Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Why Samuel Alito can't wait for Sonia Sotomayor to join the U.S. Supreme Court

It turns out that there's a pecking order to everything, including the U.S. Supreme Court:

Famously, on the Supreme Court of the United States, the most junior Associate Justice (currently Justice Samuel Alito), has the task of answering the door when the Justices are in private conference.

Wikipedia expands on "Junior's" duties:

The most junior Associate Justice in these conferences is tasked with any menial labor the Justices may require as they convene alone, such as answering the door of their conference room, serving coffee, and transmitting the orders of the court to the court's clerk.

There was some talk (see page 105) about changing this tradition when Sandra Day O'Connor became "Junior," since some were worried about the appearance of the lone woman on the Court serving as a secretary. However, the preceding "Junior," John Paul Stevens, felt that tradition should continue. And it has, ever since.
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