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Supreme Court Clerk Hiring Watch: Justice Kavanaugh’s History-Making Class Of Clerks

5 Flashpoints For The Supreme Court Nomination Of Judge Brett Kavanaugh

Decide Brett Kavanaugh (Photograph by MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Photographs)

Congratulations to Justice Brett Kavanaugh, confirmed on Saturday to function the 102nd Affiliate Justice of the Supreme Court of america. And congratulations to his 4 regulation clerks, all ladies — the primary time a justice has had an all-female clerk class in SCOTUS historical past.

Earlier than turning to them, a couple of temporary ideas on the bruising battle that culminated in Justice Kavanaugh’s affirmation by a Senate vote of 50-48 (the narrowest margin for a profitable nomination since 1881). I didn’t write or tweet a lot concerning the course of because it was unfolding — I endure from melancholy and nervousness, and the method we simply endured was not good for both — however now that it’s over, right here’s my take.

My final substantive public remark was a New York Occasions op-ed revealed shortly after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford got here ahead together with her allegations of sexual assault towards Brett Kavanaugh. I argued that we would have liked an FBI investigation and Senate Judiciary Committee hearings earlier than voting on the Kavanaugh nomination — for the sake of Dr. Blasey, then-Decide Kavanaugh, and the Supreme Court.

After a lot wrangling and drama, we did have an FBI investigation and SJC hearings. These proceedings had their flaws, to make certain, however they befell. Conscious of the allegations towards Decide Kavanaugh, the USA Senate exercised its “advice and consent” perform, and it confirmed him to the Supreme Court. Decide Kavanaugh is now Justice Kavanaugh, and that’s not altering anytime quickly.

What about all of the speak of impeachment proceedings if the Democrats take again the Home in November, as is extensively anticipated? Within the phrases of Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who voted towards Kavanaugh, “we need healing” after this horrible and divisive course of. And as Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) put it, “Talking about [impeachment] at this point isn’t necessarily healing us and moving us forward. The Senate’s role in our politics is not to just reflect the country, but to help heal and lead the country. And that’s the course that we should be on.”

As famous by Senator Coons, just one justice has ever been impeached in U.S. historical past — Justice Samuel Chase, in case you’re questioning — and he was acquitted on all counts within the Senate, the place a two-thirds vote is required for removing from workplace. Even when the Home have been to question Justice Kavanaugh, it’s a close to certainty that the Senate wouldn’t take away him from workplace. Impeachment can be a waste of effort and time — effort and time that Democrats ought to as an alternative spend on making an attempt to win elections.

Now’s a time to look ahead, not backward — and to offer Justice Kavanaugh the prospect to show himself to be the “independent, impartial judge” that he promised to be in his current Wall Road Journal op-ed. The Washington Submit opposed the Kavanaugh nomination, however as they wrote in an editorial revealed after his affirmation (emphasis added):

[I]t can be as much as the brand new justice to hunt to reassure a rustic riven over his choice that he has the temperament and judgment to do the job; as necessary, will probably be as much as the courtroom as an entire to exhibit that it isn’t simply one other partisan establishment. And it is going to be as much as those that opposed his affirmation, together with this web page, to guage Mr. Kavanaugh pretty in his new place.

Justice Kavanaugh is off to an excellent begin, at the least in a single respect: variety in regulation clerk hiring. As first reported by Adam Liptak within the New York Occasions, the 4 Kavanaugh clerks for the Time period that began on October 1 are all ladies — a primary at One First Road. And due to them, ladies represent a majority of this Time period’s clerks (21 out of 41), the primary time this has occurred in SCOTUS historical past. (This isn’t a primary for Decide Kavanaugh, although; in 2014-2015, he had the primary all-woman class of clerks within the historical past of the D.C. Circuit.)

One other fascinating reality: of the 21 ladies clerking at SCOTUS in October Time period 2018, Justice Kavanaugh can declare ties to eight of them, or greater than a 3rd. 4 might be clerking in his chambers, and 4 others beforehand clerked for him on the D.C. Circuit. It’s additionally value noting that he provisionally employed his 4 SCOTUS clerks earlier than the sexual-misconduct claims towards him turned public (so this will’t be dismissed as some type of publicity stunt to dispel these allegations).

Justice Kavanaugh may also take credit score for advancing racial variety among the many OT 2018 clerk class. Of the three African-American clerks this Time period, two beforehand clerked for him on the D.C. Circuit (i.e., he was their “feeder judge” to SCOTUS).

