'The Arrogance of Certainty': Trust, Confidentiality, and the Supreme Court
18 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2011
Date Written: August 5, 2011
This article reviews Edward P. Lazarus, Closed Chambers (Time Books 1998). In Closed Chambers, Lazarus recounts stories from his term as a Supreme Court law clerk from the perspectives of what he calls a “journalist-historian” as well as a “participant” and an “eyewitness.’” But it is precisely because Lazarus was a participant and an eyewitness to a number of the events in his book that it is improper for him to act as a “journalist-historian.” As a former law clerk to a United States Supreme Court Justice, Lazarus owes duties to his Justice and to the institution itself. One of those duties is to maintain the Court's confidences. Writing a book about the cases decided during one's time at the Court, as Lazarus has done, constitutes a profound breach of the obligations of a former clerk.
Keywords: Supreme Court, Law Clerks, Book Review
JEL Classification: K41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation