Saturday, August 20, 2005

Get It?

If the Senators Laugh, It Was a Joke

Stand down, everybody: It was just a lawyer joke.

That's the judgment of Michigan lawyer Aaron Larson, editor of a lawyer-joke Web site, on a controversial aside made 20 years ago by Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr.

Roberts, then a White House lawyer, wrote in a 1985 memo that it was legally acceptable for an administration official to be nominated for an award recognizing her shift from homemaker to lawyer. But, he added, "Some might question whether encouraging homemakers to become lawyers contributes to the common good, but I suppose that is for the judges to decide."

Liberal groups interpreted it as misogynistic. Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women, called it "Neanderthal." Even conservative Phyllis Schlafly tried to excuse Roberts by saying he "hadn't seen a whole lot of life at that point" and has since "learned a lot."

But the White House, and many disinterested observers, said it sounded as if the targets of Roberts's barb were lawyers, not homemakers. Larson, a Michigan lawyer who runs , said this was a quip straight from the too-many-lawyers category of jokes. "That sounds like the type of dark humor a lawyer might make about the profession," he said. "If I got that from nine of 10 lawyers, I'd assume he was making a joke about the profession."

OK, I'll admit I didn't get the joke. (Ahhhhhhh, humour.)

So he wasn't saying that homemakers becoming lawyers wouldn't contribute to the common good. He was, instead, amusing us with the absurd notion that lawyers might contribute even less to the common good than do homemakers. ("As if. Ha")

Oh yeah, that's much less offensive. Thanks for clearing that up, Aaron.


At 8:55 PM, Blogger emily said...

Your blog is great! It's hard to find blogs with good content and people talking about michigan attorneys these days! I have a public michigan attorneys blog if you want to come leave me a comment or two! May I put a link to this blog of yours on mine?


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