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President Donald Vanderdamp is having a hell of a time getting his nominees onto 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 nerve to reject her--Judge Pepper Cartwright, star of the nation's most popular reality show. Will Pepper, a vivacious Texan, survive a Senate confirmation battle? Will becoming one of the most powerful women in the world ruin her love life? 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.
Somewhere in this brilliant, hilarious, impossible-to-put-down--to say nothing of moderately priced--new book of mine, the narrator notes that appointing a Supreme Court justice is pretty much the most consequential thing a president can do, short of declaring nuclear war; more to the point, that this fact is generally pointed out every four years by whoever is running second in the presidential election.
The Supreme Court is by any definition the most important branch of government. Who else has the power to say--without fear of being contradicted by someone higher up the food chain--"Congratulations, you just won the presidential election, even though the other guy got more votes!" Or, "We really feel awful about this, but you have to be lethally injected tonight at midnight."? If you're on the Supreme Court, you are the top of the food chain.
I've written satires about other Washington institutions. It never occurred to me to try one about the Supreme Court, for the reason that I never found it particularly funny. It was my editor, Jonathan Karp, who suggested it, and if the book turns out to be a stinkeroo and bombs, I am going to petition the Court to have him lethally injected.
At some point, while scratching my noggin and trying to come up with some way into a satire about the Marble Palace, I scribbled on a legal pad (how appropriate is that?): Judge Judy on the Court.
I called Karp and ran it past him. He laughed, which I always take as a good sign, since he doesn't laugh at 99 out of 100 of my genius ideas.
My Judge Judy is a sexy Texan named Pepper Cartwright. She was an actual judge before she became a TV hottie. How, you ask, did she get on the Court in the first place? Well, it all starts on page one where--did I mention how moderately priced the book is?
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