Last week, Justice Kennedy gave the keynote address at the George Washington Law Review symposium on judicial review. A story about the address in the Daily Colonial contains this nugget:
Kennedy was a particularly notable choice for the event’s speaker because of his influential central position on the court. Kennedy’s opinion is often the swing vote when the court is split.
“I never read a brief I couldn’t go down the middle on,” said Kennedy.
I attended the address, and I believe Justice Kennedy’s actual statement was “I never read a brief I couldn’t put down in the middle.” That is, he wasn’t celebrating his ability to reach compromise. Rather, he was suggesting that legal briefs tend to take too long to make their point, and as a result they can be somewhat tedious to read.