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View Diary: Pam Karlan for SCOTUS: worth going to the mattresses over (61 comments)

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  •  from her Stanford 2009 Law commencement speech (13+ / 0-)

    So let me say something quite personal. Would I like to be on the Supreme Court? You bet I would. But not enough to have trimmed my sails for half a lifetime. Sure, I’ve done lots of things I regret over the years. But the things I regret aren’t the things that keep someone from being nominated or getting confirmed. I regret being unkind to people I love and respect and admire. I regret getting frustrated by little things. I regret never taking a summer off. I regret not being able to stick to a diet. But I don’t regret taking sides on questions involving the Voting Rights Act. I don’t regret helping to defend the constitutional rights of criminal defendants. I don’t regret litigating cases on behalf of gay people. I don’t even regret being sort of snarky.

    One of the biggest differences between law school and life is this: in school, you always know when the exams are, and get a grade – in your case, as the last Stanford class under the old grading system, an artificially precise grade – a month later. (Or two months. Or three . . . . ) In the real world, though, you won’t always know when you’ve been given a test, and you may not realize until years later whether you passed or failed.

    There’s a well-known book about a high school basketball team called "In These Girls, Hope Is A Muscle." Well, in a lawyer, courage is a muscle. You develop courage by exercising it. Sitting on the fence is not practice for standing  up.

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