Clarence Thomas

aileen mcgrath aileen marie mcgrath jason gillenwater jason e gillenwater.jpgIn October 2006, when LEWW reviewed her wedding, we wrote of Aileen McGrath (at right, with handsome hubby Jason Gillenwater):

Aileen is the President of the Harvard Law Review. HELLO!!! And this isn’t mentioned in the announcement, but we’ve learned that she’ll be clerking next year for Chief Judge Michael Boudin, of the First Circuit — feeder judge extraordinaire.

So, Aileen, have you picked which Supreme Court justice you’d like to clerk for?

She has. We’ve learned that Aileen McGrath (Harvard 2007 / Boudin) has accepted an offer to clerk for Justice Stephen G. Breyer in October Term 2008. One source tells us: “[S]he’s universally recognized as brilliant. She was president of the law review and a Sears Prize winner.”
We also hear that the fourth clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas for OT 2008 is a D.C. Circuit clerk (believed to be clerking for Judge David Sentelle). Will someone please give up the name?
Update: Her name is Claire Evans. She’s a 2002 graduate of Rutgers School of Law – Camden, and she’s the first alum of the school to score a SCOTUS clerkship. She clerked for Judge Jerome Simandle (D.N.J.) in 2003, and then for Michael Chertoff, back when he was still on the Third Circuit. Reports our source:

“Chertoff liked Claire so much that he took her to the Department of Homeland Security when he left the bench for Washington. Apparently, Claire continues to amaze and has now secured the most coveted of credentials — a U.S. Supreme Court clerkship.”

“[S]he holds the highest cumulative grade point average in the history of Rutgers School of Law – Camden. And, because of a grading change implemented the year after Claire graduated, it is now mathematically impossible for Claire’s epic GPA to ever be topped.”

Finally, expect more SCOTUS clerk hires in the near future. From an in-the-know tipster:

There’s movement among the justices now. At least Alito, Roberts, Kennedy & Breyer have scheduled interviews in the last few days. Kennedy has scheduled pre-screen interviews, at least some of which are with Judge Kozinski.

The current tally of OT 2008 Supreme Court clerks, with Aileen McGrath and Claire Evans added, appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Supreme Court Clerk Hiring Watch: OT 2008 (Update #7)”

* Clarence Darrow? How cliche. Anywho, this guy is now a New Mexico Supreme Court justice. [Albuquerque Journal (free trial pass required) and New Mexico Business Weekly, via How Appealing]
* Step 1: Stop killing monks. [Jurist]
* Death for the death penalty? [New York Times]
* Latham lawyer DQ’ed in KPMG trial. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Thomas in the ATL. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

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”

Britney Spears VMA girlfriend still looks good all you haters.jpg* U.C. Berkeley has settled on a new name for its law school. Check it out, it’s quite brilliant. [Blogonaut]
(But we’ll probably still conduct the reader poll mentioned here, just for the heck of it.)
* Strained attorney-client relations between Britney Spears and Anne Kiley? Apparently Brit has “trust issues” (in addition to that whole missing-panties problem). [OK! Magazine]
* Wow, this guy is quite a tool. Thankfully he’s not a lawyer — which you could infer from the facts that (1) he lives in Atlanta and (2) he brags about his compensation. [Gawker; follow-up here and here from DealBreaker]
* Judge of the Day. [St. Petersburg Times via Blogonaut]
* Exciting happenings this weekend: (1) the CSPAN rebroadcast of the Clarence Thomas book party, and (2) the nuptials of the Wall Street Journal’s Peter Lattman. Congratulations and best wishes, PL! [WSJ Law Blog]

pstrawbridge_web.jpgMontgomery Burns The Simpsons Above the Law.jpgWe have another recipient of this week’s award, a graduate of Tier 3 Creighton:
Name: Patrick Strawbridge
Law School: Creighton University
Current Position: Associate, Preti Flaherty
Why He’s Our Winner: Will clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas in OT 2008.
Our tipster had this to say about Strawbridge:

Your next non-top-tier law grad story should be on Patrick Strawbridge. He graduated from Creighton Univ. School of Law (tier three, though we’re hoping that will change very soon) in 04 and will be clerking for Justice Thomas in 08. He’s also a really, really nice guy. Beautiful wife and two daughters, I believe. The only bad thing anyone has to say about Patrick is that he looks a little like a young Montgomery Burns from The Simpsons. Oh, and he completely blew whatever curve there might have been in all the classes he took.

