You jest – but this not-so-important trivia is unfortunately the level of public dialogue about what qualities are important for a Court justice. This trivia is being driven by the judicial handlers and low-brow journalists who are more concerned about appearance than substance.

Whatever you think about my paranoia, it’s clear that duke-us and AG3’s focus on briefs is not always aimed at the kind that you file!

Happy New Year to you!

Hey AG3:

Did you see that NYT article today on the impending Alito hearings – classic Bush admin stuff– lowering expectations — Alito, he’s no Roberts, not as slick and polished.  But then – they talk about how pedestrian and regular Alito is — the NYT even says his glasses don’t fit his face — certainly the sign of an everyman.  Let’s hear some more “pedestrian”, juicy and non-legal, good stuff about this nominee! I mean, we now know what type of underwear William Jefferson -husband of the NY Senator – wears – and I think it improved his standing with the public! What do they wear under the robes in the Third? Do you think its as trendy as what they wear in the Second or First – way more fashion in NYC and Bean Town – but, then, he’s going for the pedestrian look.


And isn’t some level of vanity on the bench justified – you can’t do much with the robes – what’s left but improved hair-dos, better make-up and, possibly, a nip and a tuck – I’m with duke-us – while I wish some judges I have known would do a little yoga to mellow them out, others might have improved their temperment if they’d felt better about the way they looked.

I hate to be the cynic (but not a liberal like Tweek-em), but could the everyman image fostered by the self-bagging be an orchestrated Machiavellian/Rovian ploy by the White House to sell this judge as an ordinary guy–sort of like Souter, who, if my memory serves me was a very ascetic New Englander who drove an old beat-up car around New Hampshire before ascending to the high bench?

I hate to spoil the holiday spirit – mine was actually really on the upswing when the best looking district court judge in the 1st asked for my help while she was sitting temporarily on an appellate case – but then she criticised my work and it really has gotten me down. Here’s what happened: This judge – a former defense attorney from a very blue state – asked for my help on a habe petition – well, when I showed her my memo, which categorically rejected the prisoner’s petition, she said, “This is not the way we do it where I come from – this kind of reasoning looks like it comes straight out of the 4th Cir – this is no red state your working in counsel!”

I was shocked! I mean, I may be from a red state and I prize Condie’s personalized holiday card I got last year, but I always thought that I was following precedent and worked really hard at putting my personal views aside as an officer of the court. Have you ever encountered anything like that??? I mean, now I wonder if I need to tailor my work to the politics of the judge I work for – I mean should I find out which Pres appointed the judge before I draft an opinion for him or her? Should I talk to someone at the court about this?? And I always thought it was about stare decisis…

So disillusioned…


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.