Okay, sufficient with the preliminaries; let’s meet the brand new Kavanaugh clerks. Right here they’re, as reported by Marcia Coyle for the Nationwide Regulation Journal:

>> Shannon Grammel, a 2017 Stanford Regulation Faculty graduate, was a summer time affiliate in 2016 on the companies Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. She was a member of the regulation faculty’s Supreme Court Litigation Clinic, the place she labored intently with the veteran Supreme Court advocate Jeff Fisher. Grammel was a clerk to Decide J. Harvie Wilkinson III on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Wilkinson is extensively referred to as a number one conservative thinker and a number one “feeder” decide, sending clerks to the Supreme Court.

>> Megan Lacy is a 2010 graduate of the College of Virginia Faculty of Regulation. She clerked in 2013-2014 for Decide Diarmuid O’Scannlain on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She previously was a counsel to Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, who headed the Supreme Court affirmation course of for Kavanaugh. She joins Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court from the White Home, the place she was engaged on his affirmation with White Home Counsel Donald McGahn.

>> Since September, Sara Nommensen, a 2016 Harvard Regulation graduate, has been an attorney-adviser within the U.S. Division of Justice’s Workplace of Authorized Counsel, underneath the management of former Dechert associate Steven Engel. She was a scholar of Kavanaugh’s whereas at Harvard Regulation Faculty and signed a letter with different former Kavanaugh college students in help of his nomination. Nommensen was the vice chairman of social actions on the Harvard Regulation chapter of the Federalist Society.

>> Kim Jackson, a 2017 Yale Regulation Faculty graduate and an African American, clerked for Kavanaugh this previous yr on the D.C. Circuit. She additionally was one in every of his former clerks to signal a letter supporting his excessive courtroom nomination.

A number of extra enjoyable information about these 4 extremely completed clerks, gleaned from my very own sources and analysis:

1. Shannon Grammel was President of the Stanford Regulation Assessment, and she or he had simply began working on the Justice Division’s high-powered Civil Appellate division earlier than she landed the Kavanaugh clerkship.

2. Kim Jackson served as Articles and Essays Editor of the Yale Regulation Journal. She beforehand clerked for Decide Dabney Friedrich (D.D.C.), whom I beforehand flagged as one to observe as a future feeder decide. I additionally just lately discovered, as did the remainder of the world in our complete tour of Brett Kavanaugh’s private life, that she dated him again in 1998.

(Aspect word: listening to about when Justice Kavanaugh misplaced his virginity struck me because the SCOTUS model of President Clinton’s notorious boxers/briefs second — and simply considered one of many indicators of the surreality of this affirmation battle.)

three. Megan Lacy was working as Senior Advisor to Brent McIntosh, Basic Counsel of the Treasury Division (and a former Kavanaugh colleague from the Bush White Home), however she had been detailed over to the White Home to serve on the legislative group dealing with the Kavanaugh nomination. Along with clerking for my former boss, Lacy clerked for Decide Sidney Fitzwater (N.D. Tex.).

four. Sara Nommensen served as Notes Editor of the Harvard Regulation Evaluation. She beforehand clerked for 2 outstanding conservative jurists, Decide Laurence Silberman (D.C. Cir.) and Decide Richard Sullivan (S.D.N.Y.).

Decide Kavanaugh shifting as much as turn into Justice Kavanaugh will shake up the SCOTUS feeder decide rankings, which he dominated for therefore a few years. As famous by Marcia Coyle (emphases added):

On the D.C. Circuit, Kavanaugh employed 25 ladies and 23 males as regulation clerks. His 4 clerks from 2014 to 2015 have been ladies, and 21 of the 25 he employed went on to U.S. Supreme Court clerkships. His 48 clerks represented numerous background and viewpoints….

Kavanaugh despatched 39 of his 48 clerks to the Supreme Court, together with clerks serving justices within the present time period. Though most of these clerks have gone to the conservative justices — with Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. hiring 13, the most important quantity –Kavanaugh despatched two every to justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, and one to Stephen Breyer. No former Kavanaugh clerk has gone on to clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Now that we all know the identities of all 41 clerks for October Time period 2018, listed here are updates to the feeder regulation faculty and decide rankings from my August hiring roundup:

1. Feeder faculties. Supreme Court clerks proceed to return from a handful of elite faculties. The 41 clerks for OT 2018 come from simply 14 faculties — and three faculties, the “HYS” trinity of Harvard, Stanford, and Yale, produced 28 out of 41 clerks (68 %). Yale leads the best way with 13 clerks, Harvard has ten, and Stanford has 5. Solely two different faculties, Chicago and UVA, have multiple clerk.

