Judicial Groupies Unite

There are few discoveries more satisfying than those that are slightly offbeat, refreshingly candid, slightly vulgar, and lacking in the arena of political correctness. I love reading news from different perspectives, and this is why I love the Internet. While I was perusing some online publications, I came across my new cyberspace obsession. The New Yorker claimed it was worth checking out, but much to my dismay, I did not have the authorization to do so. While I was previously ignorant of the new trend in American media culture known as “judge-watching,” it is apparently very much in vogue with the legal junkies who frequent websites like the one I was lucky enough to come across during my web meanderings. David Lat: Harvard Undergraduate, Yale Law, followed by a dead end interview with a Supreme Court Justice for a clerkship. He has a career as an assistant U.S prosecutor and is an ardent judge-watching blogger. Thanks to him, those chosen few with passwords can read as many eloquent reviews of Harriet Miers’ retrograde hair as they want. If you were to go to David Lat’s website,, you wouldn’t see his name anywhere, but you would be introduced to a particularly spunky young Ivy League graduate named Article III Groupie (A3G: Article III outlined the institution of a federal judiciary), Lat’s online alter-ego. I was deterred momentarily by my “unauthorized access” status, but decided instead to find more blogs in this subculture, that might comment on Underneath Their Robes. The next blog to pop up was SCOTUS blog, a sound off for those knowledgeable inside jokers who obviously took themselves far more seriously than A3G. But they too were nevertheless intrigued by the mystery of AG3’s identity, and were just as pleased to find out: “The identity of Article III Groupie of Underneath Their Robes is revealed!” Lat has a following in all parts of the legal world, and a call has been sent out to legal professionals across the Internet to join in this sensation. If people like to gossip, why not let them gossip about something pertinent, something like John C. Roberts’ “hunkiness,” or how according to the shrill commentary of A3G, Samuel Alito Jr.’s son classifies as a real “hottie.” Underneath Their Robes also features a glowing piece entitled “Bodacious Bods of the Bench.” While that statement is, in and of itself, highly questionable, it is undeniable that Lat has hit a goldmine of offbeat subject matter. According to the online blog of the American Consitution Society (ACS), Underneath their Robes has the “blogosphere atwitter,” and David Lat is an instant star. Perhaps this newfound glorification will help to compensate for Lat’s admitted, “… status anxiety about not having clerked on the Supreme Court.” He also commented on this spare time marriage of his interests, saying that, “My interest in celebrity has kind of metastasized from the judges to the clerks.” While Lat remains nervous that a judge he might appear before during his day job might come across his more than convincing impression of a bored female twenty something out to make the judiciary’s happenings into the bylines of US magazine, he must also be admired as possessing a certain talent for the good humor which everyone in his field seems to acknowledge. It only takes one gender-confused, slightly-embittered, middle-of-the-road legal achiever to start a revolution for millions of his prototypes across the country, and Lat is most certainly making an impressive showing.