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tv   Supreme Court Books  CSPAN  April 23, 2016 11:00pm-12:01am EDT

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i don't generally get into a topic of gun safety, but i will mention in the state of colorado, 76% of our death by firearm are suicide. a lot of discussion has to occur about how does one recognize in himself or herself when one is at risk? :
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do you want to talk a little bit about the response to the book and what you have heard from people now that the book has been published? >> i believe there are many people who have been upset by the book. it is certainly an upsetting topic. many do not want to relive the tragedy again. for the most part, the feedback i have received has been positive. one of the things that has occurred it has been gratifying is that many people think me for writing the book, which i appreciate command many people have said, i think every parent should read this book. and i hope -- my hope is, by reading the book they will lose a child, as i did. i will see that something
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can be terribly wrong when it is and not just write it off. so the fact that people are reading it and talking about it is very gratifying and what i hope to accomplish. >> i know that we appreciate the time and energy you put into this book, particularly the conversations about how people should be talking with their teens, asking the questions we talked about before about what is causing , getting a some of these issues with young people because of the risks here. >> it is important what you have done and i appreciate the time and energy you have put into it and putting yourself out there with the writing of this book because, as you say, some people have difficulties hearing about these topics.
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is there anything we have not cover the you want to talk about or make sure that people no in terms of your work or messages you want people to have. >> the only thing that i will add is that much research needs to be done, much support needs to go on, and i, and i encourage people to support mental health organizations, suicide prevention organizations, research organizations because there is so much yet that we need to know to make us all safer and have more fulfilling and productive lives. and i think talking with people is one step, but helping the nonprofits out there is something that we can all do. >> thank you for spending time with me today. i appreciate it very much. >> thank you very much.
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♪ >> when i tune in on the weekends usually it is authors sharing new releases >> watching the nonfiction authors on book tv is the best television for serious readers. >> on c-span they can have a longer conversation delve into their subject. bring you author afterhey author after author and spotlight the work of fascinating people. >> i love book tv, and i am a c-span2 fan. [inaudible conversations]
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>> i would like to welcome you to the supreme court institute spring book fair. what i was a kid kid i look forward to it every year. i am happy. i want to thank anthony especially for coming up with the idea and recruiting this wonderful panel of authors. looking forward to hearing about some books that i will actually want to read. not knocking other articles or briefs, but it is getting bold. i'm looking forward to what these folks have come up with. we have tony mauro philly the discussion. he has been covering the supreme court for about 36 years. the side.
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no one would be better able to lead. >> thank you for hosting this and thanks also to anthony. i hope it will be a fun event. it always is. talk about supreme court books, it is kind of a genre that keeps growing in literature, both fiction and nonfiction. we had a panel like this three years ago, and it really was intended to celebrate the fact that the supreme court seems to be the subject of more and more books of all kinds, and judging by the corner of my desk were stacked books about the court that have come in from publishers, the genre has only increased. we thought we would do this again, especially since the
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supreme court is in the news more than ever these days. written about all of these fine authors and mentioned all of them in my annual lists of the top ten books for the supreme court aficionado new line. i praise each one of them, not just because of the books but because their books in their own way have shed new light on the supreme court which surely needs more like. so i will introduce each of them briefly and then start the discussion with questions from 1st salt mine and yours and then we will have an opportunity to buy the books. i hope the panelists will discuss things with each other as well. and we want to leave some time for questions about the books and all other things related to the supreme court , whether it is the current nomination and
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confirmation for justice scalia and the impact of his absence on the court or whatever. it is definitely the case that all authors here are true experts with the court. not just tablets you stumble on it and thought it might be a cool subject for a book. first,1st, i am pleased to announce a lawyer's latest supreme court thriller, the advocates daughter was just released last month. the body count is lower for his 1st book, the last justice, but it is no less suspenseful and accurate when it comes to details about the supreme court. next to anthony is david, the founder and managing editor of above the law, the blog that all lawyers read daily, whether they admit it or not. david branched out to fiction and a successful way
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with his book supreme ambitions which cast the supreme court is an aspiration as well as reality, an aspiration for judges on the ninth circuit. >> adeptly, david happened to click on the ninth circuit a number of years ago. next to david is kim roosevelt, professor of constitutional law at the university of pennsylvania and former law clerk. he has written both fiction and nonfiction and happens to be the great-great-grandson of theodore roosevelt. his novel is titled allegiance and brings us back to the supreme court of world war ii more vividly than any nonfiction book ever could. next to kim is jay wexler, professor at boston university school of law. he has authoredhe has authored several books including this very funny and readable 1st novel trouble in the balance of justice going through a midlife crisis.
