How Often Do Justices Refer To “My Law Clerk”?
In my earlier post, I recalled that Justice Kagan had asked hypotheticals about her law clerks during oral argument in King v. Burwell and in 303 Creative. I remember the former example because I was seated in the Court for oral argument. The latter argument was more recent. For a lark, I searched the term “my law clerk” in the Supreme Court oral argument database on Westlaw. There were a lot of hits. I never quite considered how often the Justices give their clerks a shout-out during oral arguments.
Here are all of the hits over past few terms, all from Justices Breyer and Sotomayor.
- JUSTICE BREYER: But, look, there are four circuits, it’s the same question. From what we can tell, my law clerks looked this up, the Second, Sixth, Seventh, and Eleventh say that basically, 60(b)(1) authorizes, based on relief, based on a legal mistake, as long as the time to appeal hasn’t run. Kemp v. United States (2002).
- JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: Mr. Bond, my law clerk tried to explain my simple thinking when I was reading this provision, and I’m not sure I fully understand her response, and perhaps you can explain it to me. Boechler v. CIR (2022)
- JUSTICE BREYER: What this says, what I—I mean, my law clerks have been busy beavers on this case, I promise you, and what they have on this issue is t
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