Stephen Breyer

Supreme Court hallway Above the Law Above the Law Above the Law.JPGOur last round-up of Supreme Court clerk hiring was published back in August, before the start of October Term 2008. Now that the justices are back in the country and back on the bench, they’re back to interviewing clerkship applicants.

Over at the Clerkship Notification Blog, there was buzz about Justice Stephen Breyer interviewing and hiring clerks for October Term 2009. That intelligence was correct. Here are his hires:

1. Christopher Fonzone (Harvard 2007 / Wilkinson)

2. Jennifer Nou (Yale 2008 / Posner)

Fonzone appears to be the “2007 Harvard grad” referenced in the comments. With Chris Fonzone and Jen Nou on board, Justice Breyer is all done for OT 2009. (We also hear that he’s started to hire for October Term 2010, but we have no details.)

Update (3:40 PM): We now know one of SGB’s hires for OT 2010:

Erika Myers (Stanford 2008 / Kozinski)

Interesting — although Chief Judge Kozinski is a big-time feeder, he tends to feed more to the right side of the Court. So he may be expanding his range as a feeder judge.

The updated list of Supreme Court clerks, with Fonzone and Nou and Myers added, appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Supreme Court Clerk Hiring Watch: New Term, New Hires”

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 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”

Kimba Wood Judge Kimba M Wood Frank Richardson Above the Law blog.jpgAs we previously mentioned, and as Lawrence Hurley of the Daily Journal reports here, Congress is considering a proposal that would raise federal judges’ salaries by a significant margin. Here’s what the new scale would look like (with current salaries indicated parenthetically):

District Court Judges: $247,800 (up from $165,200)
Court of Appeals Judges: $262,700 ($175,100)
Associate Justices of the Supreme Court: $304,500 ($203,000)
Chief Justice of the United States: $318,200 ($212,100)

This proposal would cost millions in taxpayer dollars. So we have a better solution to the problem of federal judicial pay, which Chief Justice John Roberts has dubbed a “constitutional crisis.”

Here’s our brilliant idea: Require all federal judges to marry rich!

Don’t you just love couples in which one spouse is a judge, with all the power and prestige of judicial office, and the other spouse is rolling in dough? Off the top of our head, we can name a number of federal judges who have married well — or at least wealthy. (Like Judge Kimba Wood, above right, with her well-heeled hubby, Frank Richardson.)

We list some judges who have married into money, and we invite additional examples from you, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Solution to the Federal Judicial Pay Crisis: Marry Into Money”

Eyes on the Prize Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWouldn’t it be nice if a kind reader were to nominate Above the Law in this contest?
We realize ATL isn’t always a laugh riot. But c’mon, folks — it’s a competition for most amusing LEGAL BLOG.
(We’re reminded of Justice Breyer’s recent quip, in which he compared being the funniest Supreme Court justice to being the tallest dwarf.)
Top 10 Funniest Law Blogs [Legal Antics]

Stephen Breyer 4 Stephen G Breyer Above the Law Legal Tabloid Legal Blog.JPGJustice Stephen Breyer recently appeared on NPR’s popular trivia show, Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me. Alas, his performance on the trivia portion of the show — which focused on biographical details about rock stars — was less than illustrious. This led one of the hosts to scold Justice Breyer as follows: “Back to the appeals court for you!”
But the parts of the show in which SGB was interviewed were interesting and sometimes amusing. For example, we didn’t know this:

Answering panelist Paula Poundstone, Breyer revealed his robe never gathers lint. “It’s a synthetic,” he explained, purchased 25 years ago when he was a federal appeals judge in Boston.

Some good riffing from the hosts around this revelation. Mo Rocca asked Justice Breyer, “Why not have Justice Alito just pick the lint off for you?” And also: “Do you ever wear the robe to the supermarket, just to wow people?”
Finally, this was a good quip (although one we think we’ve heard before):

Being the funniest Supreme Court justice, [Breyer] said, “is like being one of the shortest tall people.”

We must quibble, however, with the premise of the question. Justice Breyer drew the most laughs of the nine justices over a fairly short period of time, as noted on the show. But over a longer period of time, which we view as a more reliable indicator, Justice Breyer was only the second-funniest justice on the Court — lagging behind Nino, by far.
Not My Job: Justice Stephen Breyer [NPR / Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me]
Justice Breyer Gets the Rock-Star Treatment [Washington Wire via WSJ Law Blog]
Justice Breyer Goes 0-3 on NPR News Quiz [Associated Press]
So, Guy Walks Up to the Bar, and Scalia Says… [New York Times]

* Domenici asked for ousting of New Mexico U.S. Attorney. [New York Times via How Appealing]
* Descendants of ex-slaves not welcome in Cherokee Nation. [Jurist]
* Prosecutors decide to pass on attempted murder charge for astronaut in kidnapping case; CNN decides to use a more flattering picture. [CNN; compare with CNN (2/05/07)]
* And speaking of unflattering pictures… [CNN]
* Breyer to appear on NPR “comedy” show. [AP via Yahoo!]
Update: In case you were hoping to attend the “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” taping, you should note that it has been pushed back by a week.

Supreme Court hallway Above the Law Above the Law Above the Law.JPGIn a comment appended to our last post on Supreme Court clerk hiring for October Term 2007, one of you wrote:

Not 100% certain, but I think that the last RBG hire is Tom Saunders (Yale 2004 / Leval), and that Breyer hired Michael Bosworth (Yale 2003 / Rakoff (SDNY) & Katzmann).

We did some poking around, and we’ve confirmed this information. So two more Yalies and Second Circuit clerks are bound for One First Street. We apologize for being late with this, especially the news about Tom Saunders (who was hired back in August 2005 for OT 2007).
If you have any more news — for example, whether Justice Samuel Alito has made offers yet based on his recent round of interviews — please email us.
After the jump, an updated tally of Supreme Court clerks for next Term.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “SCOTUS Clerk Hiring: Two More for October Term 2007″

Seth Waxman 6 Seth P Waxman Above the Law Above the Law.JPG

“You mean to tell me that this guy has argued before the Supreme Court? This guy, in the button-down shirt? Seriously?”
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Here are the remaining photos from our recent Movie Night With Justice Breyer. The first batch was posted over here.
As we previously explained, these pictures are pretty awful — dark and blurry. Because of all the priceless art lying around, we weren’t allowed use a flash inside the darkened precincts of the Phillips Collection.
And we’re not great at photography to begin with. And we could use a better camera. (Did you catch that, Sony and Canon publicists?)
But if you’re looking for a break from all the law firm pay raise coverage, maybe you’ll appreciate them. Check them out, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Movie Night With Justice Breyer (Part 2)”

Stephen Breyer 2 Stephen G Breyer Dan Froomkin Above the Law.JPG
Poor Justice Breyer — he’s totally trapped! (But nice necktie, Your Honor. Is it Hermes?)

Supreme Court justices: They’re just like us. They get cornered at cocktail parties by matronly women they don’t really know.

And no, that’s not Beverly D’Angelo, aka Barbara “Babs” Miller of Entourage. We wish.

But yes, that is the Washington Post’s Dan FroomkinFROOMKIN!!! — over her shoulder, on the far right.
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Last week, we attended a movie night with Justice Stephen G. Breyer, sponsored by The Week magazine. It was held at the Phillips Collection, an amazing modern art museum here in Washington, DC. We were treated to cocktails and dinner, followed by a screening of The Third Man — Justice Breyer’s cinematic selection.
Photographs, plus brief commentary, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Movie Night With Justice Breyer (Part 1)”

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