February 16, 2007

I'm a guest columnist at the NYT this month.

The first column is up. It's about Justice Kennedy's confrontation with the Senate Judiciary Committee over judicial pay and cameras in the Supreme Court. You'll need TimeSelect to read it here. Or you can go out and buy the paper.


hdhouse said...

The world is numb with excitement.

B said...

Actually, Ms. A, you may singlehandedly cause thousands of moderates and center/righties to give the NYT another looksee.

hdhouse - go and enjoy the gathering on Saturday night.

Fox said...

Excellent!! Damn TimesSelect.
Ms. Althouse, you should permanently replace Bob Herbert, and then I would pay for sure!

Internet Ronin said...

hdhouse: They are warming a seat for you somewhere, I'm sure.

Peter Palladas said...

Can't get the 14-day free trial link to work.

Guess then that 'there's no such thing as a free trial' - which makes sense.

Ron said...

Within a month, you'll be Obama's running mate! No White House lawn squirrel will be safe!

LoafingOaf said...

I finally bothered to activate my TimesSelect account! (I'm a Sunday subscriber and had been meaning to, but I guess I was surviving without it.)

Low judicial pay should trouble us not because the judges will somehow lack “excellence.” It should trouble us because the law will be articulated by ideologues and recluses.

The pay is way out of whack, and I'd say for both reasons. But, yeah, they can't say the second reason, or people would start to wonder if it applies to them. For some of them it does!

People should check what top firms are paying people straight out of law school! Off the hook!

So it's getting to where they gotta be willing to drop an economic class, and watch green lawyers in the private sector earning more, to be a federal judge.

[Senator Specter]had just reintroduced his bill to require the Supreme Court to televise its oral arguments, and he wanted to talk about cameras in the courtroom....

For those who can't read it, Althouse describes how Kennedy had to keep brushing off Senators using the opportunity to hit him with all their pet concerns about the Court unrelated to the salary issue, and how he had to keep from appearing too annoyed.

I'm torn on televising oral arguments.

What makes me lean against it (on top of the concerns about changing the dynamics and justices crafting sound bites) is that there'd be a whole new set of issues that will be litigated in many cases, as lawyers will constantly raise due process questions about the cameras.

If people wanna know how oral arguments work, nothing's stopping them from finding out (and C-Span sometimes plays the audio feed). I'd enjoy watching on TV, but it doesn't seem so compelling a need to try and fix what ain't broke.

bryanlamb said...

Prof. Althouse:

I just finished reading your column and couldn't agree more. However, I wish you would have discussed one possilbe reason Kennedy relies on the "excellence' argument: Many in the executive and legislative branches would be more than pleased to here that low pay would attract idealogues to the bench! Historically isn't that what both right and left want -- appointments whom they can rely on to provide rulings consistent with their ideology? (see displeasure with Souter among the right.)

It would not have been a good sales pitch for a raise for Kennedy to say "hey give use more money - or the judiciary will become exactly what you want."

The low pay for judges is a big problem here in California. Some judges stay on the bench, just long enough (5 yrs) to become known in the community - then - whish - they become mediators, charging anywhere from 500 per hour to $10,000 per day to mediate. Someone once said the low pay institutes a kind of "term limit" on the judiciary, which the same person thought was a good thing. I could not agree.

hdhouse said...

i braved my ice covered front lawn at 6sm after my delivery fellow dropped off my NYTs.

After my household read the column and were informed that I was one of perhaps only a handful of liberals who blog on this "moderate blog" (the 'mean' blogger perhaps falling just to the right of Attila on the curve) we debated the merits:

1. If this is the argument, lawyers are grossly overpaid for the value they contribute to society, and,
2. as two x-spouses in this household were law professors at certain points in their careers, we liken the argument to those to choose to buy homes near the local airport and then petition the local authority to curb the noise, and,
3. with a pool of what? a bazillion lawyers in the US, the threat of recluses or ideologues shouldn't really be a factor.

last...isn't it interesting that all the right wing that abhors the NYTimes as a lying pink sheet both find the professor writing there and actually read it?

PatCA said...

Well done, NYT!

They should replace Punch with you.