Another SCOTUS-ish Dream

November 17th, 2013

For some reason I am back in law school and I had to argue a moot court exercise in some class. I have one of those manilla folders, with four pieces of typed paper on each side, like we were taught to do in law school. Everything is in a very small font. I realize that I have to present next in class. As I’m walking to the podium, I look at the paper and realize, holy crap, I have no idea what the case is. Even though I fully prepared, none of the facts look familiar. I try to stall for a minute to speed read, and wonder if I can just make it up as I go along (I’ve done that before), but realize I can’t. I make up some excuse and the teacher lets me do it another time.

Then later, for some reason, I am in the Supreme Court. The Solicitor General’s Office was given some award for doing something well (I don’t remember what). I am sitting at counsel table when someone else is arguing that some economic regulation is unconstitutional. The Chief Justice asks a question, with a strong tinge of irony: “Counselor, come on, who do you think this regulation benefits? The wealthy, right?” Then for some reason I jump out of my seat, and say “Mr. Chief Justice. It’s exactly the opposite. These economic regulations place the biggest burdens on the poor. They are meant to protect the wealthy.” (I suspect this was triggered by Barnett’s Rosenkranz debate on rent-seeking and judicial review). I don’t remember what happened afterwards, but I’m sure it was “rational.”

Later, someone at the Court told me that the SG didn’t deserve the award, and he published a notice on their web site giving up the prize. I check the SG’s web site and found the news alert. I think the Solicitor General wrote something to the effect of, they were given the award based on an incomplete draft, and because he never finished it, he had to confess error, and give back the award (obviously the SG has never published in a symposium issue of a law review).