In our recent New York Times op-edpiece praising lavish signing bonuses for Supreme Court clerks, we wrote that the bonuses “are expected to reach $250,000 this year — paid on top of starting salaries approaching $200,000.”
Some people have inquired into the factual basis for our statement. As it turns out, we did some actual reporting to support it. The reporting never made it into the final op-ed piece, but we’re happy to provide the details here.
If you’re curious, read the rest of this post, after the jump.
After yesterday, we thought they were all done for the Term. We thought wrong.
Some notable news from the Supreme Court today. Lyle Denniston of the invaluable SCOTUSblog reports:
In a startling turn of events in the legal combat over the war on terrorism, the Supreme Court on Friday agreed to reconsider the appeals in the Guantanamo Bay detainee cases. It vacated its April 2 order denying review of the two packets of cases. The Court then granted review, consolidated the cases, and said they would be heard in a one-hour argument in the new Term starting Oct. 1.
Such a switch by the Court — from denial to rehearing and new argument and decision — may not have occurred since 1947, in Hickman v. Taylor, 329 U.S. 495, legal sources said Friday.
Here’s a quick follow-up on Wednesday’s post, reporting on Supreme Court clerk hiring for October Term 2008. That’s not the Term whose clerks will start showing up for work next month — the October Term 2007 clerks are listed here — but the Term after that.
Interestingly enough, the two justices thought most likely to leave the Court next, Justice John Paul Stevens and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, are both done with their clerk hiring for OT 2008. And we also hear that RBG has hired at least one clerk for OT 2009 — very CT-esque of her to hire that far into the future.
Thanks to everyone who submitted SCOTUS clerk hiring info, by email and in the comments. We’ve folded them into our evolving list of OT 2008 law clerks. Check it out, after the jump.
Ed. note: Today we’re pleased to present a guest post by John Carney. He’s the editor of our sibling site, DealBreaker, and a non-practicing attorney.
Please note that the views expressed in this post are those of John (and John alone). Unlike John, we HAVE met Dahlia Lithwick, and think she’s fabulous — one of the sharpest and funniest writers about the Supreme Court working today. We admire many members of the SCOTUS press corps — e.g., Jan Crawford Greenburg, Tony Mauro, Lyle Denniston — but we don’t know of another writer who marries insight and humor the way that Lithwick does. As you can see from our Facebook profile, we are proud members of the We Love Dahlia Lithwick group.
Okay, enough disclaimers. John has a different view — and since we value viewpoint diversity here at ATL, here it is. Enjoy.
By JOHN CARNEY
Slate has been running its usual end of term round-up, a back-and-forth between Dahlia Lithwick (at right) and Walter Dellinger. Except for Dellinger’s defense of political speech against the slippery opinion of Chief Justice John Roberts, it’s a deeply disappointing discussion. Lithwick, who I have never met, comes off as a deeply frivolous person.
It’s almost hard to write about Lithwick’s view of the school speech case, Morse v. Frederick, without sounding foolish. The case arose when a student unfurled a banner reading “Bong Hits 4 Jesus.” Lithwick chastises Roberts for reading this as “clearly advocacy of a ‘pro-drug’ message.”
“In Morse, Roberts goes to great lengths to insert meaning into the silliness of the words on the student banner. He insists the phrase ‘Bong Hits 4 Jesus’can be read as ‘celebrating drug use’; indeed to get there he needed only insert the imaginary words, ‘bong hits [are a good thing].’ When did we enter into the era of constitutional interpretation through inserting pretend words? The sign could have as easily been read to say ‘bong hits [will kill you],’” Lithwick writes.
The most difficult question raised by Lithwick here is whether she’s a liar or a fool. That sounds a bit harsh. But I can’t come come up with any other credible explanation for that paragraph. Anyone of normal intelligence understands that “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” is drug advocacy. The only question is whether it’s a command that would mean “Do Bong Hits For Jesus” or a confession meaning “I Do Bong Hits For Jesus” or even an offer, as in “I Have Bong Hits Available For Jesus.” In any case, it’s undoubtedly pro-drug.
Read the rest, after the jump.
From the opinion of Chief Justice John “Sordid Business” Roberts:
“The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”
From Justice John Paul Stevens’s dissent:
“John, John, John, you don’t even — you’re glib. You don’t even know what Brown v. Board of Education is. If you start talking about school integration, you have to evaluate and read the research papers on how schoolchildren are affected by racial segregation. That’s what I’ve done. Then you go and you say that no member of the Court at the time of Brown would have agreed with today’s decision.”
Enough quoting from the opinions. How should we react to this ruling?
1. Let the wailing and gnashing of teeth begin!
2. Brown v. Board has been eviscerated!
3. American schoolchildren will soon be getting after-school milkshakes at lunch counters with Robert Bork!
And we’re not speaking metaphorically, about the remaining decisions from October Term 2006.
We’re talking about the shoes of celebrated Supreme Court reporter Jan Crawford Greenburg, of ABC News. Will a pair of Manolos fall from the sky?
So, what happened to JCG’s footwear? Was it a case of sabotage, by an increasinglythreatenedrival?
The Supreme Court hasn’t yet finished up for October Term 2006 (which should end tomorrow). The law clerks for October Term 2007 will start arriving next month. But many of them have already started hiring clerks for October Term 2008.
We reported on some of those hires back in this post. And now we have more to add:
1. Conservatives hoping for his retirement will be disappointed. Rumor has it Justice John Paul Stevens has hired all of his clerks for OT 2008. The only one whose name we have, however, is Lindsey Powell (Stanford 2007 / Garland).
