So, I started a new job earlier this year (which is part of the reason why I have not been around the Nation as much lately as I’d like to be.) I mention this only to set the stage for an anecdote I’ve been meaning to share.

Anyway, if you’ve been a Loyal Citizen of the Nation for any length of time, you probably know my day job (though that page needs to be updated, I guess). Earlier this year, I was nominated by the state legislature to be elevated to a higher court. I dunno, maybe they couldn’t find a qualified candidate, but my name got in the mix somehow.

In our state, judges aren’t elected; they are appointed by the legislature. Therefore, back in April, I had to appear before the Justice committees of each house of the state legislature to be peppered with questions under oath. I’d been through this process back in 2007 when I was originally appointed, so I had a pretty good idea about how things were going to go. Also, I was a unanimous nominee of our local delegation (which includes members from both political parties), so I wasn’t expecting to be treated very harshly.

I was one of the first candidates to appear before the Senate committee that morning. The first question was relatively routine, and I was happy with the answer I gave. After my answer, however, one particular Senator leaned forward and glared at me. He didn’t speak for a moment, and the silence was deafening. I could feel a drop of perspiration working its way down my forehead.

Finally, he spoke.

“Judge Dotson, if we were to elevate you to the Circuit bench, would you have the time to continue writing at Redleg Nation?”

That’s right: the second question I was asked was about the Nation. And the third question I was asked was also about the Reds, in relation to a recent post here at RN. Turns out, we have a hardcore Cincinnati Reds fan on that Senate committee who enjoyed telling me about his first Opening Day experience in the Queen City.

I don’t even remember how I answered, but the tension certainly vanished at that point. Later, I was asked specific questions about particular points of law, and about a recent decision by the state supreme court. For a couple of minutes, however, we discussed the Redlegs during a session of oldest legislative body in the Western Hemisphere.

Fortunately, there were no Cardinals fans in the chamber; I was elected unanimously.

Feel free to use this as an open thread to discuss whatever you’d like.