O'Connor loved Roberts... [S]he thought that Roberts's good looks and charisma projected exactly the right image.... But O'Connor was hardly, as some thought, a starstruck schoolgirl. At a meeting to plan a conference she was hosting, someone wondered if the chief justice might be asked to attend. With icy confidence, O'Connor said, "I'll take care of John Roberts."Page 326:
In September 2006, [Sandra Day O'Connor] sponsored, organized, and hosted a conference at Georgetown University Law Center on judicial independence.... O'Connor's self-confidence was intact. At a planning meeting for the Georgetown event, several people wondered whether the new chief justice might attend. "You just leave John Roberts to me," O'Connor promised, and the new chief dutifully paid homage.Well, maybe she said both things, but I have to doubt that Toobin meant to use that anecdote twice and think that if anyone had noticed they wouldn't leave it with two quotes. And I think it's fair to suspect that Toobin assembles material into quotes that are not really quotes.
He also -- and this is characteristic of the entire book -- takes little details and uses them to make statements about the psychology of the Justices. At least in this case, he doesn't slip up and use the statement (whatever its exact words) to demonstrate two different things. The meaning of the shred of evidence is the same on both pages. It shows self-confidence.
But really, even to use this anecdote once is pretty weak. Naturally, if O'Connor is involved in planning a conference, she's in the best position to invite Supreme Court Justices, and if "someone" or "several people" mentioned inviting Roberts, she should be the one to do it. How much confidence -- icy or toasty warm -- would that take? Or is it something about the precise words? Whatever the precise words were....