one court to rule them all

I’ve been reading Jeffrey Toobin’s fearsomely brilliant The Nine. As usual with books like this I am cast into despair, this time because I am not a supreme court justice. Nevertheless it’s a cracking read, and I’ve been staying up late to finish chapters.

It surprises me how much I knew: I remembered every case Toobin discusses in any detail. And it surprises me how much I did not know. I had quite the wrong impressions of Sandra Day O’Connor and Harriet Miers (although I was right enough on Thomas and Scalia.) Kennedy and Souter are extraordinary characters too. To change is to be progressive. Conservatives stay the same.

Jeremy jokes that I am reading a big book about ringwraiths. It’s a joke that’s been made before, but I am finding it comforting in this context. Despite my best efforts I remain a status-obsessed starfucker; that is, a chimpanzee. It’s good to be reminded that the pursuit of power for its own sake hollows people out and turns them into monsters.

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