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

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Stanford University Press, 2006 - Law - 310 pages
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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.


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Courtiers of the Marble Palace: the rise and influence of the Supreme Court law clerk

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Peppers (public affairs, Roanoke Coll.) here traces the modern institution of Supreme Court clerks. He shows how the duties of the law clerk expanded with the unprecedented caseload increases that ... Read full review

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Currently reading first chapter and figuring out how Google Books works at the same time. Despite seeing this page and book in Chrome and adding it to my library under the 'now reading' heading, I cannot find or read it in Google Books which would make the interface and the read much nicer. That isn't anything to hold against this book however, so far I'm very interested and will update my review after finishing the book. I like the insight the author has but I wonder how he came across all of this inside information. I am sceptical however I have no reason to doubt the validity or authenticity of this book. In summary, it's well written with great (hopefully lots of accurate inside information) content on the highest legal authority in the United States. Even though I'm Canadian this still holds personal bearing on my life because to be honest, we live with a moderate shadow cast on our laws here by the U.S (although we have quite a few differences with a progressive slant despite, like everywhere I suppose, many mind boggling dumb statutes). There is also the fact that we get quite a bit of legal tourism from your conservative oligarchy, whether it was draft dodgers or gay fiancÚs, the US Supreme Court plays a large role in that.
P.S Like I said, not understanding Google's platform for books, I'm confused as to hown much of this book is can access? As far as I can tell the the book is available to me in full, but I see a notification that it is a sample. Does this mean that after I scroll through x pages it will become locked? Is it potentially a bug that also has to do with why the book isn't available in Google Books? If that's the case, I recommend reading this before it's fixed. 😃 (first time I used the emoji keyboard button and I think it's simply colon capital d) :D


In Search of the Elusive Supreme Court Law Clerk
A Portrait of the Supreme Court Law Clerk
The Law Clerk as Stenographer
The Law Clerk as Legal Assistant
The Law Clerk as Law Firm Associate
Courtiers of the Marble Palace

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About the author (2006)

Todd C. Peppers is Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Affairs at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia.

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