Antonin Scalia

In terms of feeding his current crop of clerks to the U.S. Supreme Court, Chief Judge Michael Boudin (1st Cir.) is batting 1.000. We received this tip from multiple sources, but here’s the most interesting iteration:

Moshe Spinowitz (HLS ’06/Boudin) has been hired by Justice Scalia for October 2008. Spinowitz, or Spino, as he’s known, was originally hired by Judge Luttig before he left the bench.

Moshe Spinowitz Antonin Scalia clerk hottie Above the Law blog.jpgAh, that makes more sense. Boudin —> Scalia is not a typical path. And with the addition of Spinowitz, half of the Scalia chambers for OT 2008 will have hailed from Boudinville.
(Justice Scalia previously hired Spinowitz’s co-clerk, Yaakov Roth. But with all due respect to Chief Judge Boudin, he may not deserve much credit for feeding Roth. When you’re the rara avis of an HLS summa, you can clerk on the Bergen County traffic court and still make it to One First Street.)
Another interesting factoid, considering Justice Scalia’s weakness for Catholic kids as clerks:

Spinowitz is the second orthodox Jew Justice Scalia has hired this term (the other being Yaakov Roth). I guess the moral of the story is: If you’re an orthodox Jew, try to clerk for Judge Boudin!

If his photograph (at right) is even vaguely accurate, and if he’s 5’11″ or taller, the handsome Spinowitz has a promising career as a male model. But in the meantime, we’re sure that he’ll enjoy being a SCOTUS clerk. Congrats, Moshe!
The current tally of OT 2008 Supreme Court clerks, with Mr. Spinowitz added, appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Supreme Court Clerk Hiring Watch: OT 2008 (Update #8)”

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At the Federalist Society festivities: Ryan Bounds, Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Policy; Deputy Associate Attorney General John O’Quinn; and Susanna Dokupil, Assistant Solicitor General for the Office of the Attorney General of Texas.
Last week, the Federalist Society celebrated its 25th anniversary, with a black-tie gala at Union Station. The official ATL report, by Laurie Lin, is available here; the account of the Washington Post appears here (via the WSJ Law Blog).
Since we were there also, we figured we might as well add our two cents. Some random tidbits about the evening, along with a few more photos, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “More About the Fabulous Fed Soc Fête”

Clarence Thomas book My Grandfather's Son Above the Law blog.jpgWelcome. If you’re at home, tune in to C-SPAN, which is rebroadcasting the recent book party for Justice Clarence Thomas. Justice Thomas’s eagerly anticipated memoir, My Grandfather’s Son, is now in bookstores — and topping the bestseller charts (to the relief of his publisher, HarperCollins, which reportedly paid him a $1.5 million advance).
7:05: The party is being held at the elegant, red-brick Capitol Hill home of radio host and syndicated columnist Armstrong Williams. Expected to attend: 250 guests, including six Supreme Court justices, Vice President Dick Cheney, and several U.S. senators.
Armstrong Williams is interviewed. He explains that the party has been in the works since June. An overwhelming turnout is expected; more people were turned away than allowed to attend.
7:08: Justice Thomas climbs the stairs. When he enters the kitchen — which is right at the top of the stairs, and thus (oddly) where everyone enters and exits — he’s greeted by hearty applause.
Various guests hug him. One guest gushes over his 60 Minutes appearance. CT explains that CBS News made no promises about the nature of its coverage. Interesting. Considering how flattering that segment was, and how uncritical Steve Kroft was in his questioning of Justice Thomas, one might have suspected that Brangelina-type stipulations were in place.
More after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Liveblogging the Clarence Thomas Book Party”

Gelman-Bash2.jpgLEWW offers a seven-gun salute to newlyweds Zina Gelman and John Bash III, who scored a convincing victory in our July Couple of the Month vote.
Zina and John — currently public servants in the chambers of Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Justice Antonin Scalia, respectively — finished 16.7 percentage points ahead of the surprising second-place winners, the non-SCOTUS team of Jennifer DeLeonardo and Adam Frey.
Congratulations to Zina, John, and their poor little dog!
(For those of you who are curious, the full results appear after the jump.)

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch: July’s Couple of the Month”

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We’re posting this on Friday the 13th — hardly anyone’s lucky day. But last Saturday was 7-7-07, and couples all over the world rushed to the altar (and the gambling tables) to take advantage of the auspicious date.
And sevens weren’t the only thing we saw multiples of in the NYT weddings section. We’ve got four grooms this week, and all four are named John!
If that gives you chills, just wait till you check out their credentials.
Here are this week’s finalists:

1. Zina Gelman and John Bash III
2. John Alexander and John Lipsey
3. Anne Ho and John Griggs III

More on these couples, after the jump.
[Bonus wedding note: Check out this correction and ponder how annoyed this bride is.]

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch 7.8.07: Seven on Earth”

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Over at SCOTUSblog, Tom Goldstein has a long post on who a Democratic president might nominate to fill the Supreme Court vacancies that would surely open up if the GOP exits the White House in 2008.
Goldstein’s criteria are fairly straightforward: ideology, experience, demographics, and age (he excluded anyone born before 1952).
Some of the names are familiar (Sonia Sotomayor, Merrick Garland) and some are unexpected (Jennifer Granholm, Ken Salazar). Here’s Goldstein’s bottom line:

My ultimate predictions? Kim Wardlaw (2009, for Souter), Deval Patrick (2010, for Stevens), and Elena Kagan (2011, for Ginsburg).

