Saturday, April 23, 2005

Justices and their clerks

I came across this article in Legal Affairs magazine online. If you are at all interested in how Supreme Court opinions are considered and written, it provides some insight into that process. In particular the article, which is based on Justice Harry Blackmun's recently released records, looks at the role of judicial clerks. I would note, however, that if you read only this article, you may get a jaundiced view of what clerks do and how they relate to the judges and justices they work for. Thus, I would also recommend that you read this post and this post from Jack Balkin's blog. They provide some counterbalance to Garrow's conclusion that judicial clerks are too partisan and too involved in opinion writing. Personally, I don't have an opinion on the matter, primarily because I don't know enough. Read for yourself and decide, though.