When Justice Sonia Sotomayor needs to work off all the rice, beans and pork she's consumed, she hits the gym.
Alas, it appears that Her Honor's Equinox gym membership was canceled, after she apparently refused to show identification when trying to enter the premises.
A3G is with Justice Sotomayor: she's a frickin' federal judge, the closest thing this nation has to an aristocracy. Showing ID is for little people!
Sure, Barack Obama showed his birth certificate identification when he visited Equinox health clubs during the campaign. But he's Article II -- ick, having to run for election, how déclassé -- and Justice Sotomayor is Article III, fabulous and life-tenured.
Luckily, the SCOTUS has its own gym -- replete with a basketball court, aka "the highest court in the land." And Justice Sotomayor won't have to worry about being recognized at One First Street (where even the law clerks are recognized on sight by the Supreme Court police).
Here are some juicy tidbits about the Chief that McElroy unearthed, as reported in an article by Tony Mauro (gavel bang: How Appealing):
1. Chief Justice Roberts's favorite color is green.
2. He loves chocolate -- don't we all? -- and his office has a stash of Hershey's Kisses.
3. JGR "cooks up a mean platter of shrimp
marinara at family gatherings."
4. Chief Justice Roberts is super-nice, and when he "heads to the Court cafeteria for a muffin in the morning... he'll ask others in his office if he can pick up one for them
(Mr. Chief Justice, A3G would like a corn muffin, please.)
5. Oh, and what about those gold stripes (or the absence thereof)? Chief Justice Roberts told McElroy:
You have to earn your stripes, and I thought it was a little early to
be doing that. It seemed to me that
simple black was more appropriate. On the other hand, no one ever looks
to me for fashion advice.
As reported by Curbed, a blog well-loved by connoisseurs of New York real estate porn, previously private prices for co-op apartment sales are now available online -- courtesy of the New York City government. Just click here, then enter the name of your favorite New York-based federal judge, to see how much they paid for their apartment (or how big their mortgage is). Thanks, Mayor Bloomberg!
Unfortunately, the data appears to be incomplete. Many transactions show up with $0 as the sale price. But most entries do show the address of the property in question -- which can then be used, in conjunction with tools like Google and local real estate listings, to estimate the value of a particular jurist's home.
Article III Groupie has run a few searches for noted S.D.N.Y. and Second Circuit judges, which have turned up some interesting bits of information. But she won't name names, since she does not want to be accused of violating the security or privacy of any judge. You can just go do it yourself, with information that is now all a matter of public record, placed online by NYC.gov. Happy Searching!
Food for thought: Given the security threats that they routinely face, will federal judges -- or an organization that represents their interests -- take action to keep their home address information private?
Anonymous Lawyer, by Jeremy Blachman (of Anonymous Lawyer blogfame). This is a quick, fun read. Some readers -- especially those who have actually worked at law firms, unlike Blachman (who was spared that fate) -- may find the satire too over-the-top, a few plot details implausible, or the humor a little repetitive. But the book has some laugh-out-loud moments, and it's briskly plotted. In short, it's a good summer book. Enjoy it by the pool or at the beach.
Courtiers of the Marble Palace, by Todd C. Peppers. Given her obsession with Supreme Court clerks, Article 3 Groupie can't wait to start reading this one. It's worth buying just for the appendix material alone, which includes a comprehensive listing of Supreme Court clerks from 1884 to 2004 (by justice). WOW!
The Interpretation of Murder, by Jed Rubenfeld. This historical thriller, based on the life of Sigmund Freud, won't hit bookstores until September (although A3G has finagled herself a copy, 'cause she's that cool). It's not about legal subjects; but its author, the hunky Jed Rubenfeld, is a professor at Yale Law School (as is his stunning wife, Amy Chua).
Rubenfeld's publisher, Henry Holt, paid him an eye-popping advance (reportedly $800,000). It's also supporting the book with a $500,000 marketing campaign. They're betting big on this one.
Interesting factoid: Blachman and Rubenfeld share the same editor (John Sterling) at the same publisher (Henry Holt), as well as the same superstar agent (Suzanne Gluck of William Morris, the queen of literary dealmaking). If you think the legal world is small, check out publishing circles.
[T]he warmest words [at a recent Georgetown Law reception] came from Justice Antonin Scalia, for whom Clement clerked in 1993 and 1994. Scalia said that Clement, who had shown his talents as deputy solicitor general before being promoted, was "the sentimental favorite" among justices for the post. "I am so glad he is solicitor general, because he makes my job easier."
But Scalia mystified the audience somewhat by revealing one complaint he had about Clement: the black vest he wears to the Court with the customary swallow-tail morning coat as solicitor general.
Scalia insisted the vest should be a pearl gray, and he thought Clement had broken with tradition. "As you know, all change is presumptively wrong," Scalia said, only half-joking. But the justice said he had the Court curator look up the history of the outfit, and, sure enough, Clement was right; black is the proper and traditional color for the SG's vest.
Interesting! One of those rare occasions when the brilliant Justice Scalia has gotten something wrong.
