The Washington Post column by Dana Milbank that accompanies the photo offers a very interesting look at Justice Alito's first day on the Court. Here are some highlights:
"In his first day on the bench, Alito laughed obligingly at Justice Antonin Scalia's joke about river discharge. He stroked his chin thoughtfully and rocked in his chair, just as the more senior justices do. The eight questions he asked -- on the finer points of the Clean Water Act and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission -- put him on course to surpass within days the total number of questions Justice Clarence Thomas has asked in 15 years."
"The new student had some awkward moments as he adjusted to his surroundings. He tried to talk at the same time as 85-year-old Justice John Paul Stevens, then quickly backed down. He continued the questioning of a government lawyer after the time for the argument had expired. And, in his haste to depart the chamber, he forgot the rules of seniority and stepped in front of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; the 72-year-old Clinton appointee was uninjured."
A3G aside: The Clean Water Act cases that were argued yesterday can be summed up in a single word: BORING! Don't be fooled by all that sexy-sounding talk from the justices about "discharges."
The best thing about being a Supreme Court clerk: the prestige.
The worst thing about being a Supreme Court clerk: the work!
(Gavel bang: Wonkette.)