While browsing the C-SPAN archives for interesting vidoes, I ran across a great one from 1989. The video features Tim O’Brien providing a recap of October Term 1988, which happened to be Justice Kennedy’s first year on the Court. I can’t embed the video, but you can find it here.

There are a few interesting takeaways:

  • O’Brien brags, or at least speaks somewhat casually, about leaking the result of five opinions in the years preceding this video. It would be hard to imagine Tony Mauro or Adam Liptak leaking any opinions, and I’m not sure it is something they’d be wise to speak much about.
  • O’Brien speaks at length about Justice Kennedy’s outsized influence on the term and mentions that it may be one of the most significant freshman terms for a Justice in recent memory. He’s right; Justice Kennedy’s first term on the Court established him as a solid conservative vote. They video is titled “Covering the ‘New’ Supreme Court” and O’Brien makes a compelling argument for why he had just witnessed a “new” Court. In one particularly memorable segment, he mentions that liberals would have been no worse off with Justice Bork than with Justice Kennedy.

You can find another interesting video about OT1988 here: a term recap provided by Justice White at the Tenth Circuit Judicial Conference.


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