Clerking for Multiple Justices:
John Roberts' decision to hire the late Chief Justice's law clerks means that three young lawyers will be able to say that they served as law clerks for two Supreme Court Justices. Here's a trivia question, if you'll accept such a question from a non-puzzleblogger: How many people have clerked for three or more U.S. Supreme Court Justices, and who are they? I know of one, but there may be others.
Scott Scheule (mail) (www):
I'm not sure on the number, but none of them has ever been in my kitchen.
10.1.2005 6:55pm
Roberts' friend E. Barrett Prettyman, Jr. of Hogan &Hartson is believed to be the only one, having clerked for Jackson (who died during Prettyman's clerkship); Harlan (replaced Jackson); Frankfurter (while waiting for Harlan to be confirmed).
10.1.2005 8:00pm
Tom Goldstein (mail) (www):
If you were willing to count retired Justices, you would include Tim Dyk of the Federal Circuit, who lists: "Law Clerk to Justices Reed and Burton (retired), 1961-62; Law Clerk to Chief Justice Warren, 1962-63."
10.1.2005 9:47pm
An interesting question is how to count those who clerked for retired Justices, and who were "farmed out" to various active Justices during that time. It's unclear whether this counts as having clerked for those individual Justices. For example, Ethan Leib writes to note that his colleague Rory Little clerked for Stewart as a retired Justice, and worked for Powell, Stevens, and Burger during the year; he then clerked full-time for Justice Brennan.
10.1.2005 9:58pm
I'm pretty sure UVa tells people Prettyman was the only one.
10.1.2005 10:47pm
DNL (mail):
Does it count if they clerked for the Justice before the Justice was on the Court? Say that someone clerked for Roberts while he was on the DC circuit, then was offered a position by O'Conner, and after O'Conner's resignation clicked in, was adopted by her replacement. Would that count?
10.1.2005 11:19pm
Larry Faria (mail):
I don't know the answer, but typing this out alone in my kitchen, I wonder if it's wise to clerk for two or more justices. I'm picturing new SCOTUS clerks murmering about the grizzled veteran clerks and their inability to hook on with a big law firm or snag a judgeship.
10.2.2005 12:33am
Paul McKaskle (mail):
An implication of the question is that the number who clerked for two justices is so vast that it isn't worth cataloging. However, I wonder how many of those are simply those who clerked for two justices during a single term, just as will the clerks of Rehnquist who have been hired by Roberts. How many clerks have spent much of a term with one justice who died or retired towards the end of his term and then spent the remainder of his term with his successor and then a second full term with the successor (or, even, one full term with one justice and a second full term with another). I would imagine that there aren't many in this category (though I may be wrong). The only one I know of in this category is John Griffiths who clerked for Goldberg until he resigned and thereafter spent the remaining part of the term with Fortas, plus the next full term. There may be many others, but I would think it is fairly rare.
10.2.2005 2:37am
Gene Vilensky (mail) (www):
Well, if we can count someone who clerked for someone who later became a SC justice, then Alex Kozinski would technically qualify, no? I believe that he was chosen by Douglas to clerk for him, and then later that day, Douglas chose to retire, so he was handed over to Burger. Before that, he had clerked for Kennedy on the Ninth Circuit. So, in hyper-technicality, Kozinski had "clerked" for three SC justices.
10.2.2005 3:41am
re: Kozinski, I don't think it counts as having "clerked" if you merely accepted the job and it disappeared before you started work. I.e. no one gets to say that they "clerked" for Michael Chertoff for the 2005-06 term. I'd liken it to students who are offered a spot on the law review and then transfer. You can claim the offer on your resume, but not the experience.
10.2.2005 4:17pm
Paul doson (mail) (www):
I'm impressed with your article. I'm looking forward to your next blog.
10.3.2005 8:26am