Law: Ames

November 15, 2007

So I think you all know what I was going to pick at the end of the day…….

 Ya, I pushed my Civ Pro assignment back a day, did some class reading for Friday, and put together a bibliography for LRW so that tomorrow I could take my Civ Pro take home, and today I could go see Scalia in Ames.

Ames was an interesting experience.  Lots of pomp and circumstance and a lot of distinguished guests.  To really understand how people around here feel about the event and how important it is, I’m just going to provide a quick summary of the people I SAW in attendance.

The Dean, Tom Goldstein of SCOTUS Blog and a large Supreme Court practice (Not an HLS alum), Justice Scalia, two other circuit court justices, Professor Manning, President of the Harvard Law Review (a future SCOTUS clerk if he wants to be I’m sure), 40 or so old rich alums, and a handful of other professors.  Any event that can tout having a member of SCOTUS preside over it most years is truely a special piece of history.

Anyway, the arguments were well done and it was an interesting experience.  I don’t really know what else to say, so I’m going to post a couple of the funnier moments.

Moment 1

Circuit Court Judge Pretending to be on Supreme Court of Ames:  “Do you have any sources?

Student:  X,Y,Z

CCJPTBASCOA:  “Those are circuit court opinins, we’re the Supreme Court, we don’t pay any attention to those (said implying as a circuit court judge this bothers her).” Laughter followed

Justice Scalia:  “Darn right we don’t.” More laughter

Moment 2

Justice Scalia asking every participant to discuss an Oregon case that was semi-related where he wrote the opinion and at multiple points telling the participants what the case said. 

Jusice Scalia also weighed in on this several other times, although once when an opinion of his was brought up he said “that was a long time ago” and he explained the Oregon case as “Distinguishing something from that Amish case” when he was referring to Yoder.

Hearing a judge talk about their own opinions is somewhat entertaining.

Moment 3

Justice Scalia asking a speaker point blank if she made up a word, by saying “I’ve never heard that word before, did you just make it up.” She said no it was in several cases and he said something else funny.  At the end of the argument he then proceeded to use the word correctly, everybody laughed. 

 There were others, these are the least nerdy.  It was basically a night of people feeling good about themselves and some accomplished 3L’s having an opportunity to shine in front of one of the best legal minds in the world.


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