Jeffrey Toobin

Jeffrey Toobin The Nine Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court.jpgNew Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin’s exciting new book, The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, is being released tomorrow. But it’s already provoking some interesting discussion in the blogosphere. See, e.g., this post by Professor Rick Garnett (esp. the comments).
And it’s garnering some favorable reviews. The dean of the Supreme Court press corps, Nina Totenberg of NPR, has given The Nine her blessing.
How does The Nine compare to other recent books about the Supreme Court? Here is Totes’s take:

Jeffrey Rosen’s book about famous court personalities and rivalries is an interesting history packed into a professorial thesis. [A] biography of Justice Clarence Thomas by the Washington Post’s Kevin Merida and Michael Fletcher is a credible, but limited, look at the justice. In addition, Thomas himself was paid a reported $1 million to write a book that is slated to come out this fall.

If you’re interested in the Supreme Court as an institution and as a collection of personalities, though, Toobin’s is the book to read.

Hey Nina, what about the book by that rather attractive lady reporter?

Supreme Conflict, by ABC’s Jan Crawford Greenburg, contains a fair amount of good conservative gossip about the nomination of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, but it lacks the balance, substance, and context of Toobin’s book.

Ouch. Jan, remember all those nice things you had to say about Nina? Care to take any of them back?
Toobin’s ‘The Nine’ Reveals Politics of High Court [NPR]
“The Nine” [PrawfsBlawg]
Earlier: In Defense of Nina: Jan Crawford Greenburg

* More lawyers — no, not Nixon Peabody — have a bone to pick with YouTube. [Michael Geist]
* UK study: “Workers who spend time on sites such as Facebook could be costing firms over £130m a day.” [BBC via Dealbreaker]
* Speaking of Facebook, here’s some advice that’s so obvious, yet so frequently ignored: “[I]f you don’t want a hiring partner to see it, it probably shouldn’t be up on the web.” [PrawfsBlawg]
Update: As noted by a commenter, the first comment to the PrawfsBlawg post is pretty great.
* New Yorkers, take note: Could Wall Street Woes Sink NYC Real Estate? [DealBreaker]
* Blawg Review #125 is up. [Real Lawyers Have Blogs via Blawg Review]
* Have a question you’re dying to ask Jeffrey Toobin, author of The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court? Here’s your chance. [SCOTUSblog]

Jeffrey Toobin The Nine Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court.jpgWe’ve been writing a fair amount about Jeffrey Toobin’s exciting new book, The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court. Its scheduled publication date is September 18, but we’ve gotten our grubby paws on a copy. We’ll have more to say after we’ve read it.
In the meantime, check out this great report from ABC News, which highlights some of the book’s juiciest parts. It mentions the business about a crying Justice Souter, which is already old news, but it also has these tidbits:

* The decision to rush the swearing-in of Justice Clarence Thomas spared the controversial nominee the publication of more embarrassing personal revelations than Anita Hill’s notorious testimony. That same day, three Washington Post reporters were set to write a story about Thomas’ extensive taste for pornography, including accounts from eyewitnesses such as the manager of his local video store. “But since Thomas had been sworn in, the Post decided not to pursue the issue and dropped the story.”

* Former Chief Justice Warren Burger, an Anglophile who collected antiques and fine wines, was so vain that “he placed a large cushion on his center seat on the bench, so he would appear taller than his colleagues.”

* Rehnquist was not impressed with Bill Clinton and his wife. When told that the newly elected president was thinking of nominating Hillary as attorney general, the chief justice quipped, “They say Caligula appointed his horse counsel [consul?] of Rome.”

Plus there’s a great story about the justices trying to get to the Court during a snowstorm — lawlessness and hilarity ensue — and some gossip about Justice Souter’s love life. Read the full article here.
Meanwhile, in other Jeffrey Toobin news, he’s conducting an awesome event later this month at the New Yorker Festival. It’s a conversation about the future of the Supreme Court, featuring two of our favorite members of the Elect: Rachel Brand (OT 2002 / Kennedy) from the right, and Neal Katyal (OT 1996 / Breyer) from the left.
We wouldn’t miss it for the world. If you’d like to attend, ticket information is available here. Tickets to Festival events go on sale at 12 noon E.T. on September 15th, at ticketmaster.com — and they tend to go fast. So mark your calendars!
Under the Robes: Secrets of the Supreme Court [ABC News]
Rachel Brand, Neal Katyal, and Jeffrey Toobin: The Future of the Supreme Court [New Yorker Festival]

David Souter cry weep sob David H Souter David Hackett Souter DHS Above the Law blog.jpgAnother day, another controversy involving New Yorker scribe Jeffrey Toobin and his eagerly anticipated book, The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court (to be published on September 18).
Yesterday we wrote about Toobin weighing in on who deserved the blame for Harriet Miers. Today we bring you a new drama (first noted earlier this week by Jeff Dufour and Patrick Gavin, over at Yeas & Nays).
We begin with a juicy excerpt from Toobin’s book, concerning Justice Souter’s reaction to Bush v. Gore:

David Souter alone was shattered. He was, fundamentally, a very different person from his colleagues. It wasn’t just that they had immediate families; their lives off the bench were entirely unlike his. They went to parties and conferences; they gave speeches; they mingled in Washington, where cynicism about everything, including the work of the Supreme Court, was universal.

