– 111 –
ORAL HISTORY OF
JUDGE STANLEY SPORKIN
DECEMBER 14, 2004
This is the sixth interview of the Oral History of Judge Stanley Sporkin as part of the Oral History Project of the D.C. Circuit Historical Society. It is being held by Alexander Bennett on December 14, 2004. The tape and any transcripts made from the tape are confidential and governed by the wishes of Judge Sporkin, which have been made in the form of a written donative instrument.
Mr. Bennett: Judge Sporkin, at previous sessions, we talked about the Keating case, the Microsoft case and the Princz case. We also decided that we would cover several other cases as illustrations of significant decisions you have rendered during your time on the bench. The next case is known as McVeigh v. Cohen,22 which was a case under the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue, policy of the Armed Forces, adopted during the Clinton Administration. I wonder if you could comment on that case.
Judge Sporkin: The case obviously had some important issues in it. What happened was that the Government went beyond its authority when it went after this officer because of his sexual orientation. This case, like so many others, is fact-driven. The facts, when you apply the law, clearly dictated the decision that I reached. The Government had announced its Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. By using deceit in trying to find out whether this individual was gay, the Government clearly did not comport with the spirit behind the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. It was that simple. The facts showed how in an underhanded way Government personnel tried to find out who a person named “boysrch” was. It showed an action that was
22 McVeigh v. Cohen, 983 F. Supp. 215, 996 F. Supp. 59 (D.D.C. 1998).
– 112 –
unfair and clearly something that was not contemplated by the policy. Therefore, I ruled for the plaintiff in that case.
Mr. Bennett: Why did we consider that this was one of the more significant cases worthy of discussion as part of this group that we set aside for that purpose?
Judge Sporkin: I guess only because I think it has had an impact. It is one of the leading cases in the military on the homosexual issue. I do not think I realized at the time that it would have an impact but it is just like so many other cases that you do not realize when one comes up that it is going to be considered a landmark case. Apparently this got a lot of response from a number of different quarters – a fact that I think the Government acknowledged by not appealing the case – that the Government had overstepped its bounds. And the fact that the Government was willing to live with the ruling in the case made it a precedential case.
Mr. Bennett: We also included on our list several cases dealing with the Sentencing Guidelines. I saw just the other day an article in The Wall Street Journal talking about drug cases and the fact, according to the Journal article of December 2 of this year, that more than half of the nation’s federal prisoners are behind bars because of drug violations.23 The article also addresses the difficulty that judges have had in following the Guidelines because the Guidelines involve not just how large a weight of drugs might be in the possession of the defendant but also what the defendant intended to do and what the potential was for further developments. So
23 “In Drug Sentences, Guesswork Often Plays Heavy Role,” The Wall Street Journal, December 2, 2004, p. A-1.
– 113 –
The Wall Street Journal article is somewhat expressing the view that it is very hard truly to achieve uniformity under the Sentencing Guidelines. And in this article the reporters actually quote you and mention several of your early cases.
Judge Sporkin: I was among those judges in the system who thought that these Guidelines were over the top, that they were doing great injustice and harm to many in society and that indeed, in some cases, they understated the extent of the violative conduct. For example, I remember that I had a bank robber before me. He did several bank robberies and I was limited to sentencing that gentleman to seven years in prison. What really disturbed me was that somehow a person who does two bank robberies does not have to spend any additional time in prison than if he had done one. That bothered me a lot. The drug cases, of course, were one of the real stains on our society. I think that, when history rewrites this era, it will be seen that we deprived a lot of people of many years of their liberty unjustifiably. I remember that we had a vote one time among our judges. I think there were fourteen judges voting. I think that thirteen out of the fourteen believed that the Guidelines were a wrong way of dispensing justice. So I was just one of many who believed that. What is now happening is that the Guidelines are being eviscerated by the Supreme Court in sort of a backdoor assault. That really impacted the Guidelines tremendously when juries now have to decide these extenuating factors.24 I would have hoped that the Supreme Court would
24 See Blakely v. Washington, 124 S.Ct. 2531 (2004), ruling that Sentencing Guidelines in the State of Washington, which were similar to federal Sentencing Guidelines, were unconstitutional.
