As you know, Article III Groupie has been constantly revising her posts profiling the Supreme Court clerks for October Term 2005, in some cases well after the original post was published. Many of these after-the-fact revisions have been prompted by comments from OT 2005 clerks or their friends, family, and co-workers, raising questions or concerns about various items. For the most part, A3G has been more than happy to make the requested changes.
But A3G does a few points to make to The Elect (if you will permit her to address her superiors):
1. People, relax! Let's not take ourselves too seriously. A3G is simply engaging in a little good-natured fun with these silly little profiles, which no one reads anyway. Lighten up, okay?
2. To the extent that you don't want to be publicly identified -- for some completely unfathomable reason (this is America, where there's no such thing as bad publicity, and everyone wants their fifteen minutes) -- well, it was only a matter of time before you were unmasked as one of the Elect. The Supreme Court's public information office will release its official list of law clerks at some point in the next few months, and copious coverage in the mainstream news media will follow shortly thereafter. If you have a problem with being mentioned in this wee blog, just wait until your name shows up in a piece by the Liz Smith of One First Street for Law.com, or even USA Today...
3. To the extent that you object to the handful of A3G's comments that are snarky, please keep in mind that ninety percent of the time, A3G is a font of loving adoration, the epitome of sweetness and light. Can't she be snarky for 10 percent of the time? (You people don't pay her enough to forego snark completely!)
4. At the end of the day, no matter what A3G writes about you, you are still a Supreme Court clerk -- and she is still one of the Great Unwashed, a miserable and bitter nobody, up to her ears in boxes of documents to review.*
5. At the end of the day, Underneath Their Robes is just a blog. What's a blog? A blog is a repository for the self-indulgent, semi-coherent ramblings of a pajama-clad loser -- here, A3G -- which nobody reads except the aforementioned loser. A blog has no editorial oversight, which is why bloggers can fill their blogs with meaningless text, e.g., "dskfla;sdkfjs," and nonsensical Gwen Stefani lyrics. So why should you care what some stupid person is writing about you, on some stupid blawg that nobody reads?
Despite the cosmic insignificance of her project, the former law review editor in A3G does want to get things right. Towards that end, she has made numerous small additions and alterations to her prior posts that she has not brought to the attention of her readership. But a handful of corrections are of such critical importance that they must be highlighted separately. So here are the latest UTR corrections and clarifications, for filing under "Amended Opinions":
1. In her post about Justice Kennedy's clerks, A3G mentioned that Randy Kozel "has a bobblehead doll of Bucky the Badger [sic], the Wisconsin mascot, whom he consulted frequently when selecting articles for the Harvard Law Review."
A3G has fixed that post, in light of the following correction: "As a Wisconsin girl myself, I have to correct you on one thing -- it's not Bucky THE Badger, it's just Bucky Badger. Love the blog."
2. It looks like A3G should steer clear of sports completely. In an earlier version of the AMK clerks post, she reported that Randy Kozel threw "the winning touchdown in the 2002 Harvard Law Review/Yale Law Journal football game," which was "caught by Henry Whitaker, a 2003 HLS grad and Sentelletubby who is currently clerking for Justice Thomas." These comments were in error, and A3G received multiple emails about them, from both Harvard and Yale partisans.** Here are two examples:
(a) "Your Randy Kozel/HLR-YLJ football info is inaccurate. Kozel threw the winning TD in the HLR-Legal Aid Bureau matchup, a grudge match if there ever was one.... The HLR-YLJ journal football game was NOT EVEN CLOSE that year; Harvard of course dominated."
(b) "You're giving the Yale Law Journal short shrift in this competition. Sure, Yale lost the 2002 game, but won the the 2003 one -- the first that YLJ has won in years, if not ever. Yale also does alright Elect-wise: the winning '03 YLJ team was captained by Jon Kravis (clerking for Breyer in OT05), while the losing '02 YLJ team was captained by Jake Sullivan (clerking for Breyer now)."
Well! A3G stands corrected. And for those of you who are interested in the football field exploits of a bunch of overweight, pasty-faced, bespectacled law review editors,*** you're in luck. A3G's forthcoming post about Justice Breyer's OT 2005 clerks will relate the inspirational tale, ready for a made-for-TV movie, about how coach Jonathan Kravis -- with the help of a guest appearance by a certain Big Pimpin' Feeder Judge -- turned the losing YLJ team around, after years and years of defeat.
3. Gosh, A3G can't get anything right about Randy Kozel! In the original version of the same post, A3G stated upon information and belief that Randy Kozel, who was hired in January 2004, was the first law clerk hired for OT 2005. She has since deleted that apparently erroneous statement, based on a tip that incoming SOC clerk Ben Horwich interviewed with Justice O'Connor in December 2003, when she was filling her last OT 2004 slot, and wound up with an OT 2005 clerkship in mid-December of 2003. A3G regrets the error.
4. Speaking of Justice O'Connor's clerks, in her post about the SOC clerks, A3G observed that when a Supreme Court justice retires after hiring clerks for the following term, "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)."
