Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Supremely Entertaining Morning

I haven't blogged in a while and I will catch up soon but for now I'm just going to write about what happened today.
We got to go to the Supreme Court! It was definitely an interesting experience and for anyone who is remotely interested in law, politics, or the judicial branch of government it is something to check out.  In fact, even if you're simply interested in people in general the court is made up of quite a few characters.  Of course my first thought upon seeing the justices take the bench was John Grisham's "The Pelican Brief." Thank you John for forever changing the way I think of American law and politics (even if its not the most accurate account). 

Since Alabama is in the 11th court district we were there as guests of Justice Thomas.  He read an opinion from an earlier decision at the beginning of court but that was the only time he spoke throughout the course of the proceedings.  He and Scalia would swivel in their chairs and whisper back and forth but he never addressed the lawyers. At one point I couldn't even see them because they were leaned back so far.  I wonder, in the history of the court if any of the justices have ever fallen out of their chairs? Or pulled a Mike Shula.

The most vocal justices were Breyer, Scalia, Sotomayor, Kagan, and sometimes Chief Justice Roberts.  Scalia and Breyer were definitely the most entertaining of the bunch.  They would call out the lawyers on the smallest of slip ups and sometimes interject just to make a joke.  The morning still felt very formal but I definitely didn't expect to laugh out loud during the proceedings.  The two cases we heard weren't very interesting themselves but witnessing the court proceedings has definitely been one of my favorite experiences so far.  We were in the court room from a little before 10:00am to almost 12:45.  That may be the longest I've gone without speaking in as long as I can remember. I know that doesn't shock anyone.  My attention span started to wane towards the end of the second case (it was such a boring topic!).  I'm pretty sure even some of the justices were over it before the lawyers finished their arguments.  So to keep from going stir crazy I started to sketch some of the justices and then wrote a little rhyme about what was going on.  I'm pretty sure the guy next to me judged me pretty harshly for doodling but at least I wasn't falling asleep.  All in all a great experience and if you ever have the opportunity to attend I highly recommend it! Here's the rhyme I wrote while waiting for the 2nd argument to close:

Nine sit, listen and judge
Some talk a lot, others barely budge
Watch out for Breyer and his sassy remarks
Scalia uses humor and adds his own sparks
Is Thomas still awake? I can't really tell...
Sotomayor looks fierce as
Hello Justcie Alito! You're staring into space
Is Ginsberg somewhere under all that lace?

I didn't have time to finish or work in Kennedy and Kagan but its a work in progress.  Have a great rest of the week everyone!