The Conspiracy Continues?
Ex-clerks and conservative big-wigs aren't the only ones condemning the actions of those who spoke out about the Supreme Court's decision in Bush v. Gore in the current issue of Vanity Fair magazine. Now several senators have begun pushing for an investigation.
Of course, the senators happen to be prominent Republicans, but you were getting used to the lack of bipartisanship on this issue, right? Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) sent a letter to Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, suggesting that perhaps the subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts might want to "pay attention" to the matter.
In explaining their reasons for concern, the senators cut and paste from the statement signed by the aforemention group of conservative ex-clerks, then conclude:
Judges throughout the federal judiciary, including the U.S. Supreme Court, rely on the assistance of law clerks to ensure the smooth and expedient administration of justice. If members of the judiciary cannot rely on the confidentiality of their deliberations and discussions with law clerks, the judiciary as we know it simply could not function.The senators ask Chairman Hatch to "consider hearings or other measures to determine whether there has been misconduct by employees of the United States Supreme Court, and if so, what measures should be taken in response."
Scary stuff. But I doubt anything will come of this. Remember, the Republican-run Judiciary Committee has had its own problems with confidentiality in the past.
(thanks to Professor Volokh for posting the senators' letter)
In other "Clerkgate" news, Edward Lazarus (who, as Pozinski pointed out, wrote "Closed Chambers," the non-fiction book that lead to the current confidentiality agreement) has a column online today arguing that the Supreme Court is wrong in its "aggressive attempts to suppress investigation of its internal decision-making process."
Lazarus also confirms that, as NN's investigation revealed, most of the signatories who condemned the clerks' actions are "right-wingers."