Welcome one, welcome all to the Round 4 Analysis of the Hot Supreme Court Justice Bracket. This round is sponsored by That Prickly Feeling on Your Skin You Get, Right Before a Major Storm, You Know the One, It Signals Something Bad is Absolutely Going to Happen? I feel like it’s been a calm couple of days, but I also feel like I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop, and by the other shoe, I mean my right to an abortion, and by drop, I mean be repealed by the Supreme Court.
Bella: I have to say, the bracket is helping me a little with law school. Recently, my civil procedure professor, the same one who said she couldn’t find a good picture of Alito, referenced two different Supreme Court justices and I realized both of them were justices that were on our bracket and it did help me contextualize at least the time period she was talking about.
I’m stretching a little, but I have to make this bracket count for something!
Isabel: That is wonderful, Bella! I feel certain that knowledge I have gained from this bracket will one day help me answer a winning question in pub trivia. When this happens, I’ll use the $15 gift card I win to buy you both a drink!
Molly: Thanks for the future drink, Isabel! There’s always something to be gained from doing these brackets. Some real research has to go into them and I don’t think it’s completely stretching to say that this project has helped out. Like Isabel said, it’ll for sure help in a trivia setting someday. I look forward to toasting to us all when it happens!
Bella: It gives me great pleasure to release the Final Four. Our semi-finals will be Ruth Bader Ginsburg versus John Roberts and Sandra Day O’Conner versus Sonia Sotomayor. To say this surprised me would be an understatement, but what do you think?
Molly: I’m not that surprised. All the women on the bracket, by virtue of sexism, have pretty modern pictures/looks. They just have an advantage over the other olds in the running (many of whom, again, look like haunted Victorian children).
Isabel: I’m not shocked, honestly. Women are simply nicer to look at than men. The final four being 75% women even though women have made up 3.5% of all justices seems spot on. Additionally, we would be fools to believe that people voted only on objective hotness and weren’t swayed by political leanings and/or desire to have more female representatives on the court. Which… I get it. No judgement, folks. *pun intended*
Bella: Ok everyone, what happened? Who is out here acting like John Roberts is better looking than Thurgood Marshall? This isn’t even a political thing, this exclusively about hotness. Thurgood Marshall? He’s distinguished, regal, powerful. John Roberts is a human version of a twinkie. You all made a huge mistake.
Isabel: I am distracted by Marshall’s wandering eye. I know that sounds cruel, but I say this as a person who had a lazy eye in youth, and really, it isn’t hot. Additionally, I think age is an issue. Marshall was better looking in his younger years (though, aren’t we all?). It’s a tough round.
Molly: I have to agree with Bella on this. I’m not saying John Roberts is unfortunate looking, just that I think Thurgood Marshall is objectively better-looking. He has a certain gravitas that I just don’t see in this picture of Roberts. Hard to say where the voters went wrong here. (Interesting to note that Thurgood Marshall also has both glasses and a moustache, which early on the bracket gave a lot of the Justices an advantage.)
Bella: I thought he was a shoe in! I thought Thurgood Marshall was the obvious choice!
I also have to say, I’m a little surprised we saw Ruth Bader Ginsburg winning over William Douglas. I think people are a little too in love with Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s policies they’re forgetting what this is really about. Which is hotness. I know I keep saying it, but if I, the most partisan person alive, can look past policies to see hotness, the rest of you can too. What do you two think? Was it an understandable choice of the masses to advance Ruth yet again? Or do we need justice for William?
Isabel: I will openly vote for RBG for everything, deserved or not. Top Chef? RBG. Supporting Actor Oscar? RBG. Class clown? RBG. She gets my “Survivor” vote as well. I’m not sorry.
Molly: I think Isabel’s onto something here. I also have been shocked at several outcomes during this bracket where I feel that people didn’t respect the spirit of the Hotness bracket, BUT I would vote RBG on anything, ever. So I can’t fault people for making that choice as well, even though William O. Douglas was probably the best discovery to come out of this bracket. He did admirably for someone I had no idea existed a few weeks ago.
Bella: We also saw Sandra Day O’Conner winning over Neil Gorsuch. Another big surprise! How did John Roberts win but Neil Gorsuch lose? I’m surprised at how hot people think Sandra is! I mean, I think she’s hot, but as has been made clear to me throughout these brackets, my opinions on hotness are far from universal. This feels like validation of my opinions. Maybe I was right, and Ted was the hottest Kennedy all along.
Molly: This was a surprise to me as well. The margins on her wins have been pretty high this whole time, making her an unexpected crowd favorite. Unexpected being the key word here, Bella. Because your hotness experiences are not universal and, more importantly, Ted is not the hottest Kennedy.
Isabel: Again, women are hotter. But I do think if Gorsuch had been up against Roberts he would’ve made the final four. Ted was not the hottest Kennedy.
Molly: I agree, if Gorsuch had been up against Roberts he would’ve made it to the final four. More’s the pity.
Bella: Sonia Sotomayor was a pretty obvious win. Louis Brandeis is a great guy, but he certainly isn’t hot. Not compared to Sonia, a talented lawyer in the prime of her life.
I don’t have a lot more to say about this, but I did recently learn about one of our past justices, James Clark McReynolds, currently #51 in our 64 justice hotness ranking. Turns out, McReynolds was a vicious anti-Semite, who refused to speak to Louis Brandeis for the first three years after Brandeis joined the court, and would leave the conference room whenever Brandeis spoke. When Cardozo joined the court, McReynolds would pointedly cover his face when Cardozo was delivering an opinion and according to one of Cardozo’s clerks, never spoke directly to Cardozo the whole time Cardozo was on the court. McReynolds would also leave the room whenever female lawyers came to argue before the court and according to one author would not accept “Jews, drinkers, blacks, women, smokers, married or engaged individuals" as law clerks. Thank God he didn’t win, am I right?
Molly: You are right! He sounds awful! And confusing - what’s he got against married or engaged individuals? But I was AMAZED that Brandeis made it as far as he did. He had no shot against Sotomayor, who I think has a real chance at the win. I’m betting on a RBG/Sotomayor match up for the finals and then we’ll really see how people throw down. What an exciting time!
Isabel: I call BS on any lawyer who claims to not accept drinkers or smokers. Not many straight edge lawyers out there. He sounds like a terrible coworker as well as person.
Bella: Well that’s all I have for this week everyone! Law school is a challenge and I fear I’m becoming less funny and less able to handle this bracket, but we’re in the home stretch, and I’m not about to stop now!