– 114 –
have decided the unfairness of these Guidelines right up front. I thought that the Guidelines violated due process as well as constituting cruel and unusual punishment. We were taking people who were simply drug addicts and putting them in jail for many, many years. The Webb case was one such case.25 Here was a street person. He had no home. He was a drug addict. He would get his drugs simply by transferring the drugs from a dealer to a purchaser. The police, by making multiple purchases from this individual, were able to seek a sentence of I think seven or eight years under the Guidelines. It was just terribly unfair. That was a case that I felt was so unfair that I had hearing upon hearing to how best to deal with this person. He was a Vietnam veteran who clearly needed drug treatment, not imprisonment for eight years. So what I did was somehow worked it so that the sentence would have been approximately four years. The Government appealed the sentence. It went to the Court of Appeals, and the Court of Appeals slammed me for the four-year sentence, claiming that I had wrecked havoc on the judicial system, because, among other things, it required the Court of Appeals to have to write an opinion.26 This insensitivity really does not do the judicial system any good. It forced me to have to write an opinion in which I did respond to the Court of Appeals, telling it that I did not
25 United States v. Webb, 966 F. Supp. 16 (D.D.C. 1997).
26 United States v. Webb, 134 F.3d 403, 408-09 (D.C. Cir. 1998), rev’g 966 F. Supp. 16 (D.D.C. 1997).
– 115 –
appreciate the way they tried to smear me.27 After all, all I was doing was my job. I think that one of the greatest lines I ever wrote came in that case, in which I answered the Court of Appeals statement that, I erred in finding that a sentence for too long a term might invoke due process concerns. The Court of Appeals had found that there was no due process issue at all. I responded by taking off on that famous case in which the Supreme Court threw out a punitive damage claim that had been based upon the fact that an individual had bought a BMW with a botched paint job. The Supreme Court said the facts would not justify the amount of punitive damage awarded in that case.28 The case was decided on substantive due process. My quote was that if the Constitution of the United States can shed a tear for a botched BMW paint job, it certainly should be able to do something for an individual who was going to have to give up eight years of his liberty for some street sales of drugs.29 Under the Guidelines, we were just sentencing people to ungodly amounts of time for nothing more than either addiction or having very minor roles in drug trafficking. Of course if we found a trafficker I would throw the book at them. But many of these cases did not involve traffickers. We had men who would get their girlfriends to carry drugs for them, where the women would get sentenced and their male partners would go free because they did not have the
27 United States v. Webb, 1998 WL 93052 (D.D.C. Feb. 20, 1998).
28 BMW of North America, Inc. v. Gore, 517 U.S. 559 (1996).
29 “If the Constitution of this nation can shed a tear for one accused of botching a BMW paint job, certainly where a liberty interest is at stake — and a defendant faces an unconscionably long sentence for drug-addictive conduct — the Constitution should have no less a role to play.” United States v. Webb, 1998 WL 93052 at *7.
– 116 –
drugs on them. These things I found unconscionable, unsettling, and I thought were wrong. There are many little things I found that were bothersome about the way we were applying both mandatory minimums and the Sentencing Guidelines to deal with this drug problem.
Mr. Bennett: Before the Webb case you mentioned, there were other unreported drug cases that became fairly well known because of unusual steps that you had taken in several cases. For example, I think there was at least one case in which you were troubled by the amount of the particular drug that the defendant was alleged to have had in his possession, and you asked the prosecutor to bring the drugs into court and weigh them. Is that the kind of issue that you found yourself having to confront with these drug cases?
Judge Sporkin: Those were not really the main problem. Those cases were just my own application of common sense. As I was getting ready to sentence someone, I saw the report that showed the amount of drugs would be right above the threshold for a mandatory minimum sentence. I had two cases like that. One involved the case where the drugs were about 5.01 grams. I said to myself, suppose the chemist was wrong – and he measured wrong. And here I am going to have to sentence this person to over five years in prison. So I asked that the drugs be weighed, and of course when drugs came in and were weighed, they came out under 5 grams, at which point the federal prosecutor asked me to take judicial notice that cocaine evaporates. I declined to do that, saying that I cannot take judicial notice of something that my eyes tell me is different.
– 117 –
The second case is one where the measurement came in at something like 50.1 grams. And there, when the drugs came back to be weighed, the weight was actually 46 or 47 grams, which indicated to me that even if evaporation were an issue, this case was not a case involving evaporation. This was something more than that. It bothered me that the Government might be taking advantage of some defendants.
Mr. Bennett: The Sentencing Guidelines were put into effect probably about 1987. I have seen speeches that you made back in those early years of the Guidelines indicating that other federal judges were so dissatisfied with the role that was imposed on them by the Guidelines that some of them even resigned from the bench. A particular case was Judge J. Lawrence Irving in San Diego. He resigned a few years after the Guidelines went into effect. Did you have similar philosophical problems with serving as a judge imposing sentences under the Guidelines?
Judge Sporkin: You have to understand that the toughest thing a judge has to do is take a person’s liberty away from him. That is why I would spend untold hours figuring out what was right and what was wrong in sentencing cases. One of the real problems we had with the Sentencing Guidelines was that a district court judge – who sees the individual face-to-face sentences that individual – can then be reversed by a three-judge panel that never sees that person. I think that could be a constitutional issue. I believe that a person whose liberty is being taken away should have the right to appear before the sentencing judge and have the right to see the sentencing judge and to hear from the sentencing judge. That is not done under
– 118 –
the Sentencing Guidelines. I do not know of anyone who has raised that issue. Although I believe that it is an issue that counsel for affected defendants should pursue. There are other types of sentencing cases that I had. One was the Dyce case, which is one I know you raised.30 That was a case in which the person who was picked up with drugs was pregnant. I think that, by the time I sentenced her, she had had the baby. I just did not feel comfortable in taking away the baby from this woman for the multiple-year sentence that she had to serve under the Guidelines. I tried to arrange a sentence which would defer the imprisonment to a point in time after the baby was able to be weaned from the mother. So I was trying to get a period of time – a year or two – before she was placed in a correctional facility.31 I was disturbed when the Court of Appeals came down and reversed me and said that you cannot treat women any differently than men. 32 She did the crime, she has to do the time, and it is immaterial that she is a mother and gave birth to a kid. We do not take those things into consideration. That of course bothered me. What happened to humanity? Isn’t this a humane issue? Should we not take those things into consideration? What really disturbed me, more than the fact that I was slapped down by the Court of Appeals, was the fact that there were many in the women’s movement who were critical of
30 United States v. Dyce, 874 F. Supp. 1 (D.D.C. 1994), vacated and remanded, 91 F.3d 1462 (D.C. Cir. 1966), 975 F. Supp. 17 (D.D.C. 1997) (order and opinion on remand).
31 The sentence was for 60 months of probation – the first 24-month period of probation in a “Young Mothers’ Program” in New York, where she would reside with her infant, followed by 12 months of probation in a community correction facility or halfway house. 874 F. Supp. 1 (D.D.C. 1994).
32 91 F.3d 1462.
– 119 –
my decision. Feminists thought that I was dead wrong. They agreed with the Court of Appeals that women should not be treated differently. Biologically they are different. There are issues that obviously pertain to women, not to men. So that left me a little dumbfounded.
Mr. Bennett: Of course in that case you did take into account extraordinary family circumstances, as you were allowed to do under the Guidelines. But then the Court of Appeals decided that the extraordinary family circumstances were narrower in scope than what you originally concluded yourself. Then after denial of rehearing en banc in the Court of Appeals,33 the Court remanded the case to you for possible resentencing. And you ended up coming up with the same sentence based not just on family circumstances, but also on some other factors such as the post-conviction rehabilitation of the defendant.
Judge Sporkin: I did not remember that, but what happened was that became the sentence then?
Mr. Bennett: As I read the case, you ended up giving the same sentence after the Court of Appeals had acted. But you did so on somewhat broader grounds, including both extraordinary family circumstances and post-conviction rehabilitation.34 Of course by then several years had passed from the original sentencing, and you could take additional factors into account. That one case at least came back to you and you were able to take these broader issues into account as well.
33 See 91 F.3d 1462.
34 975 F. Supp. 17 (D.D.C. 1997).
– 120 –
Judge Sporkin: Being a judge, especially in the sentencing area, really requires the most incredible amount of patience and feeling. I remember a young lady that had come before me. I think she had five kids, many still in diapers. She was to be sentenced to jail. I looked at the record. Her mother was there and at the time of sentencing. Her mother said, in a plea that was so poignant that you could not dismiss it, “look these kids are in diapers. I’m her mother and I cannot take care of these kids. She is a good mother and she should be with these kids. They love her.” So I think we were able, working with a probation officer to sentence her whereby she was sentenced to one of these homes for women without partners so that she could serve the sentence there and attend to her children. Again this was something that really paid off. She told me she was going to go back to school; she was going to get a degree; she was going to do a lot of other things. And I remember that for a number of years after that she would come back to me every few months and report the progress she was making. She made tremendous progress. She was able to get her degree. She was able to get a good job. She was able to continue to take care of these kids. Those are very satisfying moments. They make you feel that you are accomplishing something. Those are very important moments. I know that some judges treat that kind of stuff as an irritant and just want to get the sentencing over and let somebody else worry about it. I am not that kind of person. I would carry these things with me for long periods of time.