2. Feeder judges. The 41 clerks for OT 2018 come from 43 totally different lower-court judges. The judges with multiple clerk on the Court for the upcoming Time period are Judges Kavanaugh (7), Griffith (three), Srinivasan (three), Tatel (three), Feinerman (three), Sullivan (three), Garland (2), Katsas (2), O’Scannlain (2), Pryor (2), Wilkinson (2), and Oetken (2). Out of these ten judges, a whopping six sit on the Most Holy D.C. Circuit: Judges Kavanaugh, Griffith, Srinivasan, Tatel, Garland, and Katsas. Three are district judges: Judges Feinerman (N.D. Sick.), Oetken (S.D.N.Y.), and Sullivan (S.D.N.Y., however on his approach to the Second Circuit).

Now that we all know the identities of Justice Kavanaugh’s clerks, I’ve up to date the OT 2018 clerk roster, which seems under.

When you have any corrections to this info, or if in case you have any hiring information we’ve got not but reported, please attain out by e mail or textual content (646-820-8477). Please embrace the phrases “SCOTUS Clerk Hiring” in your e mail or textual content message, maybe as the topic line of your e mail or the primary phrases of your textual content, as a result of that’s how I find the following pointers in my overwhelmed inbox (which, fact be advised, I don’t verify as diligently as I used to since I stepped down as managing editor a yr in the past). Thanks!

OCTOBER TERM 2018 SUPREME COURT CLERK HIRES (as of October eight, 2018)

Chief Justice John G. Roberts
1. Evelyn Blacklock (Harvard 2016 / Sullivan (S.D.N.Y.) / Kavanaugh)
2. Cole Carter (Harvard 2016 / Sutton / Feinerman (N.D. Sick.))
three. Julie Siegal (Northwestern 2014 / Feinerman (N.D. Ailing.) / Kavanaugh / Bristow)
four. Mike Clemente (Yale 2016 / Hamilton / Griffith)

Justice Clarence Thomas
1. Russell Balikian (Yale 2012 / Sykes / Katsas)
2. Kathryn Kimball (U. Florida 2012 / W. Pryor / Moody (M.D. Fla.) / Katsas)
three. Madeline Lansky (Chicago 2016 / W. Pryor)
four. Christopher Mills (Harvard 2012 / Sentelle)

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
1. Katie Barber (UVA 2015 / Brinkema (E.D. Va.) / Owens)
2. Rachel Bayefsky (Yale 2015 / Rakoff (S.D.N.Y.) / Katzmann)
three. Rebecca Lee (Yale 2016 / Wilkinson / Moss (D.D.C.)
four. Matt Rubenstein (Yale 2014 / Gwin (N.D. Oh.) / Tatel)

Working in Justice Ginsburg’s chambers after being employed by Justice Kennedy: Conrad Scott (Yale 2015 / Watford / Garaufis (E.D.N.Y.)).

Justice Stephen G. Breyer
1. Will Haveman (Stanford 2013 / Motz)
2. Jo-Ann Karhson (Harvard 2014 / Okay.B. Jackson (D.D.C.) / Kavanaugh)
three. Janine Lopez (Harvard 2014 / Garland)
four. Alec Schierenbeck (Stanford 2015 / Oetken (S.D.N.Y.) / Tatel)

Justice Samuel Alito
1. J. Benjamin Aguiñaga (LSU 2015 / Willett (Tex.) / E. Jones)
2. David Casazza (Harvard 2015 / Elrod)
three. Whitney Downs Hermandorfer (GW Regulation 2015 / Kavanaugh / Leon (D.D.C.))
four. Sherif Girgis (Yale 2016 / Griffith)

Working in Justice Alito’s chambers after being employed by Justice Kennedy: Aimee Brown (Chicago 2014 / Griffith).

Justice Sonia Sotomayor
1. Samiyyah Ali (Vanderbilt 2016 / Thapar (E.D. Ky.) / Srinivasan)
2. Michael Skocpol (Stanford 2016 / Feinerman (N.D. Ailing.) / Pillard)
three. Rachel Wilf-Townsend (Yale 2017 / Garland)
four. Michael Zuckerman (Harvard 2017 / Okay.N. Moore)

Justice Elena Kagan
1. Robert Niles (Harvard 2016 / Oetken (S.D.N.Y.) / Tatel)
2. Ashley Robertson (Stanford 2016 / Srinivasan / Boasberg (D.D.C.))
three. Zach Savage (NYU 2013 / Scirica / Furman (S.D.N.Y.))
four. Reema Shah (Yale 2015 / Srinivasan / Bristow Fellow)

Justice Neil M. Gorsuch

1. Ethan Davis (Yale 2008 / O’Scannlain)
2. Paul Mezzina (Harvard 2008 / Kavanaugh / Scalia)
three. Jeff Quilici (Texas 2012 / Gorsuch)
four. Tobi Younger (Mississippi 2003 / Holmes)

Working in Justice Gorsuch’s chambers after being employed by Justice Kennedy: Alex Kazam (Yale 2016 / Kethledge / Sullivan (S.D.N.Y.)).

Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh

1. Shannon Grammel (Stanford 2017 / Wilkinson)
2. Kim Jackson (Yale 2017 / Kavanaugh / Friedrich (D.D.C.))
three. Megan Lacy (UVA 2010 / O’Scannlain / Fitzwater (N.D. Tex.))
four. Sara Nommensen (Harvard 2016 / Silberman / Sullivan (S.D.N.Y.))

Justice John Paul Stevens (retired)
1. Sarah Sloan (Columbia 2016 / Friedland / Nathan (S.D.N.Y.))

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy (retired):
1. ?

Justice David H. Souter (retired):
1. Sundeep Iyer (Yale 2016 / Kavanaugh)

OCTOBER TERM 2019 SUPREME COURT CLERK HIRES (as of October eight, 2018)

Chief Justice John G. Roberts
1. Zaki Anwar (Harvard 2017 / Sutton / Srinivasan)
2. David Beylik (Harvard 2018 / Kavanaugh)
three. Megan Braun (Yale 2016 / Brinkema (E.D. Va.) / Katzmann / Bristow)
four. Joseph Falvey (Yale 2017 / D. Friedrich / Griffith)

Justice Clarence Thomas
1. Caroline Prepare dinner (Chicago 2016 / Sykes / Katsas)
2. Brian Lipshutz (Yale 2015 / Pryor / Katsas)
three. Matt Rice (Berkeley 2016 / Ikuta)
four. Laura Wolk (Notre Dame 2016 / J.R. Brown / Hardiman)

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
1. Alyssa Barnard (Columbia 2015 / Nathan (S.D.N.Y.) / Katzmann)
2. Marco Basile (Harvard 2015 / Watford / Barron)
three. Susan Pelletier (Harvard 2016 / Garland)
four. Michael Qian (Stanford 2016 / Garland / Bristow Fellow)

Employed by Justice Ginsburg for OT 2020: Jack Boeglin (Yale 2016 / Srinivasan / Calabresi) and David Louk (Yale 2015 / Boasberg (D.D.C.) / Katzmann).

Justice Stephen G. Breyer
1. Celia Choy (Yale 2012 / Rakoff (S.D.N.Y.) / Katzmann)
2. Dahlia Mignouna (Yale 2016 / Srinivasan)
three. Nicholas Rosellini (Stanford 2016 / C. Breyer (N.D. Cal.) / Friedland / Cuellar (Cal.))
four. Eugene Sokoloff (Yale 2012 / Sack)

Justice Samuel Alito
1. ?
2. ?
three. ?
four. ?

Justice Sonia Sotomayor
1. ?
2. ?
three. ?
four. ?

Justice Elena Kagan
1. Jordan Bock (Berkeley 2017 / Friedland / Chhabria (N.D. Cal.))
2. Alex Miller (Harvard 2017 / Moss (D.D.C.) / Griffith)
three. Mica Moore (Chicago 2017 / Fletcher / Chhabria (N.D. Cal.))
four. Zayn Siddique (Yale 2016 / D. Pregerson (C.D. Cal.) / Tatel)

Employed by Justice Kagan for OT 2020: Peter Davis (Stanford 2017 / Srinivasan / Boasberg (D.D.C.)).

Justice Neil M. Gorsuch

1. Michael Francisco (Cornell 2007 / Tymkovich)
2. Kelly Holt (Chicago 2017 / Wilkinson)
three. ?
four. ?

Employed by Justice Gorsuch for OT 2020: Trevor Ezell (Stanford 2017 / Sutton).

Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh

1. ?
2. ?
three. ?
four. ?

Justice John Paul Stevens (retired)
1. ?

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy (retired):
1. Clayton Kozinski (Yale 2017 / Kavanaugh)

Justice David H. Souter (retired):
1. ?

Have you learnt a few rent not beforehand reported, or do you could have an addition or correction to any of this information? Please share what you already know by e mail or textual content (646-820-8477). Please embrace the phrases “SCOTUS Clerk Hiring” in your e mail or textual content message, as the topic line of your e mail or the primary phrases of your textual content, as a result of that’s how I find the following pointers in my inundated inbox. Thanks!

With Battle Over, a New Justice Shortly Will get to Work and Units a Document [New York Times]Meet Justice Kavanaugh’s 4 Feminine SCOTUS Regulation Clerks [National Law Journal]


DBL square headshotDavid Lat is editor at giant and founding editor of Above the Regulation, in addition to the writer of Supreme Ambitions: A Novel. He beforehand labored as a federal prosecutor in Newark, New Jersey; a litigation affiliate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; and a regulation clerk to Decide Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. You’ll be able to join with David on Twitter (@DavidLat), LinkedIn, and Fb, and you may attain him by e mail at