As I walked through the United States Supreme Court building yesterday in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but think of all the great jurists that served there and all of the monumental cases that have been decided that have shaped our way of American life. I also, unfortunately, could not help but think of all the bloggers and message board posters who pontificate about what the Constitution really says or means, without a clue about the over 200 years of American jurisprudence handed down by our courts. It never ceases to amaze me how many folks believe they know the law, even though most of them have never attended or graduated law school or actually studied Constitutional history. While walking through the building, I came across one of the many policemen securing the building. I asked him where the Chambers were and he sternly informed me with a smirk that the public is NEVER told that. When I asked him where the clerks work, he gave me another smirk and said the exact same thing. When I asked him where the law library was, he said that too was reserved for "members of the Supreme Court Bar." Now I had him. I told him that although I was just John Q. Public, I was a member of the Supreme Court Bar and that if I had time (which I did not), how would I go about finding the library. His demeanor changed instantly and he kinda snapped to attention and informed me that the Clerk of the Court on the third floor would verify my membership and issue me a temporary pass for access to portions of the building. When I thanked him, he relaxed and said he was sorry for being stern, but that was part of his job. I thanked him and told him I was proud of his service and to be a member of the bar. I wonder how many bloggers and message board posters have ever walked the halls of the Supreme Court? Makes me appreciate that I am no arm chair lawyer.
Daniel R. Rubin is an Attorney, Educator, Lecturer and National Award Winning Author. He is a retired adjunct professor of American History who also taught Advanced Placement United States Government and American Politics in Venice, Florida.