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it has been said that a book of supreme court humor would be a very thin book, but they have added substantially to the subgenre. finally, a reporter at msnbc and co-author of a terrific biography, nonfiction of the chief of justice ruth bader ginsburg. itit is not your typical supreme court biography, and that is a good thing. it is a terrific book. so, i will start off with a question asking each of you to describe your book and tell us what special challenges you found in writing about the supreme court or appellate courts. >> i will start. sure. my book, the advocates daughter, thriller. the protagonist -- protagonist's name sean surratt, a prominent dc
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lawyer on the shortlist to the next nominee to the supreme court. he also has a big deep, dark secret. a useful crime that has haunted him for 30 years and has been kept secret, and the book is about his daughter being murdered and his fears that they may relate to his possible nomination or the secret from his past. and as far as challenges, i am a practicing lawyer and i have cases in the supreme court,court, and sometimes i have justices in my novels do really terrible things. so when you file briefs with your name on it and have a book in barnes & noble's were a justice does some unthinkable things, it stays with you in the back of your mind a little bit.
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i think -- i hope my admiration for the institution shines through the book recognizing that for a thriller of a core component is murder, mayhem, and mischief. that is my book. >> my liable is entitled supreme ambition, and it is set in the ninth circuit, one of the federal appellate courts was double of the supreme court, but even though only part of the novel takes place in dc on the vicinity the supreme court is kind of like the great white whale that the protagonist and her mentor orafter. i tell the story of a young yeah law school graduate working for judge christina long stinson, judge on the ninth circuit. wishes to clerk for the supreme court which is extremely high honor. and wants to sit on the supreme court as a justice. and so the book examines what one has to do to advance in the legal profession. i have two shorthands which
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kind of -- was perhaps the audience will appreciate even if it will not be in the bestseller list anytime soon. john grisham wrote a legal thriller about jurisdiction. and theodore i like to give because you have two strong ambitious women comeau one of whom is knew to us and the other who is sitting at the top, like to, i like to say it is the devil wears prada meets the federal judiciary. those are my rough shorthands for a book that otherwise appeared to explain to people. sorry. challenges. i think we are being challenged by some of the fellow panelists can relate to. i think one of the challenges was writing about the legal.
