Alito on Life Out of the Pool:
In an interesting post on Justice Alito's reaction to the Phillies winning the World Series, Tony Mauro includes this tidbit on Alito's having left the cert pool:
"I just wanted to see what it would be like," said Alito, dismissing the theories that were advanced to explain his move. "I wanted to simulate it in my own chambers, but it never worked. So I decided to give it a try." How has it gone so far? "I'm very pleased," he said.
Asher (mail):
I was hoping he'd get into the Schmittian implications of Selig's decision to abrogate the rules and go into a rain delay whether or not the game was tied. (The rules, of course, say that after a certain number of innings - I think it's 5 - the game is official, and if it has to stop because of rain, the team that's ahead is the winner. Selig, however, decided that there would be no called game, rules or no rules.)
11.3.2008 2:53am
I'm not expert enough in cert pools to comment, but a 24-48 hour rain delay would have been within the rules. And the proper call.
11.3.2008 6:19am
Asher--You are totally, completely, utterly correct. Why didn't Selig just allow aluminum bats in the Series? It would have served the same purpose. In fact, it might well have raised viewership, and thus revenues.
11.3.2008 8:03am
Asher (mail):
Well, Hoosier, he does have that best interests of baseball clause to work with, but I think there'd be quite an outcry if he went to aluminum bats. Whereas everyone can see the argument for not calling games in the World Series.
11.3.2008 12:32pm
KeithK (mail):

Well, Hoosier, he does have that best interests of baseball clause to work with, but I think there'd be quite an outcry if he went to aluminum bats.

Back in the 80's at the start of the season This Week in Baseball ran a piece on the impending move to aluminum bats in MLB. Every quote they got was of the "pitchers better chuck and duck" variety or "we're going to need screens at the mound". The piece first aired on April 1 but the sentiments are very much true. Or maybe pitchers will wear helmets. They do in my softball league, which used absurdly powerful composite bats.
11.3.2008 1:47pm
Gary McGath (www):
If you search on Google for "phillies 2008", the number 1 result is George Phillies' presidential campaign page. He probably benefited a bit from the World Series.
11.3.2008 1:59pm
Dave N (mail):
Gary McGath,

I wonder why George Phillies was not on the Vermont sample ballot.
11.3.2008 2:35pm
Alito's reticence was perfectly proper. After all, didn't he and Roberts both state in their confirmation hearings that they would confine themselves to calling balls and strikes?
11.3.2008 3:51pm
I once spoke to someone who had spent part of her clerkship in the cert pool, and part outside it (I think she was hired by a Justice who partipated in the pool and who retired mid-term, and finished out her clerkship with a different Justice, who didn't participate), and she said that it was much more fun not to be in the pool. Yes, you read more petitions, but the meritless ones can just be tossed aside; you only have to write memos for the ones that you think might be cert-worthy.

Orin, out of curiosity is it your impression that non-participation in the cert pool is more time consuming? If not, I wonder why more Justices don't opt out. Do you think Alito's apparently positive experience with it thus far will encourage others to do the same? I suppose there's something to be said for there being a memo for each petition. But if each Justice's chambers evaluated each petition independently and none of them thought it was arguably cert-worthy, what would the point of having a memo really be?
11.3.2008 4:25pm
Brian G (mail) (www):

I was hoping he'd get into the Schmittian implications...

Asher, I would have said the "Michael Jack Schmittian" implications, the "Ashburnian" or the "Carltonian" implications, but that's just me.
11.3.2008 11:31pm