We include a picture of Burns not so much to agree with our tipster’s assessment, but rather so that you can contrast and compare and draw your own conclusions. At any rate, congratulations to Strawbridge for breaking the Tier 3 mold and helping build Creighton’s rep.
Incidentally, ATL broke the news of Strawbridge’s hire by Thomas over a year ago here.
Patrick Strawbridge bio [Preti Flaherty]
Preti Flaherty Attorney Accepts Clerkship with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas [Preti Flaherty]
Justice Thomas hires Patrick Strawbridge [Non-Sequiturs: 09.08.06]

Takeover Charlie Savage Boston Globe Above the Law blog.jpg* Humor for tax lawyers. [TaxProf Blog]
* Additional thoughts on the Judge Samuel Kent case, from Ilya Somin. [Volokh Conspiracy]
* Best magistrate judgeship ever? [San Jose Mercury News]
* Charlie Savage, whose book party we recently attended, is on the Colbert Report tonight. [Comedy Central]
* Also on television tonight (opposite the Colbert Report): Jan Crawford Greenburg interviews Justice Clarence Thomas, for Nightline. [ABC News]

Clarence Thomas 2 Justice Clarence Thomas Above the Law blog.jpgEd. notes: First, B. Clerker is unavailable this morning, so we’re doing Morning Docket ourselves. Second, by the time you read this, we’ll be attending this event. But we’ve arranged for previously written posts (like this one) to be published in our absence.
* John Edwards tries to put a noble spin on the financial desperation of his flailing campaign. Stick a fork in him; he’s done. [WP; NYT]
* Jena One released on bail. [AP]
* Fourteen “high-value” terrorism suspects will be allowed to request lawyers. KSM will use his to sue Teleflex. [WP]
* In Pakistan, the Supreme Court gets involved in elections too. From the gallery: “Go, Musharraf, go!” [AP via WP]
* Set your TiVo, judicial groupies: Justice Thomas will be on 60 Minutes this Sunday. Thankfully, his interview — in which he’s rumored to call Anita Hill “a nappy-headed ho” — doesn”t conflict with the season premiere of Desperate Housewives. [WSJ Law Blog]

Clarence Thomas 2 Justice Clarence Thomas Above the Law blog.jpgIf you’ve done any significant amount of appellate work, surely you’ve argued before one of THOSE judges. A judge who asks questions at oral argument just for the sake of asking questions. A jurist in love with the sound of his or her own voice. They can be entertaining or exasperating, depending upon whether you’re in the gallery or at the podium.
But surely there must be a happy medium between showboat judges and Justice Clarence Thomas. From the AP:

Justice Clarence Thomas sat through 68 hours of oral arguments in the Supreme Court’s current term without uttering a word.

That’s saying something — or not — even for the taciturn justice.

In nearly 16 years on the Court, Thomas typically has asked questions a couple of times a term…. But the last time Thomas asked a question in court was Feb. 22, 2006, in a death penalty case out of South Carolina. A unanimous Court eventually broadened the ability of death penalty defendants to blame someone else for the crime.

Impressive. Is CT trying to set some sort of record?
A few more words — more than you’ll get out of Justice Thomas, at any rate — after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Justice Thomas To Be Played By Holly Hunter in SCOTUS Motion Picture”

* Texas legislature blocks mandatory HPV vaccine that fights cervical cancer. [MSNBC]
* Indian court issues warrant for Richard Gere due to public kiss. [
CNN]
* Secretary Rice may assert executive privilege to avoid House subpoena. [MSNBC]
* Review of new Justice Thomas biography. [Newsweek]
* ALJ seeking $65 million in damages from his dry cleaners. [WSJ Law Blog]

clarence-thomas-sm.jpgNo one has been quite sure why Justice Clarence Thomas has been recusing himself from Wachovia cases. The mystery is apparently solved; Thomas’s son works at Wachovia Securities. From The Blog of Legal Times:

For the last two years, Justice Clarence Thomas has consistently recused himself in cases in which Wachovia Bank is a party — most notably the landmark decision last week in Watters v. Wachovia Bank, a win for federal regulation of national bank subsidiaries. On Monday, Thomas stepped aside in the denial of review of yet another Wachovia case — as well as in Turnbaugh v. National City Bank of Indiana, which did not involve Wachovia directly but raised the same issue at the Watters case.

Thomas’s financial disclosure form reveals no ownership of Wachovia stock, so what gives? Thomas does not reveal his reasons for recusal in public, but we have just confirmed that Thomas’s son Jamal works at Wachovia Securities, a part of Wachovia Corporation, at its headquarters in Richmond, Virginia. We haven’t been able to learn his title or what area he works in, but that is almost certainly the explanation for his father’s recusal.

In other Justice Thomas news, there is a new biography out entitled Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas, by Kevin Merida and Michael Fletcher and published by Doubleday.

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