Wonk'd: The Supremes, Gods Among Men
The Supreme Court is frequently described as an aloof institution. The justices themselves are depicted as isolated individuals, toiling away in their white marble palace. But based on the Supreme sightings you've sent to us, the justices have been painting the town during their four-week recess. Justices just wanna have fun!
After the jump -- i.e., click on that pointing finger next to the word "More" -- read about the Supreme Court's newest member, coming to a Chipotle near you (or not).
Only in Washington do people recognize Supreme Court justices when they're not wearing their robes. You guys are the best!
* Feb. 2, The Hay-Adams. Justice Stephen Breyer, lunching with a half-dozen friends. (Across the room: the omnipresent Robert Novak.)
* Monday, I was on M street in Gtown, going to have dinner with an old friend, and who crossed my path? SC judge Alito with his wife. They looked like they were (smugly) happy -- and short! Probably going somewhere to celebrate his appointment/demise of Roe vs. Wade. I bet it wasn't the Chipotle.
* In keeping with the Justice O'Connor email, I saw Chief Justice Roberts (I'm 99% sure it was him), driving a beige Honda Odyssey minivan a few Saturdays ago. Given the location and time of day, the odds are pretty decent that he was picking his daughter up from a ballet class (which is exactly what I was doing). He was wearing a plaid flannel weekend-y type shirt, and I must say, he's a very handsome man.
We're pretty sure this sighting was accurate -- see the photo at right, of the Chief Justice checking out whether he parked his Honda Odyssey properly.
And finally, while we're on the subject of Supreme Court justices tooling about town, here's one more sighting of Justice O'Connor in that Buick -- by a reader who almost got run over by her!
I can definitely confirm that Sandra Day O'Connor drives a silver Buick. I was walking to the Safeway on Connecticut avenue by the Chevy Chase Circle about 2 weeks ago. Was just about to cross the street when a silver Buick pulls in front of me trying to make a right turn onto connecticut ave and blocks my progress towards grocery goodness. I see a white-haired head behind the wheel and silently curse to myself, "ye gods, an AARP."
After waiting for what seemed like several minutes of indecision on the driver's part, I decided to dart out in front of the buick. i gave my "sorry you're too damn slow but please don't run me over" polite wave. As I give my wave and look at the driver, I realize I had just been mentally cursing a sitting supreme court justice.
"That's Justice AARP to you," I corrected myself. "Bush vs. Gore was decided quicker, she clearly hasn't had this much trouble with right turns before." And off I went on my way.
Lest you start thinking nasty thoughts about the grandmotherly Justice O'Connor, here's a heartwarming story about what she does when not busy plowing down pedestrians in her Buick:
When I was a young child growing up in Arizona, my family had a cabin in idyllic Iron Springs Arizona, a place that at the time had no phone service, minimal electricity, and where television was unheard of. Every summer we would go as often as we could, and the highlight of the place was the fact that Sandra Day O'Connor (this was not long after she was confirmed to the Court) would read the Declaration of Independence on the Fourth of July at the annual picnic at the pavillion.
I have not been to Iron Springs for over ten years (our family sold our cabin), and don't know if she and John plan to spend any time there, but whenever I think of the place, I remember it as somewhere where a
Supreme Court Justice would stand before a group of children and read us Jefferson, just after we had the roast corn and before we retired to ping-pong.