Mr. Bennett: To a large extent we have sort of seen your judicial philosophy, if these are the right words, reflected in your discussion of these cases. Let me go a bit beyond
– 121 –
that, Judge Sporkin, and mention to you an address that you gave at the occasion of the portrait dedication ceremony for Judge Charles Richey, in which you described some of the views of Judge Richey and his approach to the law.35 Do some of those views that you described for Judge Richey apply to you as well?
Judge Sporkin: Absolutely. We were very close in every way. I do not think we ever had a dispute on how to come out in a case. The interesting part is that we were both Republicans. Nobody could say that we were some wild-eyed persons from out of the mainstream. And yet we would see and call cases pretty much the same way. I used a concept in that speech, the concept that many want judges to adhere to a philosophy which I call McGooism. Mr. McGoo was the fellow that you will recall could not see too well and would walk not looking where he was going and would always fall. I always felt that the philosophy that is espoused by many reflects that they really want judges to be McGooists, and be like Mr. McGoo and apply that law and allow it take them over cliffs and what else and never look to see what is the end result. I am not saying that a bad end result is enough to change a decision. I do not think that would be right. What I am saying is that a judge should know what are the consequences of his or her action are likely to be. And then see what can be done to soften or deal with that problem. Judges should not be robots. They must realize what the impact of what they are doing is going to have on society.
35 Remarks of Judge Stanley Sporkin at the Portrait Dedication Ceremony in Honor of the Late Honorable Charles R. Richey, June 13, 1997. These Remarks are included as part of the materials submitted in connection with the transcripts of the Oral History of Judge Stanley Sporkin.
– 122 –
Mr. Bennett: In that speech concerning Judge Richey, you said, “he looked at the law, looked at the end result, and tried to reconcile the two so that justice could be done, all the while never compromising his duty to enforce the law as created by Congress.” And in the speech you also said, “. . . seldom would he be heard to say, ‘I did an unjust act because the law made me do it.’” Is that essentially your philosophy too?
Judge Sporkin: That is absolutely right. You have got to look and see where the equities lie and then see whether the law would justify the person that should win wins. You obviously cannot manufacture law, but you certainly can apply it in the best way you can to do justice. We have a tremendous amount of law on the books. One of the interesting things, when you go to law school, is that you have textbooks which are really nothing but case books. And what the professors try to do is to give you two cases, side by side, based upon pretty much the same facts, but the decisions are different. That is what I remember in law school used to drive us nuts because all we wanted as young lawyers was: what was the law? What the professors were trying to teach us, and I think they succeeded, is there is no such thing as: this is the law. It really is the application of the facts to the legal principles that are involved. When you really look to see what is it that we want our judges to be, it seems to me that when our President appoints a judge to a court, the appointee should be someone who has not only the legal qualifications to be a good judge but also the ability to deal with the law and
– 123 –
apply the law with good common sense, with the interests of the parties in mind, and to do justice. What people sometimes fail to realize is that our federal judges are not only law judges but also equity judges or chancellors. If we remember our history, the Chancellor was a person who would see that justice is done. We had found out that, by just using the law judges, there sometimes is great injustice. So the system had to adapt, and had to provide for a Chancellor. And so we lose sight of that fact when we talk about strict constructions, because under our system of strict construction, it is also the Chancellor who is supposed to apply the law in a way that does justice.
Mr. Bennett: In your speech about Judge Richey, you also mention in a footnote, Judge Sporkin, that Judge Richey found particularly offensive judges being labeled liberals, conservatives, activists or extremists. You also say that Judge Richey defied those labels. Would you say that that footnote applies to you as well?
Judge Sporkin: Absolutely. There is nothing that makes me cringe more than someone says he or she is an activist judge, a conservative judge, or a liberal judge. There is only really one mold for a judge, and that is someone who does justice. And that is what judging is all about.
