The Right Coast
July 25, 2005
Supreme Court Law Clerks
By Mike Rappaport
At Powerline, Michael Barone argues that the Supreme Court Justices have too many law clerks. I have long thought that this was a problem for our judicial system. Barone writes:
As a former law clerk to a federal appeals court judge (the late Wade H. McCree, Jr., of the Sixth Circuit), I have long felt that the Supreme Court justices have too many clerks. Some time ago I took a look at the statistics in the annual Harvard Law Review issue on the Supreme Court, and found that each time there was an increase in the number of Supreme Court law clerks there was also a step increase in the number of separate concurring and dissenting opinions. In the 1920s, when Chief Justice Taft encouraged unanimity and when justices had one or zero law clerks, there were few dissenting opinions and very few separate concurrences.