Among prominent federal appeals court judges in the 1990s, Barack Obama was known as “the one who got away.”
In 1990, Obama had been elected the first African-American president of Harvard Law Review, which made him a blazingly hot prospect as a law clerk for one of the top federal appeals judges, who in turn would almost certainly send him on to the Supreme Court as a clerk.
But with a remarkable certitude that still amazes his friends and elders, Obama said no to all that…
But the three individuals listed below didn’t “get away”; they have not escaped the justices’ clutches. They’ve all been hired to clerk for Chief Justice John G. Roberts in October Term 2008 (who is, by the way, now done hiring for next Term — sorry, aspiring JGR clerks):
1. William Baude (Yale 2007 / McConnell)
2. Jeffrey Harris (Harvard 2006 / Sentelle / Silberman)
3. Erin Murphy (Georgetown 2006 / Sykes)
Will Baude (pictured) is a fellow blogger, founder of Crescat Sententia (where he once interviewed us). Jeff Harris is currently finishing up the second of two D.C. Circuit clerkships (because, you know, doing just one wasn’t prestigious enough). Erin Murphy is currently a Bristow Fellow. She was, incidentally, hired by then-Judge Samuel Alito to clerk for him on the Third Circuit — so she has actually been hired by two justices (even though she never clerked for SAA due to his intervening elevation).
Also, note the feeding by Judges Michael McConnell (10th Cir.) and superhottie Diane Sykes (7th Cir.). They’re both highly-regarded judges who are reputed to be great to work for. Expect to see them feed more in the future (especially Judge McConnell, a former SCOTUS clerk himself — having once been a SCOTUS clerk is highly correlated with feeding your own clerks).
The current tally of OT 2008 SCOTUS clerks, with the three new Roberts clerks added, appears after the jump.
The Man That Got Away [Legal Times]