Would you be surprised to learn that conservative US Supreme Court justices tend to hire clerks who previously worked for Republican-appointed judges, while liberal US Supreme Court justices tend to hire clerks who previously worked for Democrat-appointed judges?
But what may be startling is the degree to which this is true, according to Adam Liptak at the NY Times.
"Since Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joined the court in 2005, Justice Antonin Scalia has not hired any clerks who had worked for a judge appointed by a Democratic president, and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. has hired only two. At the other end of the ideological spectrum, only four of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s clerks on the Roberts court came from judges appointed by Republicans. The early data on President Obama’s two appointees, Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, show a similar pattern."
The most extreme example comes from Justice Clarence Thomas. "Without exception, the 84 clerks he has chosen over his two decades on the court all first trained with an appeals court judge appointed by a Republican president." "'I won’t hire clerks who have profound disagreements with me,' he said at a luncheon in Dallas a decade ago. 'It’s like trying to train a pig. It wastes your time, and it aggravates the pig.'"
(h/t How Appealing)