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a lot of it is appear, mental the law on paper. my book has no car chases, no murders. how do you get people to keep turning pages when it is all about filings and briefs and motions. that is a big challenge. >> my book is called allegiance set mostly in the supreme court during world war ii and tells the story of the gap philadelphia who is in law school and pearl harbor was attacked, wants to join the military but fails the physical and gets a chance to serve his country in another way, the opportunity to clerk of the supreme court. and of course during world war ii the government removes japanese-americans from their homes and confines them in camps. my protagonist is clerking read after his clerkship ncos to work for the justice department and is in the enemy control unit.unit. one of the people responsible for defending
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the intention programming court and in separating the brief and as time goes on he learns more more about what the government has done supposedly to keep us safe and starts having doubts about where mr. allegiance lies. and what i was trying to do is take a historical episode with some kind of relevance to the present. i'm trying to extort to come explore the question of what we do as a nation only feel afraid and insecure and how we decide who we can trust and who is dangerous and use interest counts and who will be sacrificed to make the rest of us feel safer. and i safer. and i do have a murder. no car chases, but i think the same problem, this legal material is all super fascinating, and that will carry the story. i ended up putting in a murder or two. but that was one of the challenges. the other challenge was,
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historical fiction was much more difficult than i realized. i 1st challenge was about life in a law firm. i felt confident inventing scenes between characters, but i have anxiety about getting details right and not having people say things they wouldn't have said away things that wouldn't have warned. had to doing enormous amount of research. >> hello. my novels about a supreme court justice having a midlife crisis. sixtys or so, drinks too much, divorced was super horny, looking for love, perhaps contracting syphilis. not really sure. also, he gets into a 4th century philosophy teaches that rationality and logic
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are not something that anyone should rely on, which is somewhat destabilizing for a judge who has to make decisions in cases. and so he kind of unravels over the course of the book and so the book is about what happens when somebody starts really doubting whether they ought to be in the position that they are in for me, the challenge i think was i knew i wanted to write about the supreme court but slightly skewed. in order to do that you have to write about the supreme court in a convincing manner so that it looks real and then you can twisted, you know, 5% to the to the left and maybe get the reader to buy in. whereas if you write something outrageously crazy , that is a whole different matter. >> hi, everybody. co-author.
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thank you for that wonderful or reduction, and it is fun to be here at georgetown, as i'm sure you know, former home of marty ginsburg the more of my favorite comments about her book was that somebody said when there is a chapter about marty in ruth's marriage they felt like what they think there they are supposed to feel when they watch romantic comedy. so, i am outnumbered a little bit on the panel. among other reasons, i did not write a work of fiction. also the only book that started out as a tumbler. my co-author inspired by shelby county and specifically justice ginsburg breaking the record for defense from the bench in a single week started notorious rpg as a mashup of the tiny, fears woman's rights pioneer and a 350 plus pound dead rapper.
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and the idea was to juxtapose and think about the ways in which both were speaking truth to power. so it struck a chord obviously. notorious rpg tributes are legion. the challenge we face in putting together a book was how we bring substance of this fun, celebratory, irreverent phenomenon, make a, make a book that lawyers want to read but the nonlawyers want to read, the key audience we were really trying to reach. we thought that we wanted the book to have the same sort of breezy, visual content, but we also wanted it to be substantive, to do justice, sorry, to the themes to which justice ginsburg has devoted her life. we had a distinguished law professor, including one former justice ginsburg clerk and a few other folks
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annotate excerpts and then we also had justice ginsburg favorite recipe for marty ginsburg, theginsburg, the harvey g work out, interviewed her personal trainer. so while the book gives a serious accounting of the feminist jurisprudence and civil rights issues to which she devoted her life, we wanted to feel fun. my favorite description of our book was the one in the new york times has said it was the talmud and the scrapbook had a baby. >> great. i want to just ask another general question, and then we will get into the specifics. why do you think so many lawyers, whether in practice or academia or the media are writing novels? why do they feel the need to
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do something other than law? >> i have an answer. well, i have thought of fair amount about the connection between fiction and legal practice because i teach a creative writing seminar. that initially i i thought this was something i had to justify. and i tried to do so just in terms of its utility for writing generally. we have exercises every week in the students could take them and get feedback and we talk about them in class, sally's there paying attention to the writing. if you compare that to the previous seminar, it is probably more useful. but as years went on, there is a deep connection between writing fiction and practicing law, primarily if you are litigator but to a lesser extent in other fields. the litigators are doing is telling a story.a story.
