On October 25th, three U.S. Supreme Court Justices –– Alito, Thomas, and Sotomayor –– were on stage at the Yale Law School giving a talk. MSN.com published an article about this. The article isn’t too long. But several things were interesting.
First, I’ve known that Yale Law School was extraordinarily influential on our country. But I’ve never realized the extent of this influence. Many of our nation’s most influential people graduated from Yale Law School.
The article says:
The three took part in a jolly ceremony that bordered on the self-congratulatory — Dean Robert Post marveled at the “tiny law school” that has had an “outsized influence on American life.”
But there’s no denying the impact of a place where portraits of Supreme Court justices line the walls. At one point in the ’70s, Thomas, Alito, Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham walked the halls at the same time.
I confess that I should know more about our Supreme Court Justices, but I know the least about Justice Sotomayor. The article mentions her “powerful concentration.” I’ve found several articles about her which discuss her ability to concentrate and the role it’s had in her success.
Sotomayor said one of her attributes is her sense of “powerful concentration,” but acknowledged that the way that sometimes plays out during oral arguments — where she becomes a domineering figure — is bothersome to colleagues.
I know a little about Alito. I can remember the debate surrounding his nomination and appointment, and at that time many commentators talked about his intelligence and scholarship. The article mentions that too, but primarily in describing how he is remembered by his classmates at Yale Law School. But I didn’t know that he is considered witty, though the article says that his humor doesn’t come out during his oral arguments. The only funny statement of his that’s included in the article is this:
Alito told the crowd that during the years he and Thomas were the only Yalies on the Supreme Court, he could only imagine the thoughts of Yale’s liberal professoriate: “Where did we go wrong?”
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