It has taken her a while, but Article III Groupie is finally done. Today's post marks the conclusion of her series profiling the Supreme Court clerks for October Term 2005 (not counting the round-up post of general observations about the clerk class as a whole, which will come out sometime next month). A3G knows that you're eager to hear about the final group of clerkly celebrities, so she will keep her introductory comments to a minimum.
Today's post focuses on the four incoming law clerks to Justice Stephen G. Breyer. Article Three Groupie has always had a soft spot for Justice Breyer. Although he is one of the four more liberal justices on the Court, SGB is a commendably independent jurist. When he feels that the merits of a case call for it, Justice Breyer will break ranks with the more left-leaning members of the Court to join the conservatives. In addition to being a principled judge, Justice Breyer is also regarded around One First Street as one of the nicest and most brilliant of the nine justices (yes, they are all incredibly smart).
Just like their future boss, the four incoming clerks to Justice Breyer are great legal minds and delightful human beings. So let's "holla at da clerks": SGB's clerks for the October Term 2005!
(a) after clerking for Big Pimpin' Feeder Judge Merrick Garland, Danielle Gray worked on the policy staff of Barack Obama's Senate campaign, then joined the Washington office of O'Melveny & Myers (her current place of employment);
(b) originally from Long Island, she went down south to Duke for college;
(c) not surprisingly, she is "an ardent Blue Devils fan," who "adores J.J. Redick and most of all Coach K";
(d) "she performed superbly in a 1L Ames [moot court] competition against two current members of the Elect, Michael Gottlieb and [Dorothy] Hien Tran (who were also outstanding, and who are now Danielle's good friends)";
(e) Danielle "came up with an incisive interpretation of Shaw v. Reno during a Law of Democracy class at Harvard Law School that was thereafter known as the 'Gray Thesis' (I'm not positive, but the Gray Thesis may have shown up on the exam)";
(f) she was one of the three primary authors of the Harvard BLSA (Black Law Students Association) amicus brief in Grutter v. Bollinger;
(g) she was voted "most likely to be a Supreme Court justice" by the HLS class of 2003 (the honor won by future Stevens clerk Sam Spital in 2004);
(h) she has "a keen sense of humor"; and
(i) she is "an all-around delightful person," "one of the most charming people you'll ever meet" -- "[i]f you don't like Danielle, you are per se a bad person!"
(a) she graduated second in her class from Stanford Law (right behind AMK clerk-to-be David Cooper);
(b) at Stanford, she studied under Larry Lessig (a former clerk of her current boss);
(c) like Judge Posner and Professor Lessig, she is interested in technology and intellectual property law, and her student note for the Stanford Law Review "was recently judged one of the best technology articles of the last year";
(d) she is "quite nice and far from a gunner," with "a great sense of humor"; and
(e) she is "highly attractive," and she exercises regularly.
In the words of one UTR reader: "I had her rated as the cutest girl who worked out regularly at Taper [law fitness center] last year -- I knew nothing about her academic performance at the time...."
(Brains, beauty, and a fierce commitment to exercise? Kathryn sounds like a regular Charlotte Simmons! For those of you looking for some good beach reading, A3G recommends Tom Wolfe's delicious book. She agrees with Ted Frank: it's an enjoyable read, and the widespead animus of reviewers towards the book is difficult to fathom.)
