Today your beloved blogress paid a visit to the Supreme Court. Yes, that's right -- Article III Groupie swung by One First Street.
Visiting the Court fills A3G with mixed emotions. On the one hand, it brings up painful memories of how her hopes of joining the Elect were dashed. On the other hand, it's always a thrill to see the justices in the flesh -- and, of course, to hobnob with their clerks.
Some random observations:
1. When the justices enter the courtroom, after the thrilling cry of "oyez, oyez," the height differentials are quite striking. Justice Ginsburg is tiny! You could smuggle her into Disneyworld in your fannypack.
2. Justice Breyer does a nice job of handing down an opinion. His voice is loud and clear, he moves through the reasoning well, and he mentions the key cases. You're reminded that he used to be a professor.
3. Justice Kennedy also acquits himself well in delivering a decision. And his job was much harder -- summarzing the bewildering tangle of opinions and judgments in the Texas redistricting case. (Of course, much of the mess is due to the way that he voted.)
4. Chief Justice Roberts -- what a hunk! He can make even Article 35 of the Vienna Convention sound sexy. A3G wouldn't mind having "Consular Relations" with the Chief!
5. The justices were pretty quiet during the handing down of opinions. There wasn't much of the cross-talk and whispering that one sees between the justices during oral argument.
Yes, Justice Thomas looked like he was dozing off; but his chair was rocking too much for him to be truly asleep. Justice Alito, the new kid on the block, looked alert. He occasionally sipped water out of a silver tumbler. Justice Scalia drank coffee out of a bright green, reflective mug -- the kind that law students get for free from BarBri reps. Every time he took a sip, the mug sent a reflected beam of green light out into the audience. Weird.