Mr. Bennett: You retired from the bench after many years of service on the bench and also previous Government service at the SEC and the CIA and actually as a law clerk as well, even before that. What was your reason for deciding to retire from the
– 124 –
bench rather than to go on senior status or some other status that might have been available to you?
Judge Sporkin: I had spent 14 years on the bench. I never practiced law except for one year in the 1960s. I thought that maybe this was a time to do something else. There were some financial considerations because the Government had a rule that would prevent me from obtaining my pension from the civil service until I had retired from the bench. That was not a major consideration but it was a consideration. I tried one year in taking senior status. Two of my former colleagues, Judges Gesell and Richey, shied away from senior status because they thought they were giving up some of the protections that Article III provided for judges. I sort of agreed with that philosophy, and I did not care to be a senior judge. First of all, I was not interested in reducing my caseload by 50 percent. I wanted to be active and I wanted perhaps to try something else. So for all of those considerations, I decided that I would step down and become a lawyer and practice law.
Mr. Bennett: And since that time you have been here at Weil Gotshal?
Judge Sporkin: That is correct. It has been an interesting experience. I very much miss the bench. Perhaps the rule that they have over in Superior Court, which allows a judge to sort of retire and go into the private sector and then come back, if he does it within 18 months, might be a pretty good idea. Maybe just a sabbatical is necessary to recharge and then come back. I have no real regrets. The practice of law has given me the ability to
– 125 –
deal with a lot of different things. I have done a number of public interest tasks. I have done studies for the SEC, the National Association of Securities Dealers, the New York Stock Exchange and even a small one for the New York City Police Department. These have been rewarding experiences for me. It is not the Court and yet I have found ways to find things interesting and to energize myself in private practice.
Mr. Bennett: What do you miss in private practice that you found rewarding as a judge?
Judge Sporkin: One of the problems with private practice is that you are seeing the law being made, whereas as a judge you are able to eat the meal after the law has been made. You are not seeing what goes into making that law. I guess it is almost like going into a restaurant and not seeing the way they are preparing a meal in the kitchen. In private firms, you also see a lot of young people running these firms, perhaps the very people that you found in court were sometimes not really up to it. I guess that it is lack of experience because the intellect is there. I can see how to do something in about 20 seconds. Some lawyers may spend maybe a month or longer trying to come to the same conclusion. In private practice, there sometimes is the frustration of seeing people sort of having to work their way through when the answer is easy. It is almost like when you raise children. You know what the answer is but you want them to work it out themselves. The problem I have with that in private practice is that somebody is paying for that, and it just does not make a lot of sense to have people pay for the education of
– 126 –
lawyers. But it is a good system, and the amazing thing is to see in this firm a bunch of young lawyers running an extremely big operation. I am impressed with the way they can manage and can run such an operation.
Mr. Bennett: Do you ever plan to retire in the conventional sense, that is, to enjoy yourself and go to the beach? Write a book perhaps?
Judge Sporkin: Not yet. As Bob Morgenthau, District Attorney of New York City, said recently he is too old to retire. That observation might make some sense. I want to do something. I feel that as long as I can contribute, I want to be able to contribute. When the point comes when I can no longer contribute, then obviously I will step down and do something else. The real problem of course is that life is like a football game when time is running out. We’ll fight until the last moment.
Mr. Bennett: Do you have any advice, Judge Sporkin, for any active or senior judge who might be thinking about retiring from the bench?
Judge Sporkin: This is not one size fits all. The real point is: do you want a job that is all you are going to be doing your whole life. One of the considerations that I took into account was seeing some of my older colleagues literally die on the bench. The Richeys and the Harold Greens. That was not a good sight. It seems to me that you want to go out, you want people to remember you when you were robust and you were sort of knocking the ball out of the park. The last thing you want people to remember about you is almost being carried on
– 127 –
to the bench. That is not good. Everybody has to make their own decision. A dear friend, Judge Milton Pollack, in New York, who just recently died, was active until he was either 96 or 97. My father was in his 90s when he stepped down. It really is up to the individual.
Mr. Bennett: Judge Sporkin, we are just going to go back a moment and talk a bit about the SEC days. We skipped that period in the chronological history because you have given an interview as part of the SEC Oral History Project. You were interviewed by Irving Pollack, a friend of yours and long-time associate. We are going to refer in this oral history to the place on the internet where those interviews can be found.36 I just wanted to ask essentially one or two things about that time. One relates to Irv Pollack. You mentioned in one of our earlier sessions that you had three great mentors, Bill Casey, Irv Pollack and your father, Judge Maurice Sporkin. We discussed the role that Bill Casey had played in your career and also your father’s role and influence in your life. We only touched on Irv Pollack’s role. I wonder if you would like to add something about that.
