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Bench Memos

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Roberts Trivia



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I join in the general acclamation of John Roberts as the president’s nominee to the Supreme Court. This was a bold, brave choice. The president revealed much about his own character as someone who makes decisions on a principled basis, does not pick fights gratuitously, but is not afraid that someone else will pick one either.

Here’s a bit of Roberts trivia: he will be the first former clerk to a justice of the Supreme Court who will join the Court as a justice himself while his old boss is still serving–assuming that Roberts is confirmed and that Chief Justice Rehnquist, for whom he clerked 25 years ago, is still serving when he is sworn in. Four other justices in the Court’s history have previously served as clerks to justices of the Court, but none before has joined the Court alongside his or her former boss. (Anyone care to name the other four?) As the junior justice, Roberts will relieve Stephen Breyer (after eleven years) of the duty of answering the door when the justices are closeted for their private conferences. I can imagine the twinkle in Rehnquist’s eye when his old clerk takes up those duties.



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