Michael Gaynor
George Maragos' problem with Wendy Long's Supreme Court clerk credential
By Michael Gaynor
April 19, 2012

Don't mess with the Supreme Court clerk credential because you don't have it, Mr. Maragos.

Nassau County Comptroller and Republican U.S. Senate hopeful George Maragos is not a lawyer.

That doesn't disqualify him from running for the U.S. Senate.

BUT...whining about a lawyer rival noting her well earned Supreme Court clerk credential is too much.

Rick Brand of Newsday reported that Maragos has criticized Wendy Long for "using her role as former law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as a credential for office" and "Long did not respond to requests for comment" (www.newsday.com/columnists/rick-brand/maragos-on-senate-run-full-speed-ahead-1.3661350).

Long is already the New York Conservative Party's U.S. Senate nominee and nearly won a majority of the votes at the New York Republican Party convention, while Maragos and freshman split Congressman Bob Turner nearly equally a bit more than half of the vote to become eligible for a primary.

Maragos should clarify whether he thinks it's wrong for any former United States Supreme Court clerk to mention it in his or her campaign biography, or only former clerks of Justice Clarence Thomas, or only female clerks of Justice Thomas, or only Long.

I perused Maragos' long campaign biography to ascertain what he considers credentials that should be called to the voters' attention.

Here are some nuggets from www.maragos4ny.com/about.html:

"George was born in Greece on March 17, 1949 in a small agricultural village. His family immigrated to Montreal, Canada in 1958 where George attended elementary school and completed high school graduating first in his class as valedictorian. He was a star athlete in baseball, football, soccer and hockey.

"Upon graduating from McGill University, George married Angela and went to work for Bell Canada/Bell Northern Research. George was rapidly promoted and became one of the youngest managers in the global technology organization."

"In 1981, George left Booz Allen and joined Chase Manhattan Bank to lead a team charged with building the bank's international data and money transfer network. George received various promotions becoming Vice President. During this time, George pursued a Masters in Business Administration (MBA 1983 in Finance) from Pace University in New York."

Here's the whole campaign biography posted at Long's campaign website (www.wendylongfornewyork.com/about.php):

"Wendy has been a New Yorker for 14 years. She was raised in New Hampshire, where she attended public schools and then was graduated from Dartmouth College. She went to Washington, D.C. during the Reagan years to work in the United States Senate for U.S. Sen. Gordon Humphrey (R-N.H.) and then U.S. Sen. Bill Armstrong (R-Colo.). She studied as a Publius Fellow with the Claremont Institute.

"She attended Northwestern University School of Law and Harvard Law School, receiving her J.D. From Northwestern, where she was an editor of the law review. She served as a law clerk to Judge Ralph K. Winter of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York, and then to Justice Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court of the United States.

"She practiced law with Kirkland & Ellis, LLP, becoming a litigation partner in New York City. She left private practice to build the Judicial Confirmation Network (now the Judicial Crisis Network), to promote public education about the proper role of the judiciary under the American Constitution and to win U.S. Senate confirmation of Supreme Court Justices and other federal judges with a record of judicial restraint and respect for the Constitution, including Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito.

"Wendy lives in Manhattan with her husband, Arthur, where they are raising their two children, Arthur and Mado. She is a member of Governor Mitt Romney's Justice Advisory Committee, teaches Roman Catholic catechism in New York City for the Narnia program, and is in training to become a member of the New York City Parks Mounted Auxiliary Unit."

Maragos is entitled to trumpet what he considers to be his credentials and if a voter wants a candidate who played baseball, football, soccer and hockey in high school in Canada, or was one of the youngest managers in a global technology organization, or received an M.B.A. in Finance from Pace University, then he or she should vote for Maragos.

If a voter wants a constitutional scholar and former Supreme Court law clerk who believes in the limits of government and the possibilities of freedom, then he or she should vote for Long and she should make that voter aware of her Supreme Court clerk credential.

If Maragos has a problem with the Supreme Court clerk credential as such, then it's really odd.

If Maragos was dissing Justice Thomas, he really should not, for more than one reason.

Long is an ardent admirer as well as a former law clerk of Justice Thomas and she doesn't take kindly to those who disrespect him.

In 2007, a couple of years before Maragos ran for public office in Nassau County, Long was supporting the confirmation of Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. in her capacity as general counsel of the Judicial Confirmation Network and Ken Salazar, then a U.S. Senator from Colorado, dissed Justice Thomas.

Long promptly posted this Bench memo, titled "Salazar's Splutterings" (www.nationalreview.com/bench-memos/52720/salazars-splutterings/wendy-long):

"Ken Salazar, who has been completely neutered as a political force by his own scheming, twisting, waffling, and blowing whatever way he wrongly thinks a political wind might be blowing, is obviously frustrated. What would be the metaphor? Neutered cat trapped in corner? Never mind....

"Salazar is stuck. He can't filibuster Judge Alito, because that would be political suicide with the great majority of Colorado voters who, like the great majority of Americans, want senators to do their jobs and vote on judicial nominees. But, unfortunately for him, he chose to make his bed with the extreme liberal left of the Democratic party, and they really, really want Judge Alito to be filibustered.

"What's a two-faced politician with meager intellectual ability to do in such a pickle?

"In a telephone news conference yesterday, in which Salazar was forced to commit not to be part of any Democratic filibuster of Judge Alito, Salazar simultaneously tried to appease the Angry Left he with which he has now cast his lot. He suggested that he might have filibustered Justice Clarence Thomas: 'There are members of the U.S. Supreme Court that I very much disagree with. Clarence Thomas, for example, I think is an abomination when you contrast him to the leadership and principles of someone like Thurgood Marshall. I've been in front of the court and I know the justices.'

"For starters, Ken, it's 'Justice' Thomas to you.

"And we look forward to the day when you publicly agree to a debate about the Constitution with Justice Thomas — or anyone else of his 'leadership and principles,' as you would put it.

"And finally, you have unwittingly admitted it: a judge or Justice is an 'abomination' to you if he or she is someone you 'disagree with.' Like your fellows on the far Left, to you the Courts are just political machines. If they don't bend to your liberal will ... well, they're an abomination!

"Great....keep running on this theme. You and other liberals who insist on politicizing the courts and the confirmation process can run yourselves right into the ground. Your opponents will continue to explain the enduring value of faithfulness to the Constitution and an independent judiciary."

Now Long is "explain[ing] the enduring value of faithfulness to the Constitution and an independent judiciary" as she runs for the United States Senate seat and her Supreme Court clerk credential shows that she really knows what she's talking about.

Don't mess with the Supreme Court clerk credential because you don't have it, Mr. Maragos.

And especially take care to treat Justice Thomas with due respect.

I you want to use an "A" word to describe Justice Thomas, it should be be "awesome."(See Long's "Justice Thomas: Awesome, not Angry" Bench Memo at www.nationalreview.com/bench-memos/51341/justice-thomas-awesome-not-angry/wendy-long).

© Michael Gaynor


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)


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