Now it's time for a brief break from the non-stop coverage of Judge John G. Roberts.* Heck, even Article III Groupie is beginning to think that Roberts-mania is getting a little out of hand. If you disagree, check out some of the Roberts-related searches that are driving traffic to this blog, which show just how obsessed the chattering classes have become over our SCOTUS nominee:
--"john roberts" boxers briefs
--john roberts "opus dei"**
--john roberts wealth
--"john roberts" height weight
--john g roberts yikes
Look, A3G adores Judge Roberts as much as, if not more than, the next gal -- or guy (or maybe not). But her last ten blog posts have all had something to do with Judge Roberts, and A3G needs a little variety in her diet. Judge Roberts is super-fabulous, but let's not forget: there are other fish in the federal judicial sea!
So now it's time for a posting in UTR's celebrity sightings column, Judicial Sight-ations: Frolics and Detours of Article III Celebrities. For your consideration, here are a few recent (and not-so-recent) sightations:
1. All the hubbub surrounding Judge Roberts is causing us to forget Justice Sandra Day O'Connor -- who is, at least until the confirmation of her successor, still a Supreme Court justice. Last Thursday, Justice O'Connor was spotted at the judicial conference of the Ninth Circuit, held in Spokane, Washington.
Justice O'Connor participated in a question-and-answer session with judges and lawyers at the conference. She concluded her remarks with the reading of an anonymous poem (which several curious UTR readers emailed A3G to ask about). For the benefit of those readers, the poem -- identified in news accounts as "anonymous" -- goes something like this (line breaks omitted):
Sometime when you're feeling important, sometime when your ego's in bloom, sometime when you take it for granted you're the best qualified in the room, sometime when you feel that you're going would leave an unfillable hole, just follow this simple instruction and see how it humbles your soul.
Take a bucket, fill it with water, put your hand in it up to the wrist. Pull it out, and the hole that's remaining is a measure of how you'll be missed.
You may splash all you please when you enter, you can stir up the water galore, but stop, and you'll find in a minute that it looks quite the same as before. The moral in this quaint example is do just the best that you can. Be proud of yourself but remember, there is no indispensable [wo]man.
How interesting! Apparently Justice O'Connor displayed a talent for poetry recitation at the conference, reading the poem with genuine feeling. (FYI, the alteration of the last word was made by SOC; the original poem ended with the word "man," which obviously scans and rhymes better.)
How should we view SOC's selection of this poem as her farewell? Is she already feeling neglected, now that the news media spotlight has shifted to her likely successor? (Justice O'Connor, if you're feeling lonely, just email A3G and invite her over for dinner. You can feed her salad and salmon anytime!)
If you're starting to miss Justice O'Connor, you can do something about it: put in a bid for the Justice O'Connor bobblehead doll! But don't delay; bidding closes tomorrow. (The bobblehead is being sold by Scott of the delightful Life, Law, Libido blog. Those who share A3G's interest in federal judges should check out these prior posts.)
Surely Justice O'Connor will be missed by Chief Justice William Rehnquist, her good friend since their days together at Stanford Law School, from which they both graduated in 1952. As everyone knows, O'Connor and Rehnquist once dated; does anyone have juicy details about their dates? Also, despite many published reports, it is not clear that Justice O'Connor ranked third in their law school class. Chief Justice William Rehnquist's status as #1 in that class, however, remains undisputed. (A3G thanks a diligent Notre Dame Law student for this tidbit.)
Of course, not everyone will miss SOC around the Court. Justice O'Connor's less-than-close relationship with Justice Antonin Scalia is widely known. But did you know that she's also "not exactly besties" with her fellow swing voter, Justice Anthony Kennedy? Don't miss this wonderfully gossipy piece by Tony Mauro, the Liz Smith of One First Street. (Hat tip: Orin Kerr of the Volokh Conspiracy.)
