As for why the Chief even hired clerks for next Term, recall that he typically hires in June -- meaning that he would have hired his OT 2005 clerks in June 2004, before he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.)
So, if WHR does retire, which of his three amazing clerks stands the best shot of getting a job with SOC? The smart money is betting on Ann E. O'Connell, veteran marathoner, to sprint past her co-clerks, Mark W. Mosier and Michael S. Passaportis. As that delicious himbo Ryan Seacrest might say, "Ann O'Connell, you are... safe."
Why is that? The answer has nothing to do with the relative merits of Ms. O'Connell over Messrs. Mosier and Passaportis. Rather, it's because Justice O'Connor has a strict 50-50 gender equality rule in her chambers. And with alpha males Ben Horwich and Sasha Volokh already aboard Sandra's Ark,** that last SOC spot has XX chromosomes written all over it.
What will become of Mark Mosier and Mike Passaportis if the Chief steps down? As a retired justice, WHR would be entitled to a clerk, so he might be able to keep one of them on the Court payroll. Or maybe they might get picked up by other justices -- although A3G's records reflect a full house at One First Street for OT 2005, and newbie justices tend to hire (a) people with whom they have worked before, and/or (b) people who have previously clerked at the Court. (Of course, if WHR's replacement turns out to be Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III, a.k.a. The Aging Divo, Passaportis might end up in the exact same spot -- clerking for the Chief Justice in OT 2005.)
But even if Mark and Mike never make it to the Court, they still have shots at leading reasonably happy lives. If ballplayer Mosier strikes out in landing another high court gig, he can always fall back on his baseball talent (or get over his depression by watching "Leave It To Beaver" reruns).
As for Mike Passaportis, he can find sweet succor in the arms of his female admirers, who are legion. Several UTR readers sent A3G this group email:
We're disappointed to see so little information on fellow UVA hottie Michael Passaportis (other than the boxers tidbit… Why not show a picture of Mr. Passaportis in his boxers? Now ladies, that would be sensational <wink, wink>).
In law school, Mike came across as a bit of a loner, but rumor was that he has a wicked sense of humor. And he definitely fit the bill for tall, dark and handsome. Although we weren't too keen on his yucky smoking habit.
Of course, the girls just loved it whenever he got cold-called in Criminal Procedure… it wasn't so much for his brilliant contribution (which was a given), but because we enjoyed daydreamin' to that sweet, sexy South African accent!
[Some Virginia Law women]
In addition, the hunky Mr. Passaportis is hereby invited to apply for the coveted position of Mr. Article III Groupie. (Just kidding! A3G has a boyfriend at the current time, thank you very much.)
Of course, the rumor that Justice O'Connor still has one spot open is just that -- a rumor. Article III Groupie loves to be corrected; getting spanked for her errors is a major turn-on. So if you have information about a fourth SOC clerk for OT 2005, please email A3G, ASAP! (And if you happen to be that fourth SOC clerk, A3G apologizes for overlooking you. But it's kind of your fault too -- you should have stepped forward and identified yourself!)
* Rumor has it that Rehnquist and O'Connor may have dated briefly in law school. If so, it must have been a short-lived romance, since Justice O'Connor met her future husband, John Jay O'Connor, while at Stanford.
** A3G sleeps better at night knowing that if an asteroid destroys the entire world, except for the chambers of Justice O'Connor, the SOC clerks will be able to repopulate the earth...