First Monday

What are the eight most frightening words in the history of the English language? (see answer at the bottom of this post) 

CNN was all over it.  Every year, on the “First Monday” in October, the Supreme Court returns for another term of issuing final rulings on all things constitutional.  Being a law / history nerd, I’m fascinated by both the Supreme Court and the power it wields.  (remember Bush v. Gore?  That’s how we ended up in this mess in the first place) Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court

Last week I had the privilege of meeting Jeffrey Toobin, senior legal analyst for CNN.  His book about the Supreme Court, The Nine, was just released and he – along with fellow CNN personality Anderson Cooper – was at Manhattan’s Union Square Barnes and Noble promoting it.   

We said a few words and I gave him a copy of the galleys of my upcoming novel, which I stressed “Is about the implementation of the ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ law.”  He smiled and signed my book (which was a birthday gift from my super agent Mitchell that I managed to sneak into the store) “To Rich, a fellow author.”  That made me feel good. 

Then, of course, I pushed the envelope (what else are envelopes for in the e-mail era anyway, besides pushing?) and JOKINGLY (sort of) said, “Well, Mr. Toobin, I’m a lawyer too, so if you’re taking applications for legal correspondents…”  His smile rapidly faded as he said, “Hey buddy, it’s just me, okay?”  I’m sure he gets that from lawyers all the time.  Why practice law when you can go on CNN and talk about it?  What a life! 

I’ve started reading THE NINE and am loving it as only a Supreme Court follower can.  What’s striking is that Americans know almost nothing about this judicial body yet when five of these nine people act in concert, they have more power than anyone in America, including the President.   They can overrule the commander-in-chief, although they seldom do. 

(Answer:  “Justice Scalia delivered the opinion of the Court…”)

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