My intro to Supreme Courtship was at Book Expo earlier this year. As a matter of fact (for some unknown reason) I ended up with three paper copies.
Two I gave away and one I hung on to. Here is my guilty secret -- I read this book in paper form. Lest you think too badly of me, this is the only book I have read this year in paper form. The upshot is that I loved the book; hated reading in paper!
Seriously, I am a Chris Buckley fan; I loved Thank You for Smoking (both the book and the movie) and Boomsday and expected to like this book as well. I was not disappointed.
You have to admit the very premise is comedic: a "Judge Judy" gets nominated to the Supreme Court and struggles to be taken seriously. Just the idea makes me smile. Anytime you superimpose government and popular culture there are thousands of opportunities to poke fun.
Buckley doesn't hold back much. He makes fun of popular culture, presidential election politics, the supreme court, lobbyists and tv shows. Then, he keeps having fun with other little details like case names (“Miskimin v. Incontinental Airlines”) and some creative with legalese Latin (“per res sciatica”). He even throws in an opinion or two about the Supreme Court’s recent track record.
Some of the best lines are reserved for election politics. The story takes place in an election year with two very lame presidential candidates. To add injury to insult the candidates talking points include all too familiar themes:
- a return to greatness
- a brighter future for all, not just some, Americans
- a pledge to change the way Washington does business
Perhaps it is fair to say that the more things change the more they stay the same.
No matter, in this election year, when all I want is to have the damn thing over with, there were at least a few laughs. That's more than I can say for the current one.
The publisher says:
President of the United States Donald Vanderdamp is having a hell of a time getting his nominees appointed to the Supreme Court. After one nominee is rejected for insufficiently appreciating To Kill A Mockingbird, the president chooses someone so beloved by voters that the Senate won't have the guts to reject her -- Judge Pepper Cartwright, the star of the nation's most popular reality show, Courtroom Six. Will Pepper, a straight-talking Texan, survive a confirmation battle in the Senate? Will becoming one of the most powerful women in the world ruin her love life? And even if she can make it to the Supreme Court, how will she get along with her eight highly skeptical colleagues, including a floundering Chief Justice who, after legalizing gay marriage, learns that his wife has left him for another woman. Soon, Pepper finds herself in the middle of a constitutional crisis, a presidential reelection campaign that the president is determined to lose, and oral arguments of a romantic nature. Supreme Courtship is another classic Christopher Buckley comedy about the Washington institutions most deserving of ridicule.