Sunday, September 21, 2003

First thing let's kill all the law clerks

The Curmudgeonly Clerk points out here, and Southern Appeal seems to agree (if only his permalinks worked), that it is absurd to blame the content of too-liberal opinions on the law clerks.

I don't know what it's like to be a clerk for an appellate judge, or for any but one district court judge, and inasmuch as he was 68 and I was 25, I don't believe I influenced him one bit.

To the contrary (and on the other hand, etc.), I once gave a speech about my judge and finished with a paraphrased version of a snippet from a Scott Turow book, The Laws of Our Fathers, where the actual quote is this:

"Law clerks spend their first year or two as lawyers, an intesely formative period, at a judge's side, seeing firsthand how the flesh of real life hangs on the raw bones of law-school learning. Much as racehorses are always identified by sire and dam, clerks are forever known by their judges, and it is perhaps my proudest heritage in the law that to be a 'Ringler' clerk."

Judge "Ringler" is fictional, but those were my sentiments, exactly.

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