Another riff on my lack of an Article III toilet

A highly regarded Lincoln trial lawyer wrote me a note yesterday. She told me that I ought to rethink my constant bitching about the fact that I don’t have my own Article III toilet.  She pointed me to this article, and photo, in the ABA Journal, entitled Exploding courthouse toilet is blamed on recalled product. Because I continue my sophomoric view of the world, I just loved the idea of an exploding toilet in some state courthouse. It gave me the opportunity to write about “shit” without using the word.

However, I realized that if I were not careful, I might further a misimpression. Sadly, and like many others, my correspondent failed to recognize that federal Article III toilets, including the entire bathroom, are made of gold and not cheap porcelain like the one used in the Montana courthouse that is the subject of the article.  This is a common error made by mere trial lawyers who never have the opportunity to see (or use) what stimulus spending can do when put to proper use. What a shame.

Here is a pretty close approximation of what I am missing (and what I am entitled to):

Photo credit: Mike Clarke / AFP / Getty Images and Time.  See,28804,2016258_2016259_2016264,00.html

Photo credit: Mike Clarke / AFP / Getty Images and Time. See here.

No, Jeanelle, I shall not stop complaining. If I have to I will play the C (cancer) card. I hope it doesn’t come to that. But the Administrative Office of the United States Courts in Washington is herewith warned.


10 responses

  1. Judge:
    Why stop at gold toilets? I believe that Article III judges, as befits their special status, should all be treated like a modern day version of King Farouk. That is, they should be CARRIED from place to place rather then be allowed to walk. Whaddya’ say? Are your clerks up for it?

  2. RGK,
    I’m glad you’re back with us. I missed this sort of steaming intellectual discussion.

  3. Of course federal Article III judges should have their own johns. Admiral Daniel Gallery wrote at length at the toilet he had when he was in command in Iceland at the beginning of WWII. It had indirect lighting, a close at hand rack for reading material and the seat was covered with ermine. He also had a toilet cut in half labeled for his half-ass friends. And there were two relief tubes, one labeled Berlin and the other Tokyo.
    I don’t see why a military officer should have fancier facilities than an Article III judge.

  4. Robert,

    Sadly, I have career law clerks who are old and broken down. In the past, when I have suggested a similar sort of a thing, they have complained about their backs. I do think however that I might use some of the US Marshals. I like the idea of a Praetorian Guard carrying me into the courtroom on a gilded sofa. All the best.

    All the best.


  5. Tom,

    I can see, once again, that your are a right thinking gentleman. Thank you for recognizing that like Generals, rank has its privileges for Judges as well. What federal judges really need is a legion of sycophants just like the ancient Greeks. We who have ascended the federal trial bench both literally and figuratively require the adoration of all those who come before us if we are to maintain are proper positions as all knowing philosopher kings.

    All the best.


  6. You need to file a complaint under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act, seeking a reasonable accommodation. It may take 10 years or so, but it’ll work eventually.

  7. Anon,

    I don’t want no damn reasonable accommodation! I want my gold Article III toilet.

    All the best.


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