Today was Day #4 of our Washington D.C. research trip. I do not think I have ever been this mentally exhausted ever in my life. At the same time, however, I wish I could spend more time at the Library of Congress. Every afternoon the librarians ring a bell at 4:45pm to alert us that we have fifteen minutes to pack up and get out. Though my time in D.C. is not over yet, I always feel like I could use a couple more hours of research at the library. I have spent the majority of my time in Justice Brennan’s papers and have found some fascinating information. It is one thing to read the opinions in a textbook, but to actually have the real drafts with handwritten comments of these justices is amazing. I can’t believe I only have two more days of research. Despite my exhaustion, this experience has definitely been worth it.
On another note, today we took a little field trip to the Supreme Court. It was such an awesome experience. Our docent took us into the Courtroom and we got to sit where the Supreme Court Bar members sit, which is basically front row right in front of the Justices’ benches and the Court’s clerk seat. It was so cool! I was so amazed at how tall the podium for oral argument was, I could barely reach the microphones. Huge props to all the attorneys who go up there, I bet it is extremely intimidating. We also got to talk with the Court’s Clerk, it was very interesting. He must be drowning in work so I was very grateful that we were able to sit down and talk to him. The whole experience was great. We also got to walk around and look at the statues, portraits, and even had the opportunity shop around the little gift shop. I purchased a gavel pen which I plan on using to take notes in Professor Kobylka’s class. I feel like it will inspire me to take more “official” notes. As we were walking around, I also spotted a portrait of my favorite Supreme Court Justice, the late Justice Scalia. Even though we may not have been on the same page on all of his opinions, he is definitely one of the most entertaining justices to read on paper. I can’t even imagine what it would have been like to meet him in person.