To the handful of you lucky enough to ever work in the Solicitor General's office, please take note, and dress accordingly. To the Great Unwashed, take this knowledge as purely academic, for your information only.
(Yes, A3G knows that a handful of lawyers in the SG's office never clerked on the Supreme Court; but come on, let's get real. If you're not among the Elect, your chances of being hit by a bus, killed by a terrorist, or hit by a terrorist driving a bus are better than your chances of getting a job with the Solicitor General. HA.)
There are additional interesting tidbits in the full article, which can be accessed here.
Greetings, readers. Apologies for the cursory nature of this post. Article III Groupie is leaving the office early today -- she's attending her tenth college reunion -- and so she's scrambling to finish up her work and get out the door.
Two quick quasi-sightations for A3G's fellow judicial groupies. They're not the "purest" of judicial celebrity sightings, since they're reports on official events with the justices -- as opposed to, say, sightings of Justice Alito at Shoprite, or walking down the street in downtown Newark. And they're not original to UTR, but lifted from other blogs.
Nevertheless, they're still interesting and fun to read about. Here they are:
--over at De Novo, PG's impressively detailed write-up of Justice Scalia's recent appearance at the University Club (see especially the Q-and-A); and
--over at Wonkette, an account of the Supreme Court's recent trip to the movies, prior to the dinner in honor of the retired Justice O'Connor (originally reported in the Washington Post).
On the afternoon of Friday, May 19, 2006, Judge Edward R. Becker(3d Cir.) passed away. As noted by Howard Bashman, Judge Becker was "a giant of the law and a wonderful man." In the words of Professor Orin Kerr, Judge Becker was "brilliant, fair, tremendously thoughtful, and always scholarly. A real mensch."
Judge Becker was one of the federal judiciary's most distinguished and most colorful members. He will be deeply missed -- especially by his former law clerks, in whom he inspired tremendous devotion.
The New York Times obituary can be accessed here. Some excerpts:
Edward R. Becker, a former chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and a highly respected jurist admired for his powerful decisions and personal humility, died Friday afternoon at his home in northeast Philadelphia, where he had lived almost all his life. He was 73.
The cause was prostate cancer, said his executive assistant of 25 years, Trish Kowalski...
[Senator Arlen] Specter called Judge Becker the "101st senator" for the power that his rulings had in shaping federal law. His written opinions, which bore no political stamp, often guided the Supreme Court and Congress and shaped new law on issues including the reliability of scientific evidence and the rationale for class-action suits....
He always rode the elevated train from his home in the Frankford section of the city to the courthouse on Market Street. He was known for a lack of grandiosity rarely found in federal court. A former clerk, Marci A. Hamilton, now of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, once observed that "the judge greets his new clerks on their first day with a single rule: 'no deference.' "...
[Judge Becker] had an ability to play almost any song by ear, and he became the unofficial pianist for the Supreme Court at their periodic sing-alongs. "I've never heard anyone call for a tune the judge didn't know," Justice David H. Souter said.
Here are more fun facts and interesting tidbits about Judge Edward Becker:
1. He loved the intellectual challenge of the law -- as one can tell from his long, scholarly, footnote-laden opinions -- and he loved spending time with his clerks. In years past, he would go out for late-night Chinese food with them, where they would engage in spirited debate about cases and issues.
2. Judge Becker was a famously aggressive, sometimes cantankerous questioner of attorneys at oral argument. He always enjoyed the intellectual sparring of oral argument -- unlike many other judges, who sometimes tire of it after years on the bench -- and he kept lawyers on their toes.
On one occasion, an attorney -- let's call her "Sarah Cantori" -- was propounding a theory of jurisdiction that Judge Becker viewed as insufficiently rigorous. He asked her, eyebrow arched: "Isn't this just the 'Cantori Gestalt Theory' of federal jurisdiction?"
3. Judge Becker could be tough; but he was also compassionate. He had a remarkable memory for personal details about people, perhaps developed during his time in politics.
On one occasion, an attorney whose wife had passed away some time ago appeared for argument before Judge Becker. It was the first time Judge Becker had seen the attorney since his wife's passing, and Judge Becker offered his condolences -- even though over a year had passed since her death.
4. Judge Becker was a feeder judge, and not a passive one. He had personal friendships with several of the justices (e.g., Justice Breyer), and he would get on the horn to promote his clerks to them.
Finally, here are a few additional links (gavel bang: How Appealing):
--the Philadelphia Inquirer obituary (noting his nickname, "the King of Footnotes");
--the Philadelphia Daily News obituary (quoting Ann Meredith, a friend of Judge Becker: "He could so easily live in an elitist world. Instead he tromps around in shabby clothes, a ridiculous coat that he has some Yiddish word for and a cabdriver hat.... He answers his own phone a lot. He's always accessible.").
Article III Groupie can confirm this last fact. Back when she was applying for clerkships, she called Judge Becker's chambers to ask some minor logistical question about submitting her materials. You can imagine her surprise -- and terror! -- when Judge Becker answered the chambers phone.
A3G could barely speak, and she can't remember much about the conversation. All she can recall is that Judge Becker emphasized strict adherence to the hiring timetable in effect at the time (even if other judges were less meticulous).