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In A Polarized Court, Getting The Last Word

Publication Date: 
March 08, 2010
Source: 
The New York Times
Author: 
Adam Liptak

Professor Pamela Karlan is mentioned in this article for her clerkship under Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun. Adam Liptak from the New York Times reports:

A few times a year, Supreme Court justices go out of their way to emphasize their unhappiness by reading a dissent from the bench out loud, supplementing the dry reason on the page with vivid tones of sarcasm, regret, anger and disdain. The practice is on the rise, and it is suggestive of an increasingly polarized court.

Dissenting from the bench,” a new study to be published in Justice System Journal contends, is a sort of nuclear option that “may indicate that bargaining and accommodation have broken down irreparably.”

...

That sounded good to his law clerk, Pamela S. Karlan.

“The majority’s treatment is a disgrace,” she wrote in a memorandum to the justice that became public when his papers were released “and it’s well worth making clear to everyone what the case is really about.”

Ms. Karlan, now a law professor at Stanford, also had some public relations advice for her boss about the case, which was to be announced that Friday.

“I think Friday is a bad day to have the case brought down,” she wrote. “A summer Friday and Saturday are probably the least likely time for people to take notice of what the court has done. I would press, if I were you, for Monday instead.”