I maintain a running mental list of “people whom I’ve never met, but who I’d buy as many rounds for as they’d let me, if I could just keep them talking where I could listen.”
I think we all have these lists. And for some time now, high on my list has been ace Supreme Court reporter Jan Crawford Greenburg.
So imagine how I felt when I got an e-mail from her on Wednesday, describing herself as a “fan” of this blog, and saying that she was coming to L.A. and wanted to meet me.
As regular readers of this blog know, Greenburg is the author of Supreme Conflict, an excellent book on the Supreme Court focusing on recent nomination battles. I gave it a rave review in this post. But she is also fast establishing herself as the top Supreme Court reporter in the country, supplanting the leftist and dishonest Linda Greenhouse.
So when she told me she reads my blog and wanted to meet me — well, it’s tough to find the words to explain how jarring, bizarre, unexpected, and completely cool that was. I quickly set her straight: if anyone was going to play the role of “fan,” it would be me. Anything else would just be ridiculous. But, of course I would be thrilled to meet her.
And so it was that yesterday evening, Ms. Greenburg and I sat down and had a couple of beers and hung out for upwards of 90 minutes or so. We agreed that what we talked about would not appear on our blogs. But I am not revealing any state secrets when I say that Ms. Greenburg is not only a fascinating person, but also someone who is completely down to earth. She is smart, funny, humble, and doesn’t take herself too seriously. Imagine talking to somebody with a personality like that — who has a regular seat at the Supreme Court, and speaks often with the Justices.
Beldar said of Jack Valenti:
I simply would that I had had a chance to hear him tell his tales unvarnished and in person — for no better reason than because I am a curious student of history, and he was [someone] who was so often . . . within arm’s length of its making.
For those of us who are fans of the Supreme Court, this is an apt description of Ms. Greenburg. She regularly scores exclusive interviews with Supreme Court justices — more so than any other person I can think of. She is constantly on hand when legal history is made, and unlike many of the clowns who cover the Court, she tells it like it is.
And she’s just plain good folks.
I’m always amazed at how blogging creates opportunites to meet impressive people. I don’t understand it, exactly, but I’m not arguing with it.
UPDATE: Check out more of Greenburg’s writing at her blog Legalities.
UPDATE x2: Thanks to Howard Bashman for the link. Glad to see he agrees.
By the way, I’m surprised that nobody noticed the subtle hat-tip I gave in the post about Bill Richardson and his praise of Justice White. Go look at it again. Get it now?
She would have blogged it herself, but she didn’t bring her laptop.