SCOTUS

Payback may be a bitch, but she rarely moves so swiftly. As we just mentioned in Fame Brief, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is fielding more allegations about his sexual preferences today, after former girlfriend Lillian McEwen made some “explosive” statements to the Washington Post about her time with the Supreme Court justice.

I put “explosive” in scare quotes, because really all we’re learning from McEwen is that Justice Thomas likes (or liked, she dated him a long time ago) boobs and porn. Is that really such a big deal? Hey, quick question: Would you rather be reading this article about Clarence Thomas and Lillian McEwen right now, or doing something that involved boobs and porn? I know what my answer is. But like most of you, apparently watching boobs and porn is “FROWNED UPON in this ESTABLISHMENT.”

But does enjoying (sorry, allegedly enjoying) the mystifying undulations of the opposite sex make Clarence Thomas unfit to sit on the high court?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Clarence & Ginni Thomas Learn About Karma the Hard Way”

Ginni Thomas could be accidently dialing Anita Hill in this photo.

By now it’s ancient news that Virginia “Ginni” Thomas — wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, Tea Party-er, and Heritage Club Foundation member — lost her damn mind and called Anita Hill. Many news outlets have speculated as to what in God’s name could possibly have motivated Ginni to “reach across the airwaves and the years” and ask for an apology, like some creepy ex-boyfriend from high school who hasn’t moved on.

Some of them conclude with infuriating non-theories like “only time will tell” or “we’ll never know.”  That is unacceptable.

I’ve compiled a list of sung and unsung theories of the phone call and included a reader poll, so that we as a community can determine what really happened, record it in Wikipedia, and get on with our lives. Because, as Ginni herself might say, this is America. And majority rules….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Fame Brief: Seven Theories on Ginni Thomas’s Call to Anita Hill & A Reader Poll”

As I tweeted last night, and we mentioned in Morning Docket earlier today, this Ginni Thomas story is the most ridiculous thing ever. In case you’ve been excommunicated from the internet all day, here’s what happened.

Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, called up Anita Hill — the woman Justice Thomas allegedly sexually harassed — and asked her to apologize. According to a statement released by Ms. Thomas, she called Hill to “extend an olive branch.”

I’ve got lots and lots of jokes about this — most of which are unfit for publication (trust me, you do not want me to go there). So instead of taking pot shots that would range from soft drink preferences to the state of interracial dating and marriage, let’s just ask this simple question:

What was she thinking?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Ginni Thomas Sets the Bar for the Most Bizarre Thing Ever Done by the Spouse of a Sitting Supreme Court Justice”

Here’s a fun little judicial sight-ation from the weekend. On Saturday night, at around 9 p.m., Justice Elena Kagan was spotted in the elevator of the luxury apartment building in downtown D.C. that she calls home.

According to our tipster, Justice Kagan was wearing “mom jeans.” And carrying a pizza.

The 112th justice of the United States Supreme Court, carrying her own pizza? This is a scandal of the highest order.

A few years ago, we were traumatized by the sight of then-Judge Michael Chertoff carrying his own takeout lunch (see here, item #4). But he was a mere circuit judge, and Elena Kagan is a Supreme Court justice.

Shouldn’t Justice Kagan have one of her clerks deliver pizza to her on Saturday night? It diminishes the dignity of the entire federal judiciary to know that an associate justice of the Supreme Court has to fetch her own pizza.

So, let’s get to the important part: What brand of pizza does Her Honor favor?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Eyes of the Law: Justices Eat Pizza Too”

Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell may not be a witch, but she won’t be mistaken for a legal scholar either. In last night’s debate, when asked by moderator Nancy Karibjanian to name a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision with which she disagrees, O’Donnell came up empty. After Karibjanian noted the important responsibility that senators have to vote on appointments to the Supreme Court, this exchange ensued:

KARIBJANIAN: What opinions of late that have come from our high court do you most object to?
O’DONNELL: Oh, gosh, um…. Give me a specific one, I’m sorry.
KARIBJANIAN: Actually, I can’t, because I need you to tell me which ones you object to.
O’DONNELL: Um, I’m very sorry…. Right off the top of my head, I know that there are a lot. I’ll put it up on my website, I promise you.

Maybe this Mama Grizzly needs to crawl back to the den and curl up with some slip opinions?

But wait! We offer a defense of O’Donnell, who partially redeemed her initial flub, plus video — after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Christine O’Donnell Pulls a Palin and Flubs a SCOTUS Question”

I doubt that I will be there in January.

– Justice Samuel Alito, making a humorous and self-deprecating reference to the last time he attended the State of the Union, in response to an audience question after he delivered this year’s Wriston Lecture at the Manhattan Institute.

With a new Term underway, the Supreme Court geeks among you might want to check out, and sign up for, FantasySCOTUS. You can read about it here and register here. (There’s also an educational version for the kiddies.)

The SCOTUS geeks among you might also be interested in the continued action on the law clerk hiring front. In the wake of last week’s post, we received news of several more hires for October Term 2011. Thanks to everyone who contacted us with information; we can’t perform this clearinghouse function without your help.

Without further ado, let’s look at the latest hires for OT 2011….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Supreme Court Clerk Hiring Watch: Over Half of October Term 2011 Clerks Have Been Hired”

[W]ouldn’t we be perturbed if a justice decided that a little rhinestone trim along the sleeves would be quite nice? Or what if a justice decided that a mink collar would be quite lovely in the winter?

Robin Givhan, fashion critic of the Washington Post, opining on Supreme Court fashion.

I hope Anthony Kennedy is happy. It’s Justice Kennedy’s world now, and we’re all just playing by the rules he lays down. Despite all the talking points you may have heard about how Citizens United really isn’t that big of a deal, what Justice Kennedy calls speech is flooding American politics ahead of this November’s mid-term elections. So reports Michael Luo of the New York Times.

I know what you are thinking, especially if “you” happen to be Justice Alito: Not True! But you have theories about what might happen, while the Times has facts about what is happening.

And the facts speak for themselves. According to the Campaign Media Analysis Group, which monitors political advertising, “television spending by outside interest groups has more than doubled what was spent at this point in the 2006 midterms.”

Of course, at least four Supreme Court justices could have told you that would happen. And I’d imagine that even the other five damn well knew that tons of corporate money would flood into politics, and just didn’t care. What’s marginally more interesting than the “water is wet” fact that money is pouring in is the reason why captains of industry are speaking spending freely…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Money’s Assault on American Politics Is Well Underway — Thanks to the Psychological Effects of Citizens United”

Monday, October 4, marked the start of a new Supreme Court Term — October Term 2010, to be more specific. It also marked the first day of oral arguments for the newest member of the Court — Lady Kaga, aka Associate Justice Elena Kagan. As Justice White famously observed, a new justice makes a new court.

New Term, new justice, new court — and that’s not all that’s new in SCOTUS-related matters. There’s a new conservative sheriff in town, at least according to Jan Crawford. There’s a new book out about the Court — the long-awaited biography of Justice Brennan, by Seth Stern and Stephen Wermiel.

And, of course, we have new Supreme Court clerk hires to report, for the Term after this one — October Term 2011. Not all the justices are done hiring, at least as far as we know; but if you covet a Supreme Court clerkship, accurately described by Adam Liptak as “the most coveted credential in American law,” you should know that the window of opportunity is closing — fast. One justice has even hired a clerk for October Term 2012.

Let’s check out the new hires, shall we?

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