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Profs offer cure for fame-drunk Supreme Court justices

Are the justices of the Supreme Court drunk on fame? Have they become “celebrities in robes?” Do they need a cure for their “unnecessary and unhealthy flamboyance?”

That is what two George Mason University School of Law professors believe. And they have a cure, they say.

In a paper set to be published in the George Washington Law Review, Profs. Craig S. Lerner and Nelson Lund lament the fact that the justices write self-indulgent opinions and dissents while on the job, then hobnob with celebrities like J.Lo and mambo in public (you listening, Justice Sotomayor?) or serve as Grand Marshall of Manhattan’s Columbus Day Parade and then light a cigarette for Sarah Jessica Parker (hear that, Justice Scalia?).

To put a stop to all this attention seeking, the professors propose, among other things, that the Court issue unsigned opinions.

“Truly unpretentious judicial servants should have no need to put their personal stamp on the law, and the practice of doing so has contributed to unnecessary and unhealthy flamboyance in the Court’s work,” the professors write. That would mean no more crime novel-themed opinions. (Sorry Mr. Chief Justice!)

Other suggestions the professors have for keeping a check on the bigness of the justices’ britches include barring law clerks from drafting opinions and requiring justices to ride the circuits on the lower courts.

HT: ABA Journal

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