More discussion, including JT’s juicy revelation about Justice Souter, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Bush v. Gore: Enough to Make a Grown Justice Cry?”

Harriet Miers Harriet E Miers Harriet Ellan Miers Harriet Elan Miers Above the Law.JPGSigh. Too much to write about, not enough time (or energy). We should have written about this on Tuesday. But since we didn’t, we now have the luxury of assembling a post by commenting on what other people have already written — and snarkily noting that they all say the same thing.
It all started with this article from the Washington Post (via the Huffington Post):

It was John G. Roberts Jr., now the chief justice of the United States, who suggested [Harriet] Miers to Bush as a possible Supreme Court justice, according to the [new] book [Dead Certain, an examination of the Bush presidency, by Robert Draper].

Miers, the White House counsel and a Bush loyalist from Texas, did not want the job, but Bush and first lady Laura Bush prevailed on her to accept the nomination, Draper writes.

Sounds juicy, right? But not so fast.
If you’re already familiar with this controversy, you can probably skip the rest of this post. But if not — or if you are, but want some commentary on the commentary — you can read more after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Harriet Miers: Who Deserves the Blame?”

Lewis Libby Scooter Libby I Lewis Scooter Libby Above the Law Blog.jpgOkay, ‘fess up. You didn’t follow the Scooter Libby trial that closely. It struck you as kinda confusing, kinda boring.
You didn’t read that much about the trial while it was going on — maybe an article on the day of opening arguments, and an article or two after the verdict. Whenever the Libby case came up at cocktail parties, you tried to steer the talk towards Britney’s shaved head, afraid of your ignorance being exposed.
Live in fear no longer. Just read this excellent Talk of the Town piece by Jeffrey Toobin, which tells you all you need to know about the case, in clear and concise fashion.
(We heart the MSM! They write about stuff like the Libby trial, so we don’t have to.)
Talk of the Town: Verdicts [New Yorker]

Arlen Specter 2 Senator Arlen Specter Above the Law.jpgHere’s another excellent article from Jeffrey Toobin of the New Yorker. It’s about the role played by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), outgoing chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, with respect to the recent habeas corpus legislation (aka the Military Commissions Act of 2006).
If you’re confused about the controversy over this legislation, which has wound its way through both the federal courts and the Senate chamber, the article is well worth your time. It explains recent developments in this complex area of law with commendable clarity.
And it also contains fun bits of color and gossip. We collect a few highlights, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Senator Arlen Specter: One Heck of a Squash Player”

stephen g breyer stephen breyer stop signs jeffrey toobin.jpg

Justice Stephen G. Breyer demonstrates his hidden talent for pantomime, as Jeffrey Toobin looks on admiringly. (Photo by Startraks.)
This is our final post about Justice Stephen Breyer’s recent appearance at the New Yorker Festival. Prior posts are available here, here, here, and here.
We highlight some of the more interesting or amusing remarks by Justice Breyer, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Justice Breyer at the New Yorker Festival: Some Highlights (Part 2)”

jeffrey toobin jeff toobin and justice stephen g breyer stephen breyer.jpg

“Nino, you wanna piece of me?” Justice Stephen G. Breyer and Jeffrey Toobin, at the New Yorker Festival. Photo by Startraks.
Somewhat late, but better late than never: part one of the more detailed account that we promised you of Justice Stephen Breyer’s interview with Jeffrey Toobin, at the New Yorker Festival last weekend.
The setting of the interview was impressive. The Celeste Bartos Forum at the New York Public Library is a grand, high-ceilinged room, with marble and dark wood trim gracing the walls. Justice Breyer and Jeff Toobin sat on two directors’ chairs on the small, elevated stage at the front of the room, with a gold and brown backdrop behind them.
Before the talk started, one could feel the buzz of anticipation in the room. Our knees were trembling with anticipation, and our heart was beating almost audibly. Supreme Court justices make us weak! (And apparently we’re not alone. Festival publicist Kimberly Burns informed us that the Breyer/Toobin talk sold out on Ticketmaster in three minutes — like a rock concert.)
More notes, after the jump.

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stephen breyer stephen g breyer jeffrey toobin jeff toobin.JPGActually, no, we didn’t ask him that. But the question we did pose was just about as goofy. It felt sort of like Punk’d: Supreme Court Edition.
First, some background. As previously discussed, this past weekend we attended Jeffrey Toobin’s interview of Justice Stephen G. Breyer, part of the New Yorker Festival. It was an interesting talk, even if it may not have met our (perhaps unrealistic) expectations.
We may write even more about the interview later (because it did go on for about an hour and a half). For now, though, we’ll share with you what happened when we got up during the Q-and-A session and posed a question to Justice Stephen Breyer.
Check it out, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL to Justice Breyer: “What Kind of Tree Would You Be?””

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