Saturday, December 22, 2007

Clarence Thomas at Chapman Univ.

A justice speaks
Orange County Register, Dec. 20, 2007, at Local 9

Prior to going to Chapman University to see Justice Clarence Thomas speak, I had read his book. I had also read every other book written about him (there are about a dozen of them out there, counting the books on his confirmation). Nevertheless, I came out of his Chapman appearance with even a greater understanding of him ["Justice Clarence Thomas reveals personal side at Chapman," Local, Dec. 18].

Where else, but the United States, could a person go from such humble beginnings of Pin Point, Ga., to becoming an associate justice of the United States?

And though reporter Marla Jo Fisher did a good job of summarizing the event, I think she missed some of the highlights. For example, in answering the question of what role his faith plays in his deciding of cases, Justice Thomas pointed out the irony (and hypocrisy) that the same people who don't want his Catholicism to play a role in his decision-making demand that his "pigmentation" dictate the results.

I feel uniquely privileged that I had a chance to go to the event and meet the justice and am grateful to Chapman University, the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation for sponsoring the event.


Sunday, December 02, 2007

Judge Cassell leaving the bench

Cassell is truly great man
Deseret Morning News, November 26, 2007, at __.

U.S. District Judge Paul Cassell is the perfect case study on what a judge ought to be. At every turn, on the issue of sentencing, he disagreed with the law, but instead of doing as he pleased he followed the law while pointing out its flaws. And finally he decided to leave the bench to pursue advocacy (instead of doing so from the bench).

I have followed Cassell's career since he argued the case of United States v. Dickerson before the Supreme Court (dealing with the continued viability of the Miranda decision; he lost) and will continue to do so. He is a great man from whom we younger attorneys can learn a lot. I wish him continued success.