WEST PALM BEACH – Using a mix of jokes and drawing on his own experience, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito said Monday that being a judge at the nation’s top court is often not what it appears to be.
“A lot of people, I think, have the impression that sitting on the bench and listening to oral arguments is the main thing we do,” Alito said to a crowd of 1,120 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.
“If people were to see me really at work, it would not be a particularly edifying spectacle,” added the 63-year-old New Jersey native. “They would see me at my computer at eight in the morning in my pajamas.”
— Perceptions of U.S. Supreme Court differ from reality, Justice Samuel Alito says in West Palm Beach, Brett Clarkson, Sun Sentinel
Hmmm. And to think I thought that the justices spent most of their time reading those specially-printed-and-bound-at-a-cost-of-$5,000-to-$7,000-per-case certiorari petitions. At least the ones whose covers bear the name of $1,000’Hr.-D.C.-Based-Supreme-Court-Specialist as counsel. Or the ones filed by state attorneys-general challenging federal-court grants of habeas petitions.
Guess the justices have some time left over to do other things, like prepare for oral argument in cases whose petition covers bore the name of $1,000/Hr.-D.C.-Based-Supreme-Court-Specialist as counsel. Or like signing on to opinions that summarily reverse federal-court grants of habeas petitions at the behest of state attorneys-general.
This week while he’s in his pajamas at a luxury hotel in Palm Beach. Maybe next week, too. The justices don’t meet again for another two-and-one-half weeks.
Yes, perceptions of the U.S. Supreme Court differ from the reality.