Law clerk hiring by S. Ct. judges
VOLOKH at MAIL.LAW.UCLA.EDU
Mon Apr 23 11:44:40 PDT 2001
I welcome Mark's proposal, but I was just trying to respond as best
as I can to Paul Finkelman's question; and while there's some give in the
terms, my sense is that most people would agree with at least the broad
outlines of what I was saying. I am quite sure, for instance, that two of
my O'Connor coclerks, whom I know quite well, were quite liberal by most
If there are some suggestions for doing a more systematic study,
that would be tremendous. (For instance, perhaps someone might select an
imperfect but objective criterion, such as whether one has voted for more
Democrats or more Republicans in the last X elections, and then survey, with
adequate follow-up from their coclerks and friends, several years' worth of
clerks on this score. Or perhaps not -- I'd love to hear others'
suggestions, including especially Mark's, since he has raised this important
But in the meantime, I hope these posts have at least signaled to
people that they should not assume, without further evidence, that the five
more conservative Justices will only hire conservative clerks.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mark Tushnet [SMTP:tushnet at LAW.GEORGETOWN.EDU]
> Sent: Monday, April 23, 2001 10:05 AM
> To: CONLAWPROF at listserv.ucla.edu
> Subject: Re: Law clerk hiring by S. Ct. judges
> Having contributed some anecdotal material, I would think that we would
> want some systematic evidence on this question. And, I'm afraid, I
> personally doubt that seat-of-the-pants classifications by liberals or
> conservatives of the people with whom they clerked aren't really
> systematic. As Lynne Henderson suggests, there's hardly any objectivity
> when I -- or anyone else -- labels someone a "conservative," "moderate,"
> or "liberal." Or, to put it more pointedly, my guess, without knowing
> anyone to whom he refers, is that some of those Eugene calls "moderate,"
> I would call "pretty conservative." In some sense, one merit of
> identifying institutional affiliations (like Federalist Society
> membership) is that it provides a somewhat more objective method, though
> still imperfect, of mapping ideological commitments. << File: Card for
> Mark Tushnet >>
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