Friday, December 22, 2017

Friday Link List

A few months ago, we saw the New York Philharmonic concert for The Empire Strikes Back, which was super fun.  Last week, K and I saw the new Star Wars movie on opening night, our usual tradition.

It's been a hectic few weeks! Work got very busy, right up until my trip to spend time with family over the holidays. I've headed off now, so it's all good. I should be home free on the work front until after Christmas.

In other life news, I finally got myself to a dentist again, to determine whether I needed any further work after my expensive accident earlier this year. The good news is that I may not need crowns, due to which teeth were affected, and some other work that was already done, freeing up quite a bit of medical expense budget that I'd set aside. The bad news is that I may well need another root canal, for the tooth that had been knocked loose and pushed back in place. At least I have the option of getting this one done in-network.

Today's link list is rather more serious than I'm generally inclined to.

1. // Things have changed a bit since Rebecca Solnit's 2014 piece, "Cassandra Among the Creeps," about the extent to which society is generally inclined to not believe women, but they probably haven't changed enough. As usual, with complex topics, it's taken me forever to gather my thoughts, and I might never get around to being able to fully write about it.

I have at least one half-formed thought to offer: when #metoo was trending, I wondered despairingly whether there was any woman alive without a #metoo experience, even if it's "just" street harassment, or someone getting handsy at a college party, all of which is still unacceptable. I don't even keep track of the street harassment anymore, which, distressingly, was at its most virulent when I was a young teen. 

2. // Relatedly, I was devastated by Heidi Bond's (a/k/a Courtney Milan's) account of her clerkship with Judge Kozinski, felt the truth of every painful word. Non-law people I've shared it with have not found it the most accessible, and are often confused, but trust me when I say, it's real.

The institution of the federal clerkship holds considerable power over participants and applicants, to an extent beyond rationality and reason. Our professors and law schools do in fact advise us that we'd better not turn down any offer. At some schools, they don't give any warning that, just maybe, you should be aware that not every judge is good, so maybe don't just apply to every single one in every jurisdiction you're interested in. Our ethics rules and guidelines (this brief handbook is about as detailed as it gets when it comes to clerk-specific advice), do not account for what to do when a judge abuses his or her power over their clerks and personal staff. In Judge Kozinski's case, he did much more than that over the years.

Consequences fell hard and fast, in a way entirely unprecedented and that I previously believed impossible. Several current clerks resigned, future clerks withdrew, and the judge retired from the bench. All in barely two weeks! K predicted it before I did, that if nothing else, the practical reality was that, if no clerk of the caliber he demanded (any of his clerks would be several margins better-credentialed than I was, with several of any given class in serious contention for a SCOTUS clerkship) was willing to take the job (before all this, a clerkship with him was well-known to be a six days a week, 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM type experience), then he couldn't work. 

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