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two sides of the case with certain facts that are not disputed and certain facts that are disputed that you can we that are out of the narrative as you wish, but ultimately what you need to do to win the cases tell a story that the finder facts finds more possible than the other side. how do you make your story possible? it is all the techniques, the ablest cytosine and cast scene and castor narratives correctly and have a narrative the flow. i think that lawyers probably feel they are immersed in the world storytelling and it is not surprising at all that they want to step out and get in the novel writing and storytelling more profit. >> anyone else? >> i have been asked this question a lot and looked into it a little bit. it is not not a new phenomenon. you can go back to the 18 hundreds and lawyers would
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write a fictionalized accounts of real cases for newspapers for entertainment value. and i even found that abraham lincoln wrote the fictionalized or embellished version of one of his criminal cases. so did not start with christian and has been around for centuries. my favorite theory about why lawyers right, washingtonian magazine that a whole feature on why so many dc lawyers are novels. and the writer met with a number of lawyer authors and after spending time with us and getting to know us and hearing us out on why we write, take away was that basically we all have a buncha bunch of big egos. we want to be renaissance men and women and naturally that is a driving motivator. >> i am just wondering about the premise.
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a very well could be the lots and lots of lawyers write fiction or that there are just lots and lots and lots of lawyers. and so they produce a lot of fiction. i don't know. i'm trying to think about my friends were lawyers and colleagues and wondering if they write fiction, i am hoping a lot of them don't. so i don't know. i would like to know the per capita fiction writing data. i want some data. >> i found over the years, a lot of lawyers want to be doing something other than lawyering. it is just one outlet. they may be birdwatchers as well, that you need some kind of relief from law once a while. so, this is a question for everyone, but especially law professors. do you think fiction can serve as a teaching tool?
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i am thinking especially of kim's book which is a great way to better understand the japanese internment cases. this is something that is teachable to fiction. >> i think absolutely. fiction can teach us just as much about a lot of cases and issues as you could get from an academic presentation and also, it can reach different people in a way that academic analysis does not has studies of shown this, i think, people tend to organize their lives in terms of narrative. people tell stories about their own lives. and if you speak to someone in an academic, analytical
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language, that is the voice and some people's head but not most. doesmost. does not necessarily come across as something that is easily internalized, that they can take inside themselves and change over the voice of narrative nonfiction does. if you are trying to teach people something in a way that really gets inside the and changes the way they think about things very often fiction is the most effective way to do that. >> i don't think my novel should be left anywhere near classroom. >> yes. sorry. no, thank you. i do generally agree that fiction can serve as a teaching tool. our universities have fiction writing as a department, a program of study. and so the reason that is because it is a particular art the people can engage in that shows the world in a certain way, way of understanding the world that
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is different than economics are history. economics and history are great ways to understand the world, so is fiction. the idea of having a program in law and creative fiction make a lot of sense. generally yes. >> i think your book could be exhibit a for why there should be another method beside impeachment to get rid of the supreme court justice. that is something that is worth teaching. any other thoughts? teachable fiction? all right. i wanted to ask you especially about your book and how much access you had to justice ginsburg and her friends, papers, etc. what has been her reaction since the book was published?
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>> well, started about aa year and a half before we began working on the book. so when it came to suddenly becoming a pop culture icon i think justice ginsburg was initially perplexed and then amused. she said publicly that she had to ask her clerks who is this notorious. and then once known she said great. we're both from brooklyn. once -- once it was a book i think she was a little bit, not apprehensive, but a little bit uncertain. she has been collaborating with two distinguished georgetown emeritus faculties of her official biography. this is a very different project, one that was supposed to be a beautiful object, a fun story, again, we took it very serious, but it was very much an
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irreverent piece of work and not meant to be the definitive work on her life in any way. she said, you know, we started to realize that she was not opposed to the project when clerks and others would call her chambers and say, was it okay to talk to us. and then the door started opening. and i is a reporter had previously requested an interview with her before i started working on the book together, and so officially she was not giving energy for the book, but about a week later i reset my prior interview request and suddenly it was happening. so i got a chance to sit down and bring cameras in the supreme court, which you all know even for television is challenging if it is not an oral argument. very intenseargument. very intense and stressful in terms of the crew and production, having the time to set up, very nervous atmosphere. over time, too, i think,
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what sheonce she was convinced this was a serious project as well as a fun one we got more access. most incredible moment for us was, we have interviewed children, grandchildren. jeffrey had published in the new yorker a letter from marty ginsburg, and every time i wrote the letter i would cry. and it was, you know, near the end of the chapter about their marriage, and the marriage was significant to us not just because it is a beautiful marriage, although it is, but because it informed her ideas, her equalityideas, her equality jurisprudence at her optimism that men can become better partners. and really, i think,really, i think, inspired her to imagine a world of equality between men and women, including and romantic partnerships.partnerships. so we were trying to get the original of the letter because one of the key parts of our book is primary
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documents. we wentdocuments. we went to the library of congress, got permission from justice ginsburg to reprint letters kemal letter from gloria steinem,steinem, the original letter to the editor from stephen wiesenthal, but this letter every time i askedi asked for it, you know, they're would be a polite silence. inappropriate.inappropriate. we just wanted a picture of it in his handwriting. her son agreed to read the book before he went to press and said, you know, this is great, why, but why do you have my dads letter in this weird font. you should have the original. i said, i would love the original. and so at the 11th hour basically we had to stop the presses. you get an e-mail that said, son says he should have this letter. and there was in his handwriting. and she said, hope you can use it.
