I am in New Mexico today to speak at the first conference of the New Mexico Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. The establishment of the chapter is a significant milestone for the New Mexico bar, which only recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of New Mexico’s statehood. The chapter will finally integrate the New Mexico bar into the national association of lawyers practicing in the federal system.
I will have the honor of serving as the conference keynote speaker on Friday. I will be discussing my proposal for the reform of the United States Supreme Court, including an expansion of the Court to 19 members. I proposed this expansion years ago in the belief that the Court is demonstrably too small. As discussed in prior articles, the expansion of the Court would bring it closer to the size of other national courts in other countries and reduce the occurrence of a single justice controlling outcomes on the Court.
I was able to see some of the awesome balloons as part of the annual festival. They are really a sight to see against the clear blue sky of New Mexico. This is an incredibly friendly city. One couple at the airport even told me about their home town of Turley Mill NM. Turley made whiskey in the 1800s but was massacred in the fighting during the upraising over the US takeover of the territory.
My only regret is that I cannot stay to enjoy Albuquerque, New Mexico, but I have to get back to Washington. The greatest challenge was trying to fly here last night while keeping track of the Bears-Giants game. I was able to cheer for the Bears in an airport bar in Chicago, but had to get my connecting flight after the first quarter. The pilot was good enough to let us know the score during the flight.
[By the way, during my travels I occasionally let readers know of a good or bad find in hotels or restaurants. Happily, I usually only report positive finds. However, I thought I would warn people about Hyatt Place hotels. We booked the Hyatt Place Uptown thinking it was a standard Hyatt. It does appear to be part of the chain but it was a nightmare. I arrived a little before midnight. I was given a room next to the elevator that sounded like a helicopter taking off. That did not matter however because next to the bed was a huge air unit that rattled and knocked like a monster truck. My favorite feature however was the light next to the bed. I turned it on only to discover that the switch could not be turned off. Since it was now 1 am, I stayed in the room with the light on and the East German air unit pounding away. This was a room that went for over $200 a night. It would have been better to stay at the airport for night. I am astonished that Hyatt lends its name to the chain, but it is not one that I am likely to encounter again. I just wanted to warn our own travelers to be careful on the confusion with Hyatt hotels.]