The foregoing observation may have given readers the erroneous impression of a causal relationship between Judge Kozinski's being left in the lurch by Justice Douglas and then getting hired by Chief Justice Burger. None other than Judge Alex Kozinski himself wrote A3G, with this (very interesting) clarification:
[T]he reference to my having been picked up by CJ Burger after Justice Douglas retired is true only in the chronological sense. I got the call that Douglas hired me as his clerk one morning about 11 am, then got a call later the same day telling me the justice had just retired. (I don't comment as to cause and effect.) At that point I was out of a job, but still had applications pending with CJ Burger and Justice White. I got interviewed by White, but didn't get the job. I then got interviewed by Burger's selection committee, along with about 3 dozen other people.
The only difference the Douglas clerkship seems to have made is that I got a second interview, with another member of the committee, who spent the better part of an hour exploring the question: "Do you think someone who was picked as a clerk by Justice Douglas can possibly serve CJ Burger?" I answered: "I suspect I would disagree with CJ Burger about as often as with Justice Douglas."
All told, it was a trade up. Justice Douglas was, according to all who knew him, very difficult to work for, while CJ Burger was a prince. In fact, I never heard him speak ill or complain about anybody, ever.
At the end of my clerkship, my wife and I were married in the Justices' conference room -- not one of the large semi-public conference rooms known as the East and West conference rooms, but where the justices meet to decide cases. My wife reminds me occasionally that if either of us ever wants a divorce we'll have to petition for cert. ;-)
Wow! Running corrections is fun! Much of this delectable correction was news to A3G, but not all of it. Here are some excerpts from an earlier email exchange between A3G and Sasha Volokh, current Kozinski clerk and incoming SOC clerk:
A3G: I'm a little confused re: your "marriage" to quare.blogspot.com; can you unpack the joke a little for me?
Sasha: No joke: My former fiancee, Hanah Metchis, who used to blog at quare.blogspot.com, is now my wife, Hanah Metchis Volokh. As I mentioned, Judge Kozinski married us in a tasteful, minute-long, five-line ceremony (two of those lines, spoken by us, were "I do"), in his office last October.
A3G: Are you serious??? You didn't have a more elaborate ceremony, a la the spectacular nuptials of the Engels? I can't believe it.
Sasha: That's not elaborate? At 10 guests (3 of her family, 4 of mine, 2 co-clerks, and a random former clerk who was visiting chambers that day), my wedding was substantially larger than the judge's own wedding, which had only 6 guests, none of them family. (The judge's wedding, on the other hand, was more Elect, since he was married in the Supreme Court's conference room and the guests were the Burgers, the Starrs, and his co-clerk and co-clerk's wife.)
Excellent! And with that, Article 3 Groupie has fulfilled her past promise of "[a]dditional information about Sasha's celebrity wedding, as well as some fun facts about the wedding of his boss," Judge Kozinski.
5. In her post about Justice Ginsburg's clerks, A3G quoted a reader who said, with respect to Joshua Civin, that "some might call him humorless," but he has been "known to chuckle on occasion."
Before offering her quasi-correction, A3G must make the following observations: (a) this comment represented the view of a reader about Josh, not the view of A3G (who doesn't know him from Adam); (b) the reader didn't say that Josh was humorless, but simply said that "some might call him humorless" (emphasis added); and (c) to the contrary, the reader indicated that Josh does have a sense of humor, as evidenced by his intermittent chuckling.
That being said, A3G has a quasi-correction to offer. In the interest of fairness and editorial balance, A3G will now reprint a message received from a reader who viewed the comment in question as failing to do justice to Mr. Civin's robust comedic sensibility, as demonstrated in the following anecdote:
While at some boys' prep school in Baltimore, Josh Civin and his yearbook cronies incurred no small amount of administrative wrath when they proposed as their yearbook theme the act of "sawing," a not-so-veiled metaphor for a pastime known and perpetrated by men in adolescence and beyond. Naughty little imps!
Oh, A3G, you matched the wrong clerk to Carmen Sandiego!! Lori Alvino once told me that she appeared on the PBS show 'Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego' when she was a kid. I'm not sure if this can be verified on Google, but you could try to verify it with her.
How fun! If accurate, this is a delightful little tidbit. If you can provide confirmation or corroboration, please append a comment to this post. Much thanks!
Reversed and remanded, but not bench-slapped,
* Yes, A3G has junior associate minions who do the "first cut" document review. But she has to look at what they cull out for her -- which still amounts to a lot, especially since the minions have no confidence in their own judgment and are overinclusive in what they show to her.
** A3G can't help but be amused by her correspondents' emotional investment in what was probably a rather mediocre football game, played by people more famous for their prowess with a Bluebook than with a pigskin.
Before you erstwhile editors email A3G to protest that you really are good at football -- despite being an alum of the Harvard Law Review or the Yale Law Journal, neither of which is a bastion of football talent -- A3G has a preemptive comment to make. She will retract this item, but only if you are as good a football player as Judge Morrison C. England, Jr. (E.D. Cal.), her next Questions Presented interviewee. (By the way, A3G is now formulating her first round of questions for Judge England; please email her with suggested topics or queries.)
*** A3G acknowledges that Randy Kozel is super-hunky. Indeed, she extends to him the same offer she made to the Scalia clerks. But A3G has a sneaking suspicion that not every male editor of the Harvard Law Review or the Yale Law Journal editor is quite as good-looking as Mr. Kozel...