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have we not have the original letter we would not know one of the things we write about in the book is the precision and her love of copyediting her clerks work, so have we not gotten the original we would not know justice ginsburg had corrected her husband diagnosed to her in the margins. you can see that in the book. >> not necessarily for research reasons, but did you talk to your justices about what you are writing? >> i did not talk to the justice during the writing process. the warehouse trying to pick the supreme court in some of the lessons that were evident in the historical material did come from my experiences
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clerking. so he did have an influence on the book in that sense. >> i sent the book to her. she wrote me a letter back to said something like, i think it is interesting. there is a former judge on the fifth circuit. >> first name. >> elbert tuttle. and he would never have had a midlife crisis. >> that's great. >> i want to go back to you on your book. whatwhat concerns did you have about writing fiction about real figures like justice black, frankfurter? you also used real names of other characters like eugene bressman and some others. was that -- why did you do that, and was a tricky?
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>> in some cases it was, particularly with jean for reasons i won't go into because it would spoil a bit of the plot, but generally i was guided by two principles. you can't libel the dead let's give me a little bit of a sense of freedom. but there is a difference between fact and truth and insight or illumination. you can imagine a bad biography that gives you a bunch of disconnected facts, and you would not say you got any truth or insight. you can imagine a better biography that gives you facts about a person but arranges them in a way so that the tell a compelling story and makes connections between them and highlight something and downplays others and brings out themes and you might say that gives you the truth of the person and insight, but with the biographer has done is similar to what a fiction writer does.
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and so i think that fiction can help us get inside certainly, and you could almost say it can get you to the truth in some cases, cases, and i think an example of this, abraham lincoln, vampire hunter which is a movie i haven't seen it you probably have not either, but if you assume the title is an accurate reflection of what it is about, there is something that is clearly fiction as far as i know, but it tells you some true things, he was a brave men men who fought against evil and the civic we impose a person and it tells you to things about the world, the civil war was a struggle against an evil system the sustained itself on the blood of innocent people. i did not really go the abraham lincoln vampire hunter boot because generally speaking i tried to have the real people in the book two things that they really did. my criterion for whether i use someone's real name were not as are they doing what i can verifyi can verify they actually did. i get away from that sometimes. what i was trying to do with
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all of that was used the fictional elements to highlight the connections that are found between the historical materials and bring out the themes that i thought were important. and i did think that the resources of fiction allow me to write something more aluminum to and i hope in some ways more truthful. >> i meant to ask david about reactions. you got some reaction from the ninth circuit judges to your book. >> interrupting, i must confess, the book is a bit of a remodeling play. there are characters in the book, standard disclaimer. there are some characters in the book who bear striking resemblances to real people, and that was something i was wondering about as a former
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clerk on the ninth circuit myself, but i was pleasantly surprised by the reactions of judges. a number were contacted for a new york times article. most of them were appreciative. this is a difference between the appellate court and the supreme court, did not get quite as much attention on the appellate court. some were pickled and flattered that there is a book that is kind of about us, and the genre of supreme court books is always growing. the genre of books about the intermediate appellate court, probably not. a number of them were pleased, and the judge even hosted an event in pasadena, ninth circuit court house where i and other authors got to talk about work. i was pleasantly surprised. he and the judge had a mini book club. a number of the law clerks
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got together. i was very pleased by how they took it well, you know as if he was saying, got all the judges in this book behaved wonderfully. nobody really seems to take offense. >> i had a similar experience with my 1st book. and it was called the last justice. the character took a bribe, had an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate,a subordinate, did all kinds of inappropriate things, and i was surprised. i had a former solicitor general introduce me an event and.out all those things. so it was nice. i had a similar experience, a judge sent me a funny e-mail the basically said, i liked your book. my one beef with it is the judges are a lot more sexualized in real life.
