Justice Scalia and Tom Brady

This from the New York Times on Justice Scalia’s response to a law student who had a question about becoming a Supreme Court clerk:

But then he turned to a discussion of the student’s chances of obtaining the ultimate credential in American law, a clerkship with a Supreme Court justice. Not good, he said.

“By and large,” he said, “I’m going to be picking from the law schools that basically are the hardest to get into. They admit the best and the brightest, and they may not teach very well, but you can’t make a sow’s ear out of a silk purse. If they come in the best and the brightest, they’re probably going to leave the best and the brightest, O.K.?”

I really love the “O.K.?” at the end.

I would like to see General Manager Antonin Scalia in action. “Tom Brady, I know you just won the Super Bowl, but you were picked in the sixth round. See this blue blood here, Drew Bledsoe. He was the first pick of the entire draft. Go find a seat.” Or for one more near and dear to Baltimore Ravens fans: “Joe Flacco, you went to the University of Delaware. You failed in college at Pittsburgh. Do you really think you will play a down in the NFL? Get our first-round draft choice, Kyle Boller, back in here.”

The notion that the questioner, who went to American University (the 45th best law school in the country according to U.S. News & World Report), should not even have a chance of being a Supreme Court clerk is just plain silly.

I think Justice Scalia loves his high profile and feels an Allen Iverson-esque desire to “keep it real” and speak honestly. I commend him in many respects for the latter, but I think he also has an obligation to think about who he is and what he is saying.