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Courtiers of the Marble Palace: The Rise and Influence of the Supreme Court Law Clerk download epub

by Todd C. Peppers


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Since the hiring of the first Supreme Court law clerk by Associate Justice Horace Gray in the late 1880s, court . Todd C. Peppers is Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Affairs at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia.

Since the hiring of the first Supreme Court law clerk by Associate Justice Horace Gray in the late 1880s, court observers and the general public have demonstrated a consistent fascination with law clerks and the influence-real or imagined-that they wield over judicial decisions. While initially each Supreme Court justice hired a single clerk, today's justices can hire up to four new law school graduates. The justices have taken advantage of this resource, and in modern times law clerks have been given greater job duties and more responsibility.

see todd C. peppers, courtiers of the marble palace: the rise and influence of the supreme court law clerk (2006); artemus ward & david L. weiden, sor-. Cerer's apprentices: 100 years of law clerks at the united states supreme court. analysis of the rules and norms surrounding the hiring and utilization of law clerks and to address the one question deemed most salient by Court scholars: whether law clerks wielded inappropriate influence over judicial decision making.

Since the hiring of the first Supreme Court law clerk by Associate Justice Horace Gray in the late 1880s, court observers and the general public have demonstrated a consistent fascination with law clerks and the influence real or imagined that they wield over judicial decisions.

November 2010 · American Anthropologist.

Supreme Conflict: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Control of the United States Supreme Court. Peppers, Todd C. 2006. Courtiers of the Marble Palace: The Rise and Influence of the Supreme Court Law Clerk. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 2012. Greenhouse, Linda 2006. The Modern Clerkship: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Her Law Clerks. In In Chambers: Stories of Supreme Court Law Clerks and Their Justices, ed. and Ward, Artemus, 391–404. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press. Peppers, Todd . and Ward, Artemus, eds.

Since the hiring of the first Supreme Court law clerk by Associate Justice Horace Gray in the late 1880s, court . The influence debate is but one piece of a more important and largely unexamined puzzle regarding the hiring and utilization of Supreme Court law clerks.

Since the hiring of the first Supreme Court law clerk by Associate Justice Horace Gray in the late 1880s. It provides excellent background for understanding current debates about the role and influence of the clerks. Steven Wasby State University of New York at Albany). Blue Ridge Business Journal). This unique history of Supreme Court law clerks is a surprise gift to anyone who is fascinated by the Court as an institution.

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Specifically, he analyzes the potential for law clerk influence on the justices by applying .

Specifically, he analyzes the potential for law clerk influence on the justices by applying principal-agent theory to the Court's personnel. Having sketched the origins and development of the ideological influence controversy, Peppers avoids the temptation to weigh in on one side or the other of the debate, and instead takes the rest of the first chapter to introduce his principal-agent framework.

Since the hiring of the first Supreme Court law clerk by Associate Justice Horace Gray in the late 1880s, court observers and the general public have demonstrated a consistent fascination with law clerks and the influence―real or imagined―that they wield over judicial decisions. While initially each Supreme Court justice hired a single clerk, today's justices can hire up to four new law school graduates. The justices have taken advantage of this resource, and in modern times law clerks have been given greater job duties and more responsibility. The increased use of law clerks has spawned a controversy about the role they play, and commentators have suggested that liberal or conservative clerks influence their justices' decision making. The influence debate is but one piece of a more important and largely unexamined puzzle regarding the hiring and utilization of Supreme Court law clerks. Courtiers of the Marble Palace is the first systematic examination of the "clerkship institution"―the web of formal and informal norms and rules surrounding the hiring and utilization of law clerks by the individual justices on the United States Supreme Court. Todd Peppers provides an unprecedented view into the work lives of and day-to-day relationships between justices and their clerks; relationships that in some cases have extended to daily breakfasts, games of competitive basketball and tennis, and occasional holiday celebrations. Through personal interviews with fifty-three former clerks and correspondence with an additional ninety, as well as personal interviews with a number of non-clerks, including Justice Antonin Scalia, Peppers has amassed a body of information that reveals the true inner-workings of the clerkship institution. With a Foreword by Professor Robert M. O'Neil of the University of Virginia School of Law, former President of the University of Virginia and former law clerk for Justice William J. Brennan, Jr.

Comments: (6)

Perilanim
This is one of two current books discussing the role of Supreme Court law clerks, the other being "Sorcerers' Apprentices" by Ward and Weiden. This book takes a somewhat different approach from the Ward volume, in that it focuses historically on what clerks have done in their positions and how the role of the law clerk has been defined during different periods of the Court's history. Unlike Ward, Professor Peppers does not seek to assess in detail how contemporary clerks function in the cert. pool (which is not even explained until page 191), how clerks serve as communication conduits and coalition builders between chambers, or how they draft bench memos. Rather, his concern is to see how the role itself has changed over time: i.e., when did clerks begin to draft cert. memos, when did they first begin to participate in drafting opinions (in my opinion, an undue amount of attention is paid in both volumes to this issue), how were they selected by the Justices and what criteria were employed? The author has done a heroic job of research, since he covers the entire period of Court history, supplemented by an important range of over 50 interviews with former clerks. His appendices are chock full of useful information. The two books together reinforce and strengthen each other, with the happy result that we have for the first time a really meaningful examination of the important role clerks play at the big court. An exceptionally well-done contribution.
Endieyab
Professor Peppers has done an admirable job of trying to research the history of the rise of the supreme court law clerk. Although clearly limited by the unavailability of some sources, the book is well-researched and well done.