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but at least that gives us something to strive for. >> i said, this is a funny e-mail. i don't like to read from a book. i went around. i read his e-mail. it was so funny. this time he sent me, i liked your book, look forward to seeing you. i kind of milk that aspect of it. overall it has been surprisingly warm, the reception of books give was all the characters do. >> ii want to open up to the audience. follow-up questions, but please let us know what you're wondering about, fiction, nonfiction. current events about the court which is stranger than fiction. >> yes.
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>> hi. i am curious how you fit in your book writing with your other work. >> well, i guess there are two ways to take that question, thematically how it fits together command i hope that it does. this is a book about the supreme court, the constitution, american identity. the constitution, american identity. the question is how i fit it in in terms of time. and they're the answer is, i just don't do very many things. i spend time with my children, i teach, right lower review articles and novels that and try to exercise enough so that i do not drop dead. the basically that is my life. >> that sounds like a lot of things. >> it is enough that it is a
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struggle to get the men, but i try not to take up too many new hobbies. >> i do the same, but without the exercise part. [laughter] >> ii have a full-time job as a reporter at msnbc hardcover women's rights, politics, law. my co-author was three held alternates time writing the book. we were on an insane deadline. i don't really want to disclose how little time we have for the book. we were inspired by the fact that justice ginsburg got two or three hours of sleep the night and produced incredible work, so we really felt like we could not complain.complain. i took some time off from work, but she sets up quite the high standard. thematically it made sense for both of us, but logistically, you know, we have the proof back from a highly visual book the week
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that shauna took the bar, and i think she took the bar monday and tuesday and the proofs were due on friday, and she was going to thailand to try to squeeze in a weeks vacation for her clerkship, so we were sitting there on my living room table spreading all-out , and she found out she passed the bar the day the book came out. got a night note to have a nice from justice ginsburg herself, too. >> i also don't do much exercise. you know, people trained for marathons and people don't ask them, how do you do your marathon training with your work. so when i -- but since it is writing and my other book is also writing, it does not look so different, but i like to tell people what is different, like how people trained for the marathon. in my closet typing. >> a good point that jay raises. for lawyers interested in writing fiction, it can be a
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challenge if your day job also involves writing and editing, which one does as a journalist and blogger. i found it helpful to separate out the blogging, journalism nonfiction stuff. i do like to think we write nonfiction. and the fiction stuff which was drawn on different writing muscles. imuscles. i found it difficult to write or generate original material during the week. i kind of worked on a weekday weekend kind of schedule i did a lot of the fiction work on the weekends. i might be able to edit during the week or evenings. i wouldi would say the morning, but i am not a morning person. i found it helpful to have some kind of mental separation between these things. >> supreme court your book. began with a little bit of a dismissive comment about
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judicial biographies, and i'm wondering, to what extent you will have read supreme court justice biographies. i'm picturing the one of john marshall on my bookshelf command i did read it. and i wonder what you learn what you think readers learn from biographies about what makes a good supreme court justice, what makes an effective supreme court justice, etc. >> i didi did not read that fake john marshall biography, i am sorry to say , but i do think enough of what i have read would make for a good supreme court justice, which is a consensus builder and someone who can bring people together. as far as -- also a sense of humor.
