As you know, I had an unsuccessful journey through the Senate confirmation process. My paper trail as a law professor was, shall we say, a target rich environment . . . .
So what’s the lesson here? Is it that law students and young lawyers should be careful — careful about what you write, careful about what you say, careful about taking a position for fear of losing a future opporunity? Well, let me tell you, I have certainly said things, written things, that I later regretted. I have made mistakes I wish I could erase. We all have. But it would be wrong to conclude that the best way to go about life is to just play it safe.
And that’s why Liu is on the California Supreme Court and Elena Kagan is on the United States Supreme Court.
I think Dawn Johnsen is right:
You know, as my friend Dawn Johnsen, who is here tonight, said — in fact at this very convention two years ago — “no one goes to his grave seeking an eptataph that reads ‘he kept his options open.’”