« A UTR Summer Reading List | Main | UTR Cribs: An Invaluable New Resource »

July 26, 2006



S.R. Simon poopy.

S.R. Simon

May I be permitted to offer one additional comment? It seems that (perhaps, to everyone's credit, tongue-in-cheek) much is made on this website of law students' "brilliance," "intelligence," and other such luminous attributes of the mind. May I respectfully suggest, however, that the study of law is out-of-sight easier than the study of many other disciplines, e.g., classical music (especially performance) and physics (I have in mind such areas as quantum electrodynamics). What can one possibly make of a coign of vantage from which a rudimentary prowess at parsing appellate opinions and briefs written by others is regarded as the acme of intellect? Would your readers please stop to reflect that, except in the rare case of original jurisdiction, appellate decisions cannot exist without trial court decisions. And trial court decisions, except where interlocutory, cannot exist without there having been a trial. And so, perforce, one must look to trials: a trial means preparing the case for trial, and there are hundreds of things that must be done to prepare a case for trial before it is tried, and then there are hundreds of things that must be done to try the case, and one is essentially alone in the pit of the trial court and must stand and deliver before a stern judge and a jury. Appellate courts have no function without trials to undergird them. Jerome Frank said that he had the easiest job in America because he took his facts from below and his law from above. A serious adult will ignore "brilliance" as a chimera and look to artistry, e.g., the Feynman Equations in quantum electrodynamics, Artur Rubinstein or Pablo Casals in live performance. When your blog and its contributors recognize that professional artistry exceeds law school/clerkship facility in the same measure as the sun's diameter exceeds the earth's, adults and sympathetic readers might begin to take it seriously. Learning to become a lawyer by apprenticing as an appellate clerk is like learning to play the piano by listening to the great recordings of Gieseking, Friedman (e.g., the incomparable Chopin Nocturne Op. 55, No. 2), and Richter, but declining to sit down at the keyboard. Yours faithfully, S.R. Simon

S.R. Simon

From perusing this blog, I'm afraid that Stuart Taylor might have been on to something when he wrote several months ago in The Atlantic Monthly (The Atlantic) that respect for the Supreme Court as well as the quality of its work would increase if all the law clerks were fired and the justices did their own work. The transcendent theme of the blog's comments seems to be puerility. If education is "the progressive discovery of one's own ignorance," it would be difficult for a fair-minded person to disagree with the proposition that all involved in this process are ignorant beyond belief. Can anyone believe that John Marshall, O.W. Holmes, B. Cardozo, L. Brandeis, and J.M. Harlan -- tempered, all, by the extraordinary harshness of life -- would put up with such drivel for an instant, or hired as assistants anyone of the current clerks' ilk? Yours respectfully, S.R. Simon

Article III Groupie

As a circuit court judge, Justice Alito did hire a number of female gunners. E.g., Professor Nora Demleitner, who testified on his behalf before the Judiciary Committee; and Katherine Pringle, now a high-powered (and highly attractive) litigatrix at Friedman Kaplan Seiler & Adelman.

But it's true that Justice Alito has, over the years, hired many more men than women. Only time will tell if this changes now that he's at the Court...

i guess the female gunners need not apply with Alito? Is he that scared of the brainiac rock star women of recent years at the law schools? Come on, A3G, even someone *posing* as a Manolo-obsessed female Federalist Club member ought to note that detail....esp. given the demographics of the elite law schools in recent years, where more than half of the graduating classes of Stanford, Yale, and Harvard are female.


Also, three of his four clerks were the presidents of the American Parliamentary Debating Association while in college.


Is this some kind of record for most Supreme Court clerkships in one family? Rex Lee clerked for Byron White, and Thomas Lee (another son) clerked for Clarence Thomas.

"You can find their names and biographical details elsewhere on the web"... ?? Is A3G developing slothful habits? We depend on your links and clever editorial commentary.

nope - Lee is BYU/BYU. but the other 3 are all princeton.

actually - are they ALL princetonians? wow.


I was just going to say -- Matt Schwartz was also a star on the Princeton debate team. As a fellow Princetonian, I have to praise Justice Alito '72 for his sage selections.

you may want to mention just a tiny bit about the clear princeton nepotism going on.

The comments to this entry are closed.