This December, the University of Virginia Press will publish a new collection of essays on Supreme Court law clerks, edited by Visiting Professor Todd Peppers. The title of the book is “Of Courtiers and Kings: More Stories of Supreme Court Law Clerks and their Justices,” and was co-edited by Peppers and Clare Cushman, Director of Publications at the Supreme Court Historical Society, with a foreword by retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.
The essays are by a “who’s who” of the legal professional, from prominent Supreme Court litigator Carter Phillips, Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow and law professor Norman Dorsen to former White House Counsel Abner Mikva, Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III, and Mimi Clark Gronlund, daughter of former Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark. Peppers himself has contributed essays on Chief Justice William Howard Taft and his clerks as well as Justice Hugo Black and his clerks. He also co-wrote an essay on Abe Fortas and his clerks with Bridget Tainer-Parkins ’09L.
In praising the book, J. Harvie Wilkinson III, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit said, “Nobody knows more about Supreme Court clerkships than Todd Peppers. Nobody has a better bird’s-eye view of the Supreme Court than Clare Cushman. All the essays in this book go to show why Supreme Court clerks play an important and intriguing role in the judicial process.”
Peppers writes extensively on the Supreme Court justices and their clerks. This fall he published an article in the National Law Journal’s Supreme Court Brief titled “Why Justice Alito Jumped Out of the Pool,” which explored why Alito does not rely on cert. pool memos written by law clerks in other chambers in deciding which cert. petitions to grant or deny. He also published an article in the Supreme Court Insider, also published by the National Law Journal, titled “Of Potted Plants and Popes.” The article examined why specific Supreme Court justices (like Antonin Scalia) declined to attend the Pope’s speech before a joint session of Congress.
A recent symposium on law clerks organized by Peppers and a colleague at Marquette Law School was featured in that law school’s magazine. That article is available online (PDF format).