The Talent

April 4, 2012 6:32 PM

No Laughing Matter: SCOTUSblog Cofounder Talks Health Care with Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart

Posted by Brian Baxter

Thomas Goldstein, the former cochair of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld's appellate practice, stopped by The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Tuesday to rate the Obama administration's chances for preserving the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act following three days of historic oral arguments last week before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Goldstein is also the cofounder of SCOTUSblog. The popular Web site dedicated to daily Supreme Court coverage was relaunched late last year with the backing of Bloomberg LP's legal division as its exclusive sponsor.

Having argued 24 cases before the nation's top court—the most recent of which found him on the losing end of this week's 5-to-4 decision involving strip searches for those arrested on minor charges—Goldstein was in front of a somewhat different audience on Stewart's late night satirical news program.

"You know the Justices," Stewart said to Goldstein, setting up several punch lines about the nation's High Court. "You've argued in front of them, I assume partied with them afterwards, done a little bit of 'E' with them, danced . . . I'm sorry."

Goldstein helped guide Stewart and his audience through the nuances of the Supreme Court's mission, its ruling in the strip search case, and his take on how he expects the court's nine justices to rule on the health care cases. (Spoiler alert: Goldstein doesn't think June will be a happy month for those in the Obama camp.)

Goldstein, who left Akin Gump last year due to a client conflict and returned to his former firm Howe & Russell (now Goldstein & Russell), is hardly the first big-firm lawyer to appear on Stewart's show. Bracewell & Giuliani policy resolution practice head Scott Segal, for instance, stopped by Stewart's studio last fall to give the comedian a tutorial on how a bill becomes a law.

The Colbert Report, which follows the Stewart show in Comedy Central's late night comedy block, has  featured its own roster of prominent lawyers, including Boies, Schiller & Flexner founder David Boies, Caplin & Drysdale political law head Trevor Potter, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom media and entertainment litigator Cliff Sloan, and even the host's brother, Kenyon & Kenyon IP partner Edward Colbert.

Goldstein himself did get a bit of extended interview time with Stewart, which Comedy Central put up on its Web site. (Click here and here or see below for video of Goldstein’s discussion with the host.)

Asked by Stewart during the extended interview where viewers could find SCOTUSblog, Goldstein showed off his own comic timing. "It's on the Internet," he replied—without missing a beat.





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