(a) he is originally from the Philadelphia area, and he is a "rabid" Philadelphia Eagles fan;
(b) he's a sports enthusiast generally, playing goalie in a local league in Washington and participating regularly in fantasy sports leagues;
(c) he is "an enthusiastic and gifted poker player," who analyzes poker hands over at The '04 Wall blog;
(d) not all of his hobbies are quite this cool -- he also enjoys Dawson's Creek and the works of Gilbert and Sullivan (and "is always willing to sing you an entire opera, in endearingly out-of-tune fashion");
(e) at Williams College, where he did his undergraduate work, he did debate and studied math before deciding to major in religion;
(f) he spent two summers working at Supreme Court litigation boutique Goldstein & Howe (which hosts the fabulous SCOTUSblog, and whose founder, Tom Goldstein, was recently recognized by the National Law Journal as one of America's top young lawyers -- congrats, Tom!);
(g) perhaps informed by this exposure to Supreme Court practice, Jon won "a betting pool in which he forecast with the most accuracy how the Court (and the individual Justices) would decide each case heard that Term";
(h) he is part of the Yale Law "power group" that also includes incoming Souter clerk Jon Michaels and current Breyer clerk Jake Sullivan (Kravis's former roommate);
(i) this July, Jon Kravis is getting married to Laura Jacobs, a fellow graduate of Williams (where she played softball and rugby), who is a middle school teacher in Washington;
(j) Jon is "very good-humored" and "a spectacularly good guy"; and
(k) last but not least, he is "the hero of the YLJ's recent win against HLR," in the 2004 Yale Law Journal-Harvard Law Review touch football game, held each year "on the morning of the better-attended and more famous Game."
For more on this last tidbit, A3G yields the floor to a Yale Law Journal alum:
[T]he YLJ had a history of losing, badly, to the HLR until one man came along. That man was Jon Kravis, who simply would not accept that Harvard could not be beaten and willed us to succeed. As our head coach, he pulled out all the stops, even going so far as to arrange a win-one-for-the-Gipper pep talk from [former Yale Law School dean and current Second Circuit judge] Guido Calabresi just before kick-off.
Guido roused the team with talk of great YLJ athletes of the past, like Justice Byron "Whizzer" White.* He also quoted Yale football legend Walter Camp: "[Ladies and] Gentlemen, you are now going out to play football against Harvard. Never again in your whole life will you do anything so important." As always, that man knows how to rise to an occasion.
And do you believe in miracles: we won, 21-7! I will forever be in Jon Kravis' debt because of that glorious Saturday morning in November, when we of the YLJ at long last defeated the Gannett House juggernaut.
4. John H. Longwell (Georgia Law '99/D. Ginsburg/V. Walker (N.D. Cal.))
(a) John Longwell currently works in the Washington office of Paul Weiss, where he focuses on appellate and telecommunications litigation;
(b) he's originally from Short Hills, New Jersey, and he went to UVA for college;
(c) between college and law school, he worked as a reporter for the Athens (Ga.) Daily News/Banner-Herald;
(d) he is the fifth Georgia Law graduate to clerk for the Court;
(e) he and his wife Natalie enjoy the ballet (the photo of them at left -- what a lovely couple! -- was taken at the Washington Ballet Jete Society Dance Party, by Zaid Hamid); and
(f) John and Natalie have two daughters, Lily and Dorothy.
Fantastic!!! So there they are: the 34** wonderful women and magnificent men who will be clerking at the Supreme Court, OT 2005! (For ease of reference, here are links to all of the clerk profiles, organized by justice: WHR, JPS, SOC, AS, AMK, DHS, CT, RBG, SGB.)
Whew! Article III Groupie is exhausted from running this marathon of celebrity profiles. And now, just in time for the long holiday weekend, she's going to take a break -- of indeterminate length -- from blogging and emailing (so she can catch up on her real work). As a result, you may not be hearing from A3G for a while. But when she returns to the blogosphere, she will have lots of goodies for you, including the aforementioned round-up post containing overall observations about the OT 2005 Supreme Court clerk class.***
Article 3 Groupie wishes the readers of UTR a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend!
* Justice White is a notable exception to the general rule, stated here by A3G, that Harvard Law Review and Yale Law Journal editors aren't usually great football players.
** As explained here, thus far Justice O'Connor has selected only three out of her four clerks.
*** If you'd like to help out A3G by doing some data processing for her -- namely, counting up which judges, courts, and law schools sent the most clerks on to the Court -- please email her.