Tooting my (tin) horn

I am going to toot my own horn. Please understand, however, that my horn is tin and I can (and, in any event, should) only produce a weak toot.*

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

Tony Mauro is a Supreme Court correspondent for the The National Law Journal and the Supreme Court Brief. He is a member of the USA TODAY Board of Contributors. He is one of the most highly respected legal journalists in the nation.

Last night, Mr. Mauro posted an opinion piece in USA Today that was very supportive of my blogging efforts (“Kopf’s a voice worth listening to — hopefully for many years to come.”) In addition to being flattered, I took his support as an encouragement to continue my efforts. That support means a lot to me coming from someone with the impeccable reputation, skills and experience of Mr. Mauro.**


*My lab numbers fell very low when they sucked blood from my port on Tuesday. This is not a surprise. My breathing is labored and I walk like the old man I am becoming. That said, I can still toot a little.

**I also feel an increased obligation to do the absolute best job I can.

12 responses

  1. Your Honor,

    My parents had cancer and I observed how tough the treatment, let alone the cancer, is. You will have your bad days and even weeks but eventually you will feel stronger.

    I agree with Mr. Mauro’s article. I have been a lawyer for 20 years, and your blog has been entertaining and informative. The best judges to go before are the ones who are candid and allow me into their thought process. I am a Brooklyn boy at heart and prefer individuals to tell me how it is, rather than keep me guessing.

  2. Judge,

    Speaking as a young (less than 5 years in practice) trial lawyer, your blog is the single most interesting, thought provoking, and useful resource on federal court practice I’m aware of on the internet. I look forward to reading this site every day, and I am heartened that you will continue writing here. Thanks.

  3. I agree with the comments above. Rest when you need to and listen to others when they tell you to slow down or take a break. Your health is the number one priority.

  4. Sir,

    It seems you only felt chastised about your fetish for vulgarity. The bigger point I saw from the Nebraska lawyer who said “Please Stop” on July 7th was that regardless of your language, you feel compelled to make a splash by causing electronically-quotable sensationalism.

    You appear to me to be addicted to public adulation. You seem very full of yourself. You blog because “it lifts my spirits?” Why not write in a private journal in a quiet study somewhere? If that wouldn’t feel the same, then mustn’t you admit it’s not your words themselves, but your sycophants’ slobbering on you that lifts your spirits? You adore their worship of your elitist persona. And your frequent indulgence in direct or thinly-veiled vulgarity reveals that your need for adulation has a bad-boy side, like a rock star.

    In looking for a quote on July 11th to explain your decision to forge ahead, you chose one that paints yourself as a bringer of light. Ever try studying anything about humility, or don’t you have time?

    I don’t like the karma exuded by government figures that view themselves as elitists who are anointed to bless the masses with their beneficent wisdom, rather than viewing themselves as public servants. It’s not healthy for the country.

    I wish you God’s blessings in your health struggles.

    – Jack

  5. Dear Jack,

    Thank you for writing.

    I have considered as best I am able whether my motivation to blog is attention seeking. While I would not be where I am without a strong ego, I am convinced that attention seeking is not my motivation. Of course, you are free to disagree. I am saying only that in good faith I tried to examine my soul on that issue.

    Moreover, I have also considered the “adulation” issue. On this matter, my dear friend, you just don’t know the facts. I have made many decisions that produced scorn and not adulation. For example, I ruled that it was permissible to treat our American flag with disrespect under the First Amendment.. That decision produced no adulation I can assure you.

    Finally, I truly appreciate your kind good wishes regarding my health. Thank you.

    All the best.


  6. I echo Robert, and offer this bit of wisdom from Dizzy Dean, which applies to you: It ain’t braggin’ ef you can do it. Keep blogging, and be proud of that and of your other successes.

    And one bit of wisdom from Winston Churchill: You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.

    Eric Hines

  7. Your Honor,

    I am a 10-year cancer survivor. While undergoing a clinical trial for multiple myeloma I oftentimes listened to inspirational songs.

    One song, “If I Can Help Somebody'” was sung by the great gospel singer Mahalia Jackson.The lyrics are simply, “If I can help somebody as I travel along, if I can help somebody with a word or song, if I can help somebody who’s goin’ wrong, then my living shall not be in vain.”

    Through my long, intense periods of self examination I came to appreciate what was most important in my life, things like my physical health, family and faith. Most other “important” things became stuff that I chose to, or not, engage my precious energy.

    I am a 61-year-old African American male whose life has spanned poverty and rural Virginia to being a 33-year military retiree living in Hawaii with a rare cancer. I have a story to tell and as a self-described grio I do. I am constantly encouraged by the feedback, whether my audience is 1 or 21. My commision is seeing the smile and understanding.

    I appreciate your blog and understand why you choose to continue. Your words offer the uniqueness of years of critical thinking combined with matters close to the heart.

    Best wishes for very good outcomes. Through all of the peaks and valleys remember, every day is a good day when you’re on the green side of the grass. Today is a good day.


    Ralph Rose

  8. Eric – I like a guy who can quote both Dizzy Dean and Winston Churchill. Well done!

    Judge Kopf – take care of your health and keep on blogging!

  9. Ralph,

    Thank you for your very nice comment. Thankfully, classic Hodgkins Lymphoma does not require long infusions. They “push” a lot of the chemo drugs. I lay back close my eyes and drink a glass of orange juice. If I get the right chemo station, the sun will warm my bald head. It’s not bad. On the other hand, I pity the poor folks who go all day five days a week.

    I appreciate the fact that you took the time to write. All the best.


  10. Martin Luther King once said that “the hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.” Keep on blogging, and I will keep on toasting your health.

%d bloggers like this: