There was much buzz about Robert Yablon, a senior associate, who argued United States v. Davila before the Court on Monday. But he made one HUGE slipup. He referred to Justice Kagan as Justice Sotomayor! What makes that even more embarrassing–he clerked for Justice Sotomayor AND Justice Ginsburg.
JUSTICE KAGAN: Well, Mr. Yablon, have we ever said that about the violation of a rule of criminal procedure, that it’s structural error no matter what the circumstances
MR. YABLON: First, Justice Sotomayor, this Court has said that rules of criminal — I’m so, sorry —
JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: That’s not the first time that has happened.
MR. YABLON: And I should be —
JUSTICE KAGAN: You worked for her, too, I think.
MR. YABLON: That makes it that much more embarrassing. She used to sit over there.
Of course, Justice Sotomayor used to sit in the rookie seat at the right end of the bench. The podium is so close to the bench, that it is sometimes difficult to see all 9 Justices. Perhaps he just went based on where the sound was coming from? Sotomayor now sits on the opposite side of the bench, closest to the press.
So, so awkward. At least he didn’t call Justice Kagan Justice O’Connor.