This week President Obama announced Elena Kagan as his nominee to the Supreme Court when Justice Stevens retires at the end of this term. So it’s somewhat relevant that 100 years ago this week, the New York Times Magazine ran a profile of the then-current Supreme Court Justices. The angle: Justices of the Supreme Court are just like other people. That is to say, they are not especially interesting.
I have no idea what the general public thought of the Supreme Court in 1910, but I can’t imagine they put the Justices on such a high pedestal that this came as great news to them.
Justice Harlan enjoyed golf and Kentucky history. Justice Holmes could talk vigorously about things that interest him. Justice Moody didn’t get seasick. Justice Day enjoyed basketball. That sort of thing. While I don’t find the content of this article especially interesting, I do find its very existence interesting.
MEMBERS OF THE SUPREME COURT AS HUMAN BEINGS: When Not on the Bench They Are Pretty Much Like Other People — Characteristic Stores About Them (PDF)
From May 15, 1910