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In June 1983, I arrived in Judge Roger Robb’s chambers to begin a clerkship on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. But Robb had suffered a stroke. He was gone from chambers for many months. So Judges Robert Bork, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Spottswood Robinson and Antonin Scalia got together and agreed to keep my co-clerk, Terry Ross, and me occupied. They each gave us multiple cases to research, brief and help with their opinions before Judge George MacKinnon returned from a long vacation and “adopted” us until his closest friend on the court, Robb, recovered and returned.


For the summer and early fall of 1983, then, I got the most amazing clerkship ever: a shared time with five legal giants from across the spectrum of the law. And the nicest of these judges was Ginsburg, the sweetest — and smallest — big brain I have ever met.


So, through her long illnesses, I have prayed for her recovery. She was, however, no stranger to deep disagreement or to the need to outline in clear, concise language why one takes the positions they do on matters of law.


The Constitution is our nation’s highest law. It commits to the president the sole power to nominate a justice to the Supreme Court, and I expect President Trump to move rapidly to do just that now that Ginsberg has died — he told me on air on Aug. 11 that he would — and probably from a recent successful circuit court appointee, such as Judge Amy Coney Barrett or Judge Allison Jones Rushing, both of whom could have their full FBI background investigations updated quickly and their records from confirmation brought up for quick distribution.

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