I’m a little disappointed, frankly, that Supreme Court Justice David Souter didn’t tell me personally about his retirement. I mean, come on, our families go way back: My grandmother once saw him in the grocery store.
Oh well, I’m more of a Justice Stephen Breyer fan anyway. I remember several years ago when I spent an afternoon at Justice Breyer’s home in Massachusetts. It was similar to the afternoon I recently spent on Lady Gaga’s roof, except I had been invited.
No, I wasn’t at his house to pitch my idea for a Supreme Court musical. Antonin Scalia dance numbers? Yes, please. I was there producing a rare sit-down interview with the justice. And by producing I mean sniffing his furniture and stealing his ties.
The whole thing was surreal to say the least. To be in the home of one of the most powerful people in America left me almost speechless. It was like meeting Fabio all over again.
Anyway, Justice Breyer was incredibly gracious and went out of his way to make our crew feel welcome. In fact, he even made us coffee. Of course, I don’t drink coffee but I wasn’t about to decline anything from a Supreme Court justice. So I did what any polite guest would have done: I accepted it with profuse thanks and then – when His Honor wasn’t looking – poured it down my pants.
Not surprisingly, it was an incredible interview. Justice Breyer’s breadth of knowledge was staggering. And he didn’t mind when I asked for a break to watch Maury Povich.
Justice Breyer also seemed genuinely interested by my suggestion that the Court open up oral arguments to television cameras. He didn’t say so expressly, but I got the feeling he was excited about the possibility of announcing “and now back to you, Ryan Seacrest.”
By the way, don’t even ask me if I kept the justice’s address and phone number. I will only say that I know whom I’m going to call if I get caught shoplifting Parmesan cheese from Whole Foods.
But in all seriousness, it was an extraordinary experience that I will never forget. Justice Breyer was as kind and thoughtful as one would want in a public servant. And, unlike Henry Kissinger, he didn’t bum money off me for Keno.
So, now the search is underway for a new member of the Supreme Court to replace Justice Souter. I briefly considered putting my name in for consideration but decided not to after learning I wouldn’t be able to wear my Snuggie in lieu of a judicial robe.
What can I say? God save the United States and this Honorable Court.
And my Snuggie.
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