Wednesday, March 28, 2012

This Is Why I Could Not Be An Attorney

As I type this, I'm listening to the oral argument in the United States Supreme Court regarding Obamacare.  I've spent a lifetime watching attorneys prepare for oral argument in many courts, including the United States Supreme Court.  They carefully draft their arguments, and tediously prepare their delivery of those arguments.  It is a really good thing that I'm not an attorney because if I spent that much time and effort to prepare, I would appreciate the Court at least giving me a chance to speak.

Mr. Clement is the attorney who is representing 26 states in this mess that is Obamacare litigation.  He has done a remarkable job! I must say that there is a reason I'm not an attorney.  If I were Mr. Clement, I would have thumbed my nose at the Justices and stormed out of the Court in frustration.  He was only a few seconds into his argument before the Justices began interrupting him, and not necessarily with questions, but with attacks.  I want to scream out sometimes, "If you shut up a second, he'll answer your question!"  At least the Justices seemed to be equally rude to opposing counsel, if that's any consolation.

It seems to me that the Justices have their own agenda, and that agenda is to convince their colleagues of their own positions; not to listen to oral arguments.  May I suggest that there is a time and a place for that, and that's not at oral argument?  Oral argument should be reserved (in my humble opinion) for the attorneys to give their final pitch to the Court, and for the Court to ask any questions or clarify any points in the attorneys' briefs.

I have incredible respect for these people, these wonderful attorneys who spend their lives feverishly defending the law and protecting the Constitution--for me.  They have incredible patience--patience with clients, patience with the public who really give them a bad rap, and patience with the Court (who sometimes get a little full of themselves).  Okay, as a layperson, I've said my peace.

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