Professor Peppers traces the history of the clerkship through three phases he calls the "stenographer, the "legal assistant" and the "law firm associate." His writing clearly backs up these labels and lends credence to his conclusions. The book tries to answer the question as to whether the clerks wield an inappropriate amount of power in the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court. I think the author approached this topic with an open mind and concludes that the clerks do not have an inapproriate amount of power -- the tradeoff is that as the court's workload has increased and more clerks have been hired, the distance between the justices and the clerks has widened; this in turn has diminished the power of a clerk to influence a justice even as the clerks have had an increasingly greater role in the work of the court. He also explores the self-balancing mechanisms in the system.

Although Professor Peppers presents a strong case, as a lawyer involved in the writing of amici briefs in a number of cases during the cert phase, I am not totally persuaded. I think many of the sources go out of their way to emphasis the point that clerks do not really influence justices ('you protest too much'). In particular, I question the propriety of the 'cert pool' even more as a result of the book.

If the book has any fault, it seemed to jump around a bit as it followed a historical path, but given the nature of the subject, I am not sure there is a better one. It is clear that Professor Peppers has done a great service by exposing this clerk system to the sunshine of publicity. At the very least, he has sparked a debate that has lain dormant for fifty years.

I very much enjoyed reading this book and heartily recommend it to other lawyers and legal scholars.
Auau
Fantastic book. This book can be understood by both attorneys and non-attorneys alike. I was delighted that author Peppers had a list of all the law clerks who worked for the Supreme Court Justices, and explained in detail how the clerkship evolved over the years. Highly recommended.
Painbrand
Practiced law for thirty years. Always was curious about the inner workings the SCOTUS. Considerable effort obvious in the research. Would order again.
Bedy
Todd C. Peppers, Courtiers of the Marble Palace: The Rise and Influence of the Supreme Court Law Clerk (Stanford, 2006)

When Todd Peppers and I were at school together, we had an English professor by the name of James Warren. Fantastic chap, he. I was put in mind of him while reading Todd's
Courtiers of the Marble Palace. Warren described to one of my classes the "German method" of scholarship, which includes "at least a hundred footnotes per page." This book doesn't go to quite that level, but when you've got almost a thousand footnotes in two hundred twelve pages of text, I think it's pretty safe to say you've covered your tracks well.

I'm not a lawyer. (Ironically, back in the day, I was planning on being a writer, and now here I am reviewing a book by someone who, as far as I know, had no designs on same.) I've never done much thinking about lawyers, in all honesty, so I was completely unaware that there was even a debate about whether the law clerks of Supreme Court justices were unduly influencing their opinions, much less that one had been raging for half a century. I'm not the target audience for Peppers' book, but by the time I was through, he almost had me convinced I was. I grant you, I had to look up some legal terms while I was reading, but not nearly as many as I expected I would have to. Imagine that-- a scholarly book about lawyers written almost completely in layman's terms. The very idea should be enough to spark your interest.

The actual writing also takes me back to our school days, because it's written very much in that sort of research-paper style we all developed somewhere along the lines during our school days: introduction, point, point, point, conclusion. It's not something you see often in book-length nonfiction (and when you do, you usually find it better-hidden), but it doesn't detract from the text, which I have to admit surprised me a great deal. There's more than enough going on here to keep the reader turning the pages.

Peppers traces the history of the Supreme Court law clerk form the early days to the present, despite being hampered by confidentiality issues (there is as little information on the Rehnquist Court, in general, as there is on the earliest days of the law clerks). He spent a good long time digging for substantive material, interviewing former law clerks (and a couple of Supreme Court justices) both in person and in writing to figure out how the position has changed over the years and, of course, whether there really are hands in the hollow backs of Supreme Court justices. (The answer, for what it's worth, seems to be "maybe once or twice in the past, but not on a regular basis.") The distillation presented in this book is a lot more interesting than it sounds, shot through with quotes that give a glimpse not only into the duties of the clerks, but those of the justices as well.

I picked this up, I admit, because Todd and I were classmates. The last thing I expected was to be as interested in the material herein as I was. I'd recommend this one without a second thought to lawyers and laymen alike. *** ½
Courtiers of the Marble Palace: The Rise and Influence of the Supreme Court Law Clerk download epub
Legal Education
Author: Todd C. Peppers
ISBN: 0804753822
Category: Law
Subcategory: Legal Education
Language: English
Publisher: Stanford Law and Politics; 1 edition (April 26, 2006)
Pages: 328 pages