Hello, fellow Article III groupies. A more substantive post about what everyone is talking about -- namely, who will (and who should) be selected to replace Justice O'Connor -- will follow in short order. For now, here's a quick update on law clerk hiring for October Term 2006.
Before she shares what she knows, A3G has a UTR Discovery Request for her readers: Does anyone know whether Chief Justice Rehnquist has interviewed or hired yet for OT 2006? Typically he interviews all of his candidates over a few days after the end of the Term, in late June or early July, with hiring completed by July 4th. If the Chief is holding off on hiring for OT 2006, it could signify that (1) he isn't planning to serve beyond OT 2005 (which would not be inconsistent with his recent statement that his retirement is not "imminent"), or (2) he would like to stay on the Court beyond OT 2005, but harbors serious doubts as to whether his health will permit him to do so.
Okay, here's the news. In recent weeks, a mostly unsubstantiated* rumor that Justice John Paul Stevens might be retiring soon has been making the rounds. The rumor may have contributed to the speculation on Greedy Clerks that Justice Stevens is not following his normal law clerk hiring timetable. But A3G has it on very good authority that he has completed his hiring for October Term 2006, through selection of a full complement of four law clerks.
Upon information and belief -- if you see any errors, please email A3G -- the four JPS clerks for next Term are as follows (only limited tidbits provided; full-blown celebrity profiles of the OT 2006 Supreme Court clerks won't appear until all the justices have hired):
1. Nick Bagley (NYU '05/"gunner extraordinaire")
2. Chad Golder (Yale '05/Garland)**
3. Jamal Greene (Yale '05/Guidomaniac/former Sports Illustrated writer)
4. Lauren Sudeall (Harvard '05/Bleeding Reinhardt)
If you have any other information about OT 2006 law clerk hiring (other than Justice Ginsburg's selection of Kate Andrias, previously reported here), please let A3G know!
* A reader offered some support for this rumor (see below), but A3G questions how much weight to give it. First, it conflicts with Justice Stevens's hiring of four OT 2006 clerks (unless JPS is conducting a massive fake-out, cruelly stringing along four brilliant young lawyers just so he can keep his retirement plans under wraps). Second, this rumor was third-hand -- not from the reader who submitted it, but from a friend of that reader. Third, it was based on a brief snippet of an overheard conversation. Sometimes overheard conversations are excellent sources for some of the juiciest gossip; Page Six often relies upon them. But sometimes, due to a lack of context or just plain hearing problems, they result in errors and distortion, like a game of "telephone."
At any rate, with the foregoing caveats in mind, here it is:
I was in D.C. this afternoon sitting directly in front of [Justice X's] new clerks. We were being admitted to the D.C. bar. I heard them whispering that both Breyer and Stevens may be retiring this Term too. Something about an email they received before they left the office.
So, yes, absolutely. There are going to be dark days ahead for us especially if Bush gets to put 3 (!!!) justices in. Mark my words, you'll see.
** In light of Judge Gardland's phenomenal feeding -- the reason for A3G's dubbing him "the Luttig of the Left" -- A3G is now accepting proposals for nicknames for his law clerks, like the nicknames she has bestowed upon the clerks to other leading feeder judges (e.g., Luttigators, Guidomaniacs, Bleeding Reinhardts, Tatel Tots, Sentelletubbies, etc.).
One reader, in a comment to this post, nicknamed Judge Garland "the Original Garlandsta." A3G likes that nickname for Judge Garland himself, but it doesn't work quite as well for his clerks. After all, there can only be one O.G.!