Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Free food, smart talk and quotes delivered on a platter: I love covering the Supreme Court!
This week, one of the rituals of Supreme Court journalism enters full bloom. This is the Supreme Court preview, wherein professors and practitioners opine on the coming Term. On Tuesday morning, for instance, former solicitor generals Paul Clement and Seth Waxman -- i.e., Very Smart Guys -- held forth on upcoming business cases at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Food: fruit, bagels and some little egg thingies. On Wednesday, it will be the American Constitution Society's noon-time turn at the National Press Club. Food: light lunch and the company of many earnest law school students.
These seem to be getting more popular. The invaluable www.scotusblog.com lists at least eight separate Term previews. I suppose a case can be made that these events simply promote conventional wisdom and pander to reporters too lazy to develop their own independent sources. My view? Actually, everyone wins. Reporters come to understand the cases, experts get to be quoted and a good time is had by all. Though, just for kicks, I'd love to see a combo wine reception/Term preview next year: Loosen Up, Sandy Baby*
*Bonus points for commenter who can identify this Scotus reference.