Yesterday, as I left court, I held the door open for a man who thanked me, saying I'm "a gentleman and a scholar." "Well, a scholar, at least," I replied and we both laughed. But I was something of a scholar yesterday night. I finally got a chance to read most of the Marriage Cases opinion. (I'll have a digest of it later for those Readers who are interested; you could do much worse as a starting point than Eugene Volokh's nutshell analysis.)
It's been a while since I've given myself the luxury of taking the time for deep scholarly analysis and thought about something. I sat outside in the pleasant evening with the nightbirds singing in the back yard, made myself a martini, and read -- and annotated. I'm about seven-eighths done and now it's time for yardwork, but I'll be finished later today and report what I find. For now (because I'm waiting for enough time to pass that I can respectably run the lawn mower without waking up the neighbors) I'll just report that rather than doing spot research and lots of writing and re-writing -- SOP for law-and-motion guys like me -- it was a profound intellectual pleasure to have real scholarly time; purely for its own intellectual merits and not practically-focused for advocacy, and especially on the most pleasurable subject of Constitutional law.
And the martini was nice, too, despite the inevitable vodka-cramp in my leg this morning.