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i saw someone recently talking about marshall and the court was getting criticized about the justices drinking too much or something. marshall made this, well, we will only drink wine when it is raining. inevitably there we get together and the sun would be out. we have a big, vast jurisdiction. it is going to be raining somewhere. >> we were privileged to have a lot of supreme court biographies to draw on, but it was kind of freeing to not have to tell every story , and it was very also to bring a lensa lens to it. a project is very much within this renaissance of feminism. so thinking about how you take these serious, substantive talk to -- substantive topics and bring them to people who are
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curious because they think she is cool and they are feminists and angry about recent supreme court decisions to bring them into that world of serious biographies. there were great stories. the most recent biography, justice brennan, the work was very helpful. and justice ginsburg herself has done such a good job looking back in history to justices wives and thinking, she co- edited writing. she. she co- edited excerpts from the diary, someone she identified with. they were trying to bridge that history. a lot of it involved looking back in the history and places where women and other marginalized people are just not there and trying to figure out how you make that part of our conversation in the current conversation. >> i read a lot of biographies. naturally because i have a bunch of supreme court justices. i am not sure that taught me
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what it takes to be a good justice. first of all, there are probably several ways to be a good justice. itjustice. it is good to have consensus goers, some brilliant maverick. you probably want a mix of different people, mix of different life experience and experience in different governmental institutions. i think it is unfortunate we are just getting federal appellate judges, people who spent most of the federal lives in the judiciary. if ii had to guess i would say the most important qualities are being open-minded and willing to learn and also genuinely humble, and not everyone who tells you that there humble is in fact. justices who have a sense of humility about their role in understand that one branch of government reviewing the actions of others and sometimes state government and sometimes the views of other government is a respect.
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it is good to have a theory about why. >> i'm pretty sure i have never read a biography of the supreme court. maybe if more than. [laughter] >> can't libel the dead. >> yes. [inaudible question] >> i read the title and the balance. i enjoyedi enjoyed all. >> thank you. >> most valuable audience. >> i havei have a question for you. there was a historical novel published it takes a trip down the amazon with his dad and in the end -- well, does not end well.
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how did you feel about having your ancestor and namesake, does that influence how you treated real people in your novel? >> and i was called roosevelt beast, and i think it is a great novel, but he gave me a little bit more confidence in what i was doing because i was able to say i'm not a hypocrite. here is someone he wrote a novel about my namesake, ancestor, and i think that's great. parts are true, parts are made up, but what he was trying to do was use these fantastic fictional elements to get a deeper truth about the character that maybe you cannot coax out of the bear narrative of fact but that you can develop more fully with fiction. andfiction. and the thought he did a great job that. >> your novel reference. >> i did. yes.
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there is a moment with things don't go well. >> anyone els >> was that you? well, i will ask, since we are talking about what makes a good justice, do you think there going to get a justice garland? now or later or ever? what are your thoughts? >> he was a former partner of my law firm and by all accounts an extraordinarily qualified nominee. i hope so. i will say that every nominee, even the villainous ones got a few up-and-down votes.
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i would like to think if i was conjuring a character those going to block the process ofi might throw them in a seedy hotel doing some unsavory thing. the short answer to that is i don't know. >> i think you can. if i had to guess i would say no. just based upon incentives that republicans have to wait it out. we may have a justice nominated by president donald trump. >> unlike gaseous in the lame-duck session. i think -- i was predicting he would be elevated. take my prediction for what it's worth, but in hindsight it is brilliant pick. at the end of the $0.6. and i didn't see that coming. i'm a moron. but i think that you could see it. i know some of the republican senators say no, we can do that, but it is a
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little bit like the government shutdown. other incentives for them to pull the rank now? sure, but oncesure, but once november is done and maybe we have president-elect hillary clinton 63 -year-old moderate garland will start looking good for them. this would like the web -- the west wing the president will pull the nomination and nominated pam, or something and go, how do you like that. someone who is much younger and to the left. anyway, i think we might see one. donald trump is interesting. everyone often thinks of him as somebody who is not really going to give us fabulous supreme court justices, but he has told us he would give us a short list of a dozen when i'm curious to see who is on that. he has already told us he is not nominating his sister,
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but the judges he has mentioned like bill pryor from the 11th circuit, these are not outlandish. these are not crazy ideas. these are well respected judges who are pretty conservative, probably the kind you would see under another republican president. it is not like he will be nominating some contestant from the apprentice. this apprentice. this is not an endorsement of donald trump, of course. i am just saying. >> i think they should use the reality show to select somebody. we could have a rope contest, swishing down the runway. >> i would watch that. >> a request video will challenge. they never took my idea. >> written from inside the court.
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what do you think the justices are feeling or how are they coping with the focus right now? i have the sense that it is a difficult time with the court. >> well, i thinkwell, i think that the justices would like to be back at a quarter of nine. for some of them that is going to obviously have partisan the facts -- well, for all of them. for some it will be welcome, for some it will be less welcome depending on who gets seated, but all of the justices care about the court as an institution and can see that in certain cases it cannot do what it is supposed to do. and sometimes, you know, the court doesn't take cases and sometimes it allows splits to percolate. even in situations where different courts of said different things, sometimes
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that situation can go on, but the justices all do wish that they had a court that could resolve those issues when they want to and sometimes we see them deadlocking which just means they can do their job. >> that has got to be right. plus, it must be just so odd and said i would think. i was at the core watching arguments for the 1st time a long time. there are only eight. it is a very odd thing to see, and i imagine in some way or another his presence was so enormous, it must be just like a big whole for all of them. justice kagan spoke yesterday at nyu and mentioned that the supreme court was a bit more doll and great as an institution
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and that the justices are said to have lost a colleague. it is interesting. they have covered,, number of professors had dueling listserv e-mails for the entire community whether or not there really mourned justice scalia. i think that his colleagues of the court, including justice ginsburg figure some of the most moving testimonial stands, he is very much missed. >> i also think for the justices that are invested in andthe functioning of the court as an institution of a politics this is a difficult moment because you know, chuck grassleyknow, chuck grassley give his speech today in which he said it is john roberts fault they are not confirming a nominee because he has politicize the court which i thought was ironic considering this book stand and testimony that the court can be above what they want chief justice roberts to do.
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the biggest the tarnish the court. they could function despite different ideologies and political commitments. it was about making the institution work. they genuinely liked each other, but it was about showing that we are above just the fact that we have deeply different values. and so for now they come down to this bareknuckle political fight about whether it would be a lame-duck, complete abdication of whatever principal being cited the weather that they are vulnerable republicans and purple states, i personally think the local current has
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always been there but undermines the legitimacy of the court to say that a duly elected president, his nominee cannot even get a hearing or an up-and-down vote. >> any other questions? >> before we end, i suggested to the panelists that if they had a passage from the books they wanted to read to the audience that illuminated some aspect of the court they would have that opportunity. >> i don't have my book with me. if you read it you will find many passages. >> it is a beautifully written book.
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>> i could read two paragraphs are so which eliminates some of the premises upon which the court acts and decides cases there is -- this is -- the court is hearing a pornography first amendment case. justice title is the swing vote. of course he is worried about logic and reason. the solicitor general taxes is making an argument citing cases of various things. citing cases, but there are others on the other side. sometimes the justices say one thing, sometimes i say something else. so what. it is all just words. he interrupts the string of citations. i can't help but notice you insist on framing your
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argument with words. does the strength of your argument rely on presumption @is looking intently. imagining he can here her eyelids close and open. blink, blink. the question has done off the cool nerve and all the many practice arguments she staged to get ready. ..


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