Sunday, November 24, 2002

I've been out of town for the past couple of days. I went to DC on Friday to play the role of "Supreme Court Justice" for a moot court intended to prepare a Supreme Court lawyer for a real, upcoming argument before the Court. The event was sponsored by the Georgetown Supreme Court Institute. It was the first time I've been a judge in a moot court, and it was great fun.

And then it was off to the real Supreme Court building to meet a good friend of mine who's clerking for Justice Scalia. He was charged with giving me a private tour of the building, something I'd never experienced before. It's quite an ornate and imposing building, much more so than any other federal courthouse I've ever visited or worked in. The Justices' private dining room just reeks of Old World elegance. And the courtroom surprised me at how intimate it seemed. The podium for the oral advocates is practically in the Justices' faces, again unlike any other federal courtroom I've seen. And then, of course, there was the "highest court in the land," the basketball court on the top floor. Not much to see, actually; it's not that great of a court; but still kind of cool.

Anyway, that's what I've been up to.

UPDATE: I see that Howard Bashman has linked to this post. I'm afraid the post isn't quite as tantalizing as his "behind the scenes" comment might have implied. So I'll add one little thing: Having talked to several Court clerks, I can say that journalists aren't the only ones speculating about a Rehnquist retirement. (That's all it is, though, at this point: Speculation. No one knows anything for sure, and the clerks generally don't discuss such matters with their Justices.)


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