'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

Drahozal, Christopher R., 'The Arrogance of Certainty': Trust, Confidentiality, and the Supreme Court (August 5, 2011). Kansas Law Review, Vol. 47, No. 1, 1998. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1905724 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1905724

Christopher R. Drahozal (Contact Author)

University of Kansas School of Law ( email )

Green Hall
1535 W. 15th Street
Lawrence, KS 66045-7577
United States
785-864-9239 (Phone)
785-864-5054 (Fax)

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