The Academy

Blogging about nothing.

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Friday, July 18, 2003
Justice Kennedy Will Be Surprised to Learn He's A Liberal

More from Pat Robertson, clarifying which Justices he was referring to in his call to prayer. Turns out he doesn't know or care.

Thursday, July 17, 2003
The Ethics of Blawgging v. Blogging for Federal Judicial Clerks

I thought I'd weigh in on a subject that has received much html as of late. The Curmudgeonly Clerk has a lengthy post that digests the most recent comments nicely.

Two of the Academy's members are in the waning days of their federal judicial clerkships. As should be clear from many of my previous posts, one of those members undoubtedly is me. In my experience, the Canons in the Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees are a baseline but do not define my obligations. I'm pretty sure that, as for all matters concerning one's clerkship, the answer depends 100% on the Judge. Some are going to be content with Canon compliance, but even that presumes that "pre-approval" is required -- so, in terms of the activity itself, if it's okay with His or Her Honor, it's okay with me.

I do think that the essential boundaries of what-may-be-blogged remain undefined. Personally, I started this blog because I thought the emails generated among my circle of friends were funnier than most things and should be shared with the world. At the same time, I fully intended to comply with my Judge's requirements that I refrain from talking out of school about anything court-related. That has turned out to be a trickier proposition than I had originally imagined it would be. Sadly, when you're a judicial clerk, there are many times when there's absolutely nothing going on in your life that isn't court-related. At those times, if I blog, I blog about nothing. I blog to unclog. If I can write for a few minutes about my saucy convertible, it makes it easier to face the white page when I turn to the serious writing that fills my days.

I find it so easy to just chat chat chatter away here in the blogosphere. Sometimes, its that very ease of communicating that has prompted me to self-impose a Blog Ban. I have gone through periods where I'm privy to something sooo juicy and hilarious but not necessarily directly related to the Court. Usually it concerns an Article Three eccentricity that I've encountered that's unrelated to the Judge I work for. I want nothing more than to BLOG BLOG BLOG about the event. So, I blog ban. I blog ban so that I will restrain my own personal Tourette's. I'm afraid that, in the middle of one of my meandering tales about my mother and bath mats, I'll blog about some kinda gossipy inside baseball type thing. *Shudder.*

I realized early on that anonymity is a crock, and code names do not work. Smarties will know where you work and who you're talking about right away. This finally dawned on me during one of my law firm interviews. At the end, the interviewer leaned in confidentially and said, "I love your Blog." This stunned me. But, she put two and two together. It's a small legal world, folks.

So that's my incredibly personal take on the matter. I think it's very challenging to be an ethically secure federal judicial law clerk blogger. I think discussing matters that can reflect on your employment is no good. I think discussing the size of my ass, my saucy convertible, and (to a certain degree) Supreme Court cases is okay. To answer the most important question: do I think it's okay for people to know that I think Pat Robertson is an a-hole? As long as he's not a party to a matter on my desk, Yes.

So, I'm Guessing There Won't Be Any Complimentary Packages Sent Over to the Supreme Court Soon?

Thanks so much to dear friend and troll Meg for pointing me to this amazing site advertising Pat Robertson's Age-Defying Protein Pancakes. Quite amazing.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003
I didn't know God liked America so much!

Gosh, I don't know about all the other stuff Pat was yapping about, but I'm relieved to know that God likes America a lot. Since he doesn't want anything bad to happen to our country maybe he'll see fit to plant the idea in President Bush's head that we should stop attacking other countries for no good reason. Or maybe he'll plant a seed in President Bush's head that he should admit that he lied during the State of the Union Address and resign. Then, we could have a popularly-elected president and God would probably be happier about that.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003
Operation 700 Club is Full of Ass Monkeys

Dear Pat Robertson,

A, Get a life.

Second, Following the numbering the first part of of your plea for prayers to end the careers of several Supreme Court Justices (see link posted by Ms Mindse below),

Common sense rejects Numbers 1, 2 and 4 regarding Religion. Read the First Amendment and re-read your Thomas Jefferson who was also quoted as saying: "[T]he clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between Church and State. EVERSON v. BOARD OF EDUCATION OF EWING TP., 330 U.S. 1 (1947) (quoting REYNOLDS v. US, supra, 98 U.S. at 164). More specifically, if I understand the facts of the 10 Commandments case, the school's rationale for putting them up IN A PUBLIC SCHOOL was because "the Ten Commandments are religious and they teach moral lessons." That's idiotic. Was the school represented by a pre-schooler -- couldn't they at least have tried to come up with a better secular purpose? "Despite having religious significance, the Ten Commandments are a historical basis for moral traditions which, while subject to debate, are instrumental teaching everyone about socially acceptable behavior." At least, the Court was mean to the bible thumpers and boldly trudged past their silly pretext!

Now then; with respect to Numbers 3 and 5, if we're all so mystified about this 'fake' right of privacy, then why don't we put a camera in your bathroom and watch you poo Pat- I'll bet you spend more time than most wiping your a-hole - whatcha lookin for? A perfect orgasm? Keep digging, you'll find it!

Pray for the Supreme Court

Pat Robertson has launched Operation Supreme Court Freedom. From what I can glean, we're praying for three or four Justices to free themselves from their judicial obligations.

Monday, July 14, 2003
Judge John S. Martin, Jr. on The Connection

Follow this link to listen to Judge Martin discuss the Sentencing Guidelines on NPR.