This is the second post in our continuing manifesto, started this morning, as to why it’s okay to write about former Thomas clerk Chantel Febus’s appreciation for Lenny Kravitz.
Most of you probably have no interest in the rest of this post; if you’re visiting a site like this one, you probably enjoy rather than condemn gossip about Supreme Court clerk clerks. But if you’d care to read our ramblings on the subject, they’re after the jump.
In our prior post, we established that Supreme Court clerks are public figures. In this post, we build upon that argument. Here’s the second point in our little treatise:
2. Knowing full well that Supreme Court clerks are public figures, law school graduates and lawyers apply voluntarily for these positions. Nobody chains you to a desk, hands you a sheaf of résumé paper, and orders you to apply for a Supreme Court clerkship. (Judge Luttig is off the bench.)
So if you throw your hat into the ring for a SCOTUS clerkship, seeking to avail yourself of all the benefits that credential confers upon you — the prestige, the six-figure bonuses, the lifelong career boost that you can coast on, and milk, for years after you’ve left the building — you should be prepared to accept the downside.
This is especially true because the downside is SO TRIVIAL. People talk about you because of your achievements? People blog about your brilliance? Big f***ing deal. Cry us a river.
If SCOTUS clerks don’t like the heat, there’s a solution: get out of the kitchen. There are many bright law school graduates who would gladly fill their shoes, who would be delighted and honored to (a) clerk at the Court and (b) receive extensive attention in the press and in the blogosphere. If you have some pathological aversion to publicity — if you’re the “eggshell plaintiff” with respect to press and internet coverage — we’re sorry, but that’s not our problem.
If you’re one of the Elect, odds are you’re going to have a high-powered legal career that will place you firmly in the spotlight. Perhaps you’ll be a prominent law professor, a famous Supreme Court litigator, or a leading federal judge. Your term as a SCOTUS clerk probably isn’t the last time you’ll be exposed to attention and public scrutiny. So you might as well get used to it.
Earlier: Supreme Court Clerks Are Fair Game: Part 1