2. Judge Maryanne Trump Barry of the Third Circuit, older sister of celebrity real estate developer Donald Trump, was seen last Thursday night at The Red Cat restaurant in New York. UTR's spy has the scoop:
Judge Barry was dining with four young people, who did not look related to her (or to each other); presumably they were her clerks. I tried to peek discreetly at her plate as I walked by the table -- I think she was having steak.
She seemed to be having a very good time, holding court as only she can. What a fantastic judicial diva! Of course, one would expect nothing less from the big sis of "the Donald"...
Indeed! And for those of you wondering if "the Maryanne" attended her brother's wedding earlier this year to Melania Knauss -- a truly star-studded event, attended by the likes of Barbara Walters, Katie Couric, Shaquille O'Neal, Simon Cowell, and Senatrix Clinton -- the answer is: Of course she did! (The Trump siblings are quite close.)
Okay, first things first: What did Her Honor wear to the Trumptials -- her signature black robe? Actually, no. As reported here, the Maryanne was looking resplendent in an intricately embroidered gown by Eavis & Brown (whose clients include such non-judicial celebs as Halle Berry, Sandra Bullock, Beyonce Knowles, and Shania Twain).
Donald's sister, Judge Maryanne Barry, told of her gift: "Donald called Asprey to complain about the wrapping. It was Asprey's hand-tooled, very special leather album, but I'd wrapped it myself and accidentally stuck a pin through the ribbon and scratched the leather. I mean, can you believe?"
No, Judge Barry, we can't believe! You are an exalted federal appeals court judge; what the heck were you doing wrapping your own presents? Haven't you heard of law clerks?
(A3G must now chide the law clerks to the Maryanne for neglecting the personal needs of their boss. Back when A3G was a law clerk, she was a full-service operation: top-notch legal research and writing, with gift-wrapping services thrown in for free!)
3. Finally, no judicial sight-ations post would be complete without a few sightings of the Easy Rider. First, Judge Alex Kozinski was spotted earlier this year in Palm Springs (details here). Second, Judge Kozinski was seen in New York City, where he participated in a debate at NYU Law School (and thankfully was not subjected to rude questioning). A UTR correspondent offers this report:
Among the highlights: Like a good (judicial) divo, Judge Kozinski had a few special requests. First, he had the organizers request that no laptops be open while he was talking. He is not a big fan of transcription or instant bloggers (who would they be reading or writing too...?).
Also, while the organizers supplied pizza to the audience from one of the local Village places, Judge Kozinski again had a few requests: extra cheese, only certain toppings, no meat (kosher, perhaps?), and definitely not from a big chain such as Papa John's. To accommodate him, a special pie was brought in from Two Boots, rumored to be NYC's best pizza (and that would be a tall order).
UTR being "the People magazine" of the federal judiciary, Judge Kozinski's attire bears mentioning. He was clad in dark khakis, a dark blue shirt (perhaps denim?), and a varsity type jacket. And he was accompanied by a teenage son. [Perhaps it was Wyatt Kozinski -- he of the nicely toned bicep?]
When talking about subjective morality as the basis of the Supremes' decision, Kozinski had a fun time repeating "you may like this now, but wait until it's the Thomas Court" (to which the moderator responded, "I thought it would be the Kozinski Court," to which he replied, "I'll be the Scalia of that court").
Lastly, making the guess that you are a Fed-Soc gal, you'll be pleased to hear that Professor Neuborne started with a long plug for the Federalist Society, about how it is the one (and has long been the only one) to pursue actual debates and multilateral discussions in law schools, bringing people together who have a diversity of ideas. He is also happy that he no longer has to rely on them now that there is the ACS doing the same (or so he thinks).
A3G thanks her reader for this report. She would also like to underscore the liberal Professor Neuborne's praise for the Federalist Society, in light of the recent much ado about nothing over Judge Roberts's possible association with the organization. The Federalist Society is not evil!
* Recent highlights from that coverage include two pieces from Slate -- Henry Blodget's analysis of the Robertsian investment portfolio, and the results of Timothy Noah's Roberts Nickname Contest -- plus this interesting article about the pre-bench professional experience of SCOTUS folks.