I admit it's an odd dream to have on the eve of the mid-term elections. It would have been far more appropriate to imagine I'd been elected to Congress or - on the night the San Francisco Giants won the World Series - that I'd finally fulfilled my dream of becomming a play-by-play announcer. But no. I would dream of wearing that ugliest of fashion statements: the long black robe of a Supreme Court Justice. (did I mention I look lousy in black?)
I'm sure there's the guilt of not being in two places at once. There's an important case before the US Supreme Court Tuesday. It asks the question most of us who puzzle about movie ratings ask: is violence as bad as sex on screen? The case involves a California law that never took effect that would ban the sale of violent video games to kids under 18. Constitutionally, you can keep porn out of the hands of kids. The high court hears arguments about whether violent video games are harmful enough to trump the First Ammendment rights of kids.
I suppose I'm feeling guilty about being here in Los Angeles this week covering the election rather than back in DC, covering the Supreme Court case. (I do have an intern gathering sound, so we will have a story on the air.)
But back to my dream.
I've witnessed Senate Judiciary hearings of two Supreme Court nominees, so I knew the drill - make the rounds of Senate offices for face to face meetings, weeks of preparation at the White House where senior staffers play the parts of the Judiciary Committee members asking questions, a week of actual questions, most involving whatever issue ticks off the Senator most, with my loving husband/parent/sibling/cat? in the audience showing support. There would be conversations about appropriate clothing (bare legs or hose?) and other silly stuff. But I would be ready.
In my dream, I made the first cut because of my writing skills. (nice to know one's ego is with us in our dreams) But there was the Kagan problem: like our newest US Supreme Court Justice, I had no experience on the federal court. Of course, my situation was worse: I'm not a lawyer.
My late mother always wanted me to go to law school. I took one class on the insanity defense and suddenly became aware that the law required massive amounts of careful reading. Yuck. I fled back to the theatre and suggested my mother take up the law.
In my dream, I knew I was no lawyer - and the President knew that as well. I guess he/she wanted a "real person" on the bench. I also knew I didn't have a chance in hell of making it past the Judiciary Committee intact. My memory isn't good enough to recall legal citations for every possible judicial decision questioned by a Senator.
And so I woke up, relieved that today I'd just be following politicians around, asking them questions rather than the other way around.
Of couse, if the President does have another opportunity to select a third Supreme Court nominee, tell him I'm willing to consider it.