Friday, April 11, 2008

In Their Own Words

Over at, Bryan Garner posted interviews with eight of the current nine Justices. They candidly answer his questions ranging from oral argument to legal writing, both from the advocates' perspectives and their own perspectives as Justices. Perhaps you, like me, have seen this posted elsewhere, but I have found it so charming and helpful I just had to post it here as well.

I find their comments particularly helpful as I prepare to draft a Supreme Court opinion for the case Cuellar v. United States, which the Court heard oral argument on back in February. My endeavor is an assignment for the Supreme Court seminar offered by our very own Professor Kit Kinports, who is no stranger to the Court herself. Professor Kinports clerked for Justice Blackmun in the 1980's. The class is great fun. My only regret is that we don't hear more "insider" tidbits from Professor Kinports, but perhaps she signed a privacy agreement that restricts her from sharing such information? Regardless, for those 2Ls wishing they had taken the course this semester there is good news, Professor Kinports will not be on sabbatical in the fall and Supreme Court is on tap. For those of you even remotely interested, I encourage you to stay up until midnight and register at 12:01 a.m. It's the only way to get in, as the class has limited seating, and it's worth the extra effort.

Postscript: Linda Greenhouse of The New York Times wrote a book on Justice Blackmun titled, Becoming Justice Blackmun: Harry Blackmun's Supreme Court Journey. In an article published in the Times, Greenhouse mentioned Professor Kinports and her interactions with Justice Blackmun regarding the case Mississippi University for Women v. Hogan.


Marie T. Reilly said...

I wish there was Supreme Court fantasy camp.

Alison M. Kilmartin said...

For the October 2008 term we could start a fantasy court competition where participants guess how the Justices will come down on cases, 5-4, 6-3, 9-0 . . . Even just a field trip to the Supreme Court to hear oral argument or tour the building would be fun :)

I love listening to their oral arguments online, available at Of course, you never hear from Thomas, but I was amused listening to Heller v. D.C. when Scalia kept cutting off Heller's lawyer in order to answer his fellow Justice's questions. And then in the lethal injection case Breyer wanted to talk about Holland's euthanasia tactics. All great fun!

Jim Chen said...

Marie, I've done the closest I can to creating the first step toward Supreme Court fantasy camp.