What, no Harold Koh?
A SCOTUSblog commenter suggests another factor for a Democratic president to consider:

a relevant consideration is “How aggressively is the nominee going to articulate a coherent liberal jurisprudence?” Finding a lefty version of Scalia to blast the right and get opinions into law school casebooks is what Democrats should be aiming for if they care about politics and partisan entrenchment to their benefit.

The anti-Scalia! Does such a creature exist?

supreme court small frontal Above the Law blog.JPGLate last week, Bill Mears of CNN wrote a helpful round-up of the best benchslaps from the Supreme Court’s most recent Term. It starts off:

One Supreme Court justice says his fellow conservatives are “too dismissive” of government efforts to ensure racial diversity in schools. Another more liberal member says those on the right did “serious violence” to a high school student’s free speech rights. And one conservative slams another for “faux judicial restraint.”

That last bench-slap was one of several delivered by Justice Scalia to Chief Justice Roberts. For more, see this Linda Greenhouse piece.
But after all the verbal roughhousing, the justices go back to being friends. Then they scamper off to a bevy of European countries, where they spend the summer soaking up adulation and cash teaching summer courses in constitutional law.
The members of the SCOTUS regularly complain about the inadequacy of federal judicial pay. But let’s not forget that they — as well as certain other federal judges, like the members of the D.C. Circuit — basically get summers off.
Being a Supreme Court justice: Nice work if you can get it!
Justices take potshots in opinions [CNN via How Appealing]
Even in Agreement, Scalia Puts Roberts to Lash [New York Times]
Supreme Court Justices Hit the Road for the Summer [Legal Times via WSJ Law Blog]

Supreme Court hallway Above the Law Above the Law Above the Law.JPGThe Supreme Court hasn’t yet finished up for October Term 2006 (which should end tomorrow). The law clerks for October Term 2007 will start arriving next month. But many of them have already started hiring clerks for October Term 2008.
We reported on some of those hires back in this post. And now we have more to add:

1. Conservatives hoping for his retirement will be disappointed. Rumor has it Justice John Paul Stevens has hired all of his clerks for OT 2008. The only one whose name we have, however, is Lindsey Powell (Stanford 2007 / Garland).

2. Justice Antonin Scalia has hired Jameson Jones (Stanford 2007 / Sutton). Judge Jeffrey Sutton, a judicial superhottie, is turning into quite the feeder to his former boss.

3. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has hired at least one clerk for October Term 2008 — Miriam Seifter (Harvard 2007 / Garland) — and perhaps more.

So in terms of OT 2008, Stanford Law School and Judge Merrick B. Garland are off to a good start.
If you have more SCOTUS clerk hiring news to add, please email us (subject line: “Supreme Court clerk hiring”).
A list of OT 2008 law clerks thus far appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Supreme Court Clerk Hiring Watch: OT 2008 (Update #1)”

At issue in the SCOTUS’s decision today in Tellabs, Inc. v. Makor Issues & Rights, Ltd.[SCOTUSblogvia How Appealing] was the definition of the term “strong inference”, and therefore what the standard is for determining whether a plaintiff has met the pleading requirements as to scienter in a securities fraud case. Some mildly saucy benchslaps insued.
Justice Scalia expressed his disdain for the majority’s resolution to this issue (authored by Justice Ginsburg) this way in his concurring opinion:

If a jade falcon were stolen from a room to which only A and B had access, could it possibly be said there was a “strong inference” that B was the thief? I think not, and I therefore think that the Court’s test must fail. In my view, the test should be whether the inference of scienter (if any) is more plausible than the inference of innocence.

Well, I don’t know. If a Supreme Court justice uses a really bad analogy from an old movie, could it possibly be said that he had made a “strong argument?”
But Ginsburg wasn’t taking this lying down. Her benchslap back from n.5 of the majority opinion is after the jump.
Also, the SCOTUS issued two other opinions today:
Rita v. United States [SCOTUSblog via How Appealing]
Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Assn. v. Brentwood Academy [SCOTUSblog via How Appealing]

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Scalia Gets Snarky Over Scienter Standard”

Supreme Court hallway Above the Law Above the Law Above the Law.JPGWe’ve received some news about Supreme Court law clerk hiring for October Term 2008 (not the upcoming Term, but the one after that):

1. We had heard, through the grapevine, that Justice Antonin Scalia had started his OT 2008 interviewing earlier than usual. And it appears to have yielded at least one hire: Yaakov Roth (Harvard 2007 / Boudin).

Rumor has it that Roth has one of the highest GPAs in the history of Harvard Law School. So presumably he’s graduating summa cum laude — which happens once in a blue moon at HLS.

2. Justice Samuel Alito continues his trend of hiring from the ranks of his former Third Circuit clerks. Jack L. White (Pepperdine 2003 / Alito) will be reunited with his former boss for 2008-2009.

If you have more SCOTUS clerk hiring news to add, please email us (subject line: “Supreme Court clerk hiring”).
A list of OT 2008 law clerks thus far, combining what we’ve just learned with information currently reflected on Wikipedia, appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Supreme Court Clerk Hiring Watch: October Term 2008″

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