2. Justice Antonin Scalia has hired Jameson Jones (Stanford 2007 / Sutton). Judge Jeffrey Sutton, a judicial superhottie, is turning into quite the feeder to his former boss.
3. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has hired at least one clerk for October Term 2008 — Miriam Seifter (Harvard 2007 / Garland) — and perhaps more.
So in terms of OT 2008, Stanford Law School and Judge Merrick B. Garland are off to a good start.
If you have more SCOTUS clerk hiring news to add, please email us (subject line: “Supreme Court clerk hiring”).
A list of OT 2008 law clerks thus far appears after the jump.
They prefer crack, thank you very much.
Because why else would the justices rule against noble, crusading students, and in favor of the mean old school officials, in Morse v. Frederick — aka the “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” case?*
But free speech proponents shouldn’t despair. Over at SCOTUSblog, Marty Lederman notes:
Morse is a very limited holding — essentially limited to the drug context. The Alito concurrence, joined by Kennedy, is controlling. He writes:
I join the opinion of the Court on the understanding that (a) it goes no further than hold that a public school may restrict speech that a reasonable observer would interpret as advocating illegal drug use and (b) it provides no support for any restriction of speech that can plausibly be interpreted as commenting on any political or social issue, including speech on issues such as ‘the wisdom of the war on drugs or of legalizing marijuana for medicinal use.’”
In other words: Hey liberals, this Alito guy might not be as bad as you thought.
* As we previously observed, petitioner Deborah Morse, one of the prevailing school officials, is “a curvaceous, dark-haired beauty.” But we would hope that Supreme Court justices would decide cases based on the merits, not on the attractiveness of the parties.
Of course, sometimes both factors point in the same direction. See, e.g., Marshall v. Marshall — the Anna Nicole Smith case. Quick Preliminary Notes on Hein and Morse [SCOTUSblog]
David Souter is signing Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s yearbook. Sam Alito is hoping he’ll get a better locker next year. Nino Scalia is mapping out which European restaurants he’s going to hit this summer. Yes, that’s right: today is the last scheduled day of the Supreme Court’s Term.
The justices are handing down opinions as we type. We’ll have coverage and links pertaining to today’s decisions in a subsequent post.
Will there be any surprises? Or will the paramount importance of Justice Kennedy simply be further confirmed — as if this fact, noted by the astute Jim Ho, wasn’t revealing enough?
Check back soon for more. Update / correction: Today was, according to the Court’s OT 2006 calendar (PDF), the last scheduled non-argument session. But because the justices didn’t hand down all of the Term’s opinions today, they will issue more decisions on Thursday. Batting 1.000 [Volokh Conspiracy]
A few more updates from tipsters: Edward C. Dawson, who clerked for Kennedy in OT 2003, is with Yetter & Warden, and according to our tipster is in the new Austin office.
Marc Allen, also a former Kennedy clerk, has reportedly gone in-house with Boeing, working for his old boss, Judge J. Michael Luttig. Leondra Kruger, who clerked for Stevens in OT 2003, is a visiting assistant professor at the University of Chicago Law School.
The pattern of about half in private practice appears to be holding.
The holiday season is upon us, and yet again, you have no idea what to get for the fickle lawyer in your life. We’re here to help. Even if your bonus check hasn’t arrived yet, any one of the gifts we’ve highlighted here could be a worthy substitute until your employer decides to make it rain.
We’ve got an eclectic selection for you to choose from, so settle in by that stack of documents yet to be reviewed and dig in…
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We currently have a very exciting and rare type of in-house opening in China at one of the world’s leading internet and social media companies. Our client is looking for an IP Transactional / TMT / Licensing attorney with 2 to 6 years experience. The new hire will be based in Shenzhen or Shanghai. Mandarin is not required (deal documentation will be in English) but is preferred. A solid reason to be in China and a commitment to that market is required of course. This new hire will likely be US qualified (but could also be qualified in UK or other jurisdictions) and with experience and training at a top law firm’s IP transactional / TMT practice and could be currently at a law firm or in-house. Qualified candidates currently Asia based, Europe based or US based will be considered. The new hire’s supervisors in this technology transactions in-house team are very well regarded US trained IP transactional lawyers, with substantial experience at Silicon Valley firms. The culture and atmosphere in this in-house group and the company in general is entrepreneurial, team oriented, and the work is cutting edge, even for a cutting edge industry. The upside of being in an important strategic in-house position in this fast growing and world leading internet company is of the “sky is the limit” variety. Its a very exciting place to be in China for a rising IP transactional lawyer in our opinion, for many reasons beyond the basic info we can share here in this ad / post. This is a special A+ opportunity.
If your firm is in ‘go’ mode when it comes to recruiting lateral partners with loyal clients, then take this quiz to see how well you measure up. Keep track of your ‘yes’ and ‘no’ responses.
1. Does your firm have a clearly defined strategy of practice groups that are priorities of growth for your office? Nothing gets done by random chance, but with a clear vision for the future. Identify the top practice areas for which you wish to add lateral partners. Seek input from practice group leaders and get specifics on needs, outcomes, and ideal target profiles.
2. In addition to clarifying your firm’s growth strategy, are you still open to the hire of a partner outside of your plan? I’ve made several placements that fit this category. The partner’s practice was not within the strategic growth plan of my client, but once the two parties started talking with each other, we all saw how it could indeed be a seamless fit. Be open to “Opportunistic Hires.” You never know where your next producing partner might come from, so you have to be open to it. I will be the first to admit that there is a quirky element of randomness in recruiting.
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