36 The Interview of Stanley Sporkin conducted by Irving Pollack on September 23, 2003, appears on the website of the SEC Historical Society (http://www.sechistorical.org). That website also includes an Addendum by Stanley Sporkin to his interview, dated March 24, 2004. In addition, the website of the SEC Historical Society includes a panel discussion on September 25, 2002, entitled “The Roundtable on Enforcement,” in which Judge Sporkin participated, as well as a second panel discussion on October 4, 2001, entitled “The Roundtable of the 1963 SEC Special Study,” in which Judge Sporkin also participated.
– 128 –
Judge Sporkin: Irv was the greatest boss a person could ever have. He was, during most of my 20 years at the Commission, my boss. He taught me so much. First of all, he was, and still is, an extraordinarily brilliant individual. Smart. His ethical principles were second to none. You knew when you dealt with Irv that there was only one way to do it, and that was the right way. You had to consider that in combination with the fact that the right way was also consistent with being a good human being. Some people who pontificate sort of turn you off because they come under the label of “do gooder.” He did not need to talk about doing the right thing, because he was born into it. He automatically did the right thing. That is how good he was. The other thing Irv taught me was the concept of fairness. You have got to be fair with people. I learned that when I was with the SEC. One of the great benefits of being in government was that you could do the right thing. There are many examples of this. If someone you found had been wronged or was innocent, it made me feel just as good proving that person’s innocence as it was in proving that another individual had violated the law. That was the great thing about my 20 years with the SEC – to be able to do the right thing for the right reasons. When I lecture now to the people over there at the SEC, that is the point I want to get across to them. They are servants of the people. They are Government servants and they have a duty and responsibility to serve the public as fairly and honestly as possible.
– 129 –
Mr. Bennett: You still cast a long shadow at the SEC. We know that the SEC has the Stanley Sporkin Award that the SEC grants annually to a significant public servant that year. We know also that you have made many speeches even during the time that you were on the bench about SEC-related subjects. In one of those speeches, way back in 1991, you said, Judge Sporkin, “I still miss those days at the Commission.” Do you still feel the same way?
Judge Sporkin: Oh, yes. I miss my days on the bench. I miss my days at the CIA. I miss my days at the Commission. And I miss my days as a law clerk. I have no regrets. Just as the song says, I did it my way. Everybody practicing law should have had the opportunities that I have had, because they would have had such a tremendous experience. With respect to myself, I was able to have my cake and eat it too. These were tremendous experiences. If I had to go and write a script of how I wanted to spend my life, I could not have written it any better than the way it happened, and I say that as candidly as I possibly can. This has been one great ride. Going from Yale Law School, to clerkship, to the SEC, to the CIA, to the Court and finally wrapping it up – well, maybe not finally wrapping it up – practicing law. I do not know if I will have another career after this. But maybe I’ll start working on it.37
37 Subsequent to the conclusion of the interview of December 14, 2004, Judge Sporkin became Ombudsman for BP America, effective January 1, 2007, and withdrew as a partner in the firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP to accept that position. As Ombudsman, Judge Sporkin is a person to whom employees of BP America may voice complaints or concerns relating to environmental, safety or other issues affecting the oil company anywhere in the United States. In addition to Judge Sporkin’s role as Ombudsman for BP America, Judge Sporkin continues the practice of law as a sole practitioner in Washington, D.C., specializing in mediation, arbitration and consultation on securities issues.
– 130 –
Mr. Bennett: Maybe we should wrap up the oral history with that note. Let me say on behalf of the D.C. Circuit Historical Society, Judge Sporkin, thank you very much for your important remembrances and observations on things during your distinguished career on the bench. It has been a pleasure for me too to have the opportunity to ask you a few questions.
Judge Sporkin: Alex, this has been a wonderful opportunity for me. Everybody used to say to me, why don’t you write a book. You have been so patient with me and so understanding, that I think we might have the book right here. And I do appreciate your taking the time. This has been a very enjoyable experience.
Mr. Bennett: It has been my pleasure, Judge Sporkin. Thank you.
– 111 –