A formal code of conduct forbids law clerks from discussing their job duties, a code that some justices have interpreted to extend beyond the clerkship itself. Yet on those few rare occasions when the justices discuss their staffs, they vigorously (if not dismissively) deny that their clerks wield any influence over the decision-making process. Thus we are left with a mystery: If clerks do not exercise undue influence, then why all the fuss and secrecy over their job duties? Such unnecessary concealment only erodes the public's confidence in its government institutions.
Hiding behind the robes
The National Law Journal
August 10, 2009
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