Bench Memos

I Feel Much Better. . .

. . . now that Hadley Arkes has revised and extended his remarks. Now I know that it is an unwarranted inference from his original article that George W. Bush countenanced a cynical treading upon Edith Clement for political purposes–though it was certainly a plausible inference upon first reading the piece this morning. And he reminds us now, as the Washington Post reported, that the White House was solicitous of Judge Clement’s feelings as early in the day as 1:30–a key fact left out of his first account of the day’s events. Having communicated with the judge, the White House was under no obligation to pat reporters on the head and point them in the right direction. All around, this is a more creditable story now, though I still see no reason not to take the White House’s denial at face value. “The word had emanated from the White House,” with respect to a Clement nomination, Hadley tells us. Ah, what a multitude of mysteries is buried in the mantle of the passive voice! If he has an actual source in the White House to deny the official denial, I promise to come visit Hadley in the pokey when he refuses to tell a grand jury who it is.

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