A lot of legal and political pundits continue to speculate about the factors that prompted John Roberts, the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, to cast the 5th vote last week upholding the president's controversial health care reform law.
We, the co-authors of this book, have no special insights about Roberts' decision, but one of the most interesting stories we've ever heard about the chief justice is the role doughnuts played in helping him decide who to hire as clerks when he served on the U.S. Court of Appeals.
According to a 2010 article in the Washington Post, Roberts developed "a self-confidence experiment" in that worked this way. On the day that he interviewed clerk candidates, he brought in a dozen powdered-sugar and glazed Krispy Kreme doughnuts, directing his secretary to tell the applicants to help themselves.
"I figured anybody who had enough self-confidence to pick up a doughnut that's glazed or with powdered sugar would be the sort of person I was interested in," Roberts said. "I even remember saying, 'Anybody who has a doughnut, I'll hire.'"
But by the end of the day, none of the doughnuts were touched. "So I had to go back," Roberts recalled, "and look at their resumes."