Elena Kagan and Samuel Alito have… very different takes on judicial ethics and what Congress’s role is in all of it. Plus, Lindsey Graham has a change of heart about a federal judge because it’s politically expeditious. And a deep dive into starting salaries for attorneys.
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Kathryn Rubino: Hello.
Joe Patrice: Welcome to another edition of Thinking Like a Lawyer. I am Joe Patrice from Above the Law. I am joined by Kathryn Rubino and Chris Williams too and we are here to talk a little bit out our last week of big stories in the legal universe as per our the point of this week we show.
Kathryn Rubino: As per yuge.
Joe Patrice: Yeah I was going to do that and then I was like am I the kind of guy who goes yuge.
Chris Williams: Yes.
Kathryn Rubino: What kind of guy is that?
Joe Patrice: I don’t know. I just farmed it out to you. So now I don’t have to do that.
Kathryn Rubino: So I’m that guy.
Joe Patrice: Now I don’t, yeah, no, you are, yeah.
Kathryn Rubino: Okay, okay, we’re going to just leave that there.
Joe Patrice: All right.
Kathryn Rubino: And let’s start with your favorite part of the podcast and mine.
Joe Patrice: Yeah.
Kathryn Rubino: Oh and yours.
Joe Patrice: So yeah, let’s have a little bit of small talk here.
Kathryn Rubino: Yeah. It’s like, I don’t know if you listen to the podcast in your absence Joe.
Joe Patrice: Obviously.
Kathryn Rubino: I just did the sound myself.
Joe Patrice: Yeah.
Kathryn Rubino: Welcome back Joe.
Joe Patrice: I am back and yeah, here we go.
Kathryn Rubino: Welcome back to the show, it’s good to have you. It reminded me in your absence how much I enjoy making fun of you on the podcast.
Joe Patrice: Oh is it then?
Kathryn Rubino: It did. It did.
Joe Patrice: So yeah, it seems as though nothing really happened while I was gone. The legal world was entirely, really slow especially crim Law like nothing happened.
Kathryn Rubino: Nothing happened really. I can’t think of – cannot think of any series of major cases that have happened at all.
Joe Patrice: Yeah.
Kathryn Rubino: It’s really weird.
Joe Patrice: So yeah, somebody who’s off coming back it’s been great to catch up.
Kathryn Rubino: Did anybody do anything fun over the last couple of days? This is small talk not legal talk, so we got to have something like personal so people know who we are as humans.
Chris Williams: Well my weekend was interesting.
Kathryn Rubino: What did you do?
Chris Williams: Well this will be like a duh moment for Kathryn. It might be a shocking moment of her Joe but apparently, Taylor Swift is out here. The Taylor Swift has fans unexpected ones too. So I got in a lift to head back home and you know, just some black dude had like a silver bracelet on. Looks like you could fight well, and I noticed that there was a Taylor Swift song playing on the radio. And I was like okay, you play a Taylor and he was like oh yeah, probably knows about Tay Tay so.
Kathryn Rubino: I mean one of the best parts of TikTok is people that you would not necessarily expect to be Taylor Swift, listening to Taylor Swift for the first time and then they get, they become Swifties in their own, right because she’s legit. Let’s not kid ourselves.
Chris Williams: Yeah, it was funny. He was, so I wanted to like I was thinking fun of somebody like embraces their goofiness whatever. And I’m just outside of looking and Taylor Swift is goofy like getting changed in broom closet, so people see your outfits. That’s Harry Potter mask.
Kathryn Rubino: I mean, I think she freed up admits that she’s goofy. Like she says, like, I will never be cool. Like I am fundamentally uncool, that’s why I am just really enthusiastic about what I do and people like it. I think that’s part of her lure.
Chris Williams: Yeah, but so, how was he does music and he was listening to some Taylor Swift song so he was like, oh, her layering is fantastic, the sound work is great. Now the only thing — the only part of music that I do is listening to stuff that comes out of iTunes but I’m assuming good layering is nice because I’m assuming that’s preferable to bad layering so shout-out to Taylor and I just couldn’t get over Tay Tay being a nickname and I was like, Tay Tay, he’s like, oh yeah, one of my white customers got in, she was like yeah keep playing Tay Tay, so it was fun time.
Kathryn Rubino: I am enjoying you becoming — we’re going to make you a Taylor Swift fan before this is all said and done Chris just wait for her. Joe, I think you count as a Taylor Swift song, you’ve written stories.
Joe Patrice: I did write one story that was very Taylor Swift heavy.
Kathryn Rubino: And you made lots of references that you just, you made off the top of your own head. So there you go. I think it counts.
Joe Patrice: I’m part of the culture, I can’t avoid these things.
Kathryn Rubino: The cultures, that’s true. Some of it is very much inevitable.
Chris Williams: I think once you write a tailored Taylor Swift article for Above the Law, you have to, you can’t play the not a Swifty card, you’re in the group now, sorry.
Joe Patrice: It was issue of jury duty and some prospective juror basically said, I have tickets to the concert so I am not going to be here.
Kathryn Rubino: First of all that is not even a concert of cultural event, so correct.
Joe Patrice: Okay fair enough. Anyway and so I wrote the article about this issue and explained to the non savvy how jury duty works and how this person probably could get a deferral and how that will work out fine for them. Just you got to be up front about it, yada yada, but I littered it with Taylor Swift references, kind of on this on the sly so I thought that was –
Kathryn Rubino: It was not sly, it was incredibly obvious. I mean in a cute way.
Chris Williams: Joe only loves Taylor Swift if it’s torture, don’t say I didn’t, I didn’t word that.
Joe Patrice: Yeah.
Kathryn Rubino: See, you’re coming around Chris. You’re going to get there, we’re going to make it happen, we’re going to make it happen.
Joe Patrice: Okay. I am going to shake off small talk.
Kathryn Rubino: I love that I’m the only one who hasn’t made a Taylor lyric reference in that segment.
Joe Patrice: So you’re the problem.
Kathryn Rubino: Hi, it’s me.
Joe Patrice: Yeah. All right, so what are we talking about today?
Kathryn Rubino: We have lots of things to talk about, you kind of alluded to the fact that Donald Trump has been indicted.
Joe Patrice: Oh, really?
Kathryn Rubino: Yeah, yeah.
Joe Patrice: I mean didn’t that happen already?
Kathryn Rubino: It did. This is third time’s a charm. The third time’s a charm.
Joe Patrice: Oh okay. I am getting confused.
Kathryn Rubino: You should.
Joe Patrice: You see most people don’t get indicted multiple times in front of multiple different jurisdiction.
Kathryn Rubino: In the summer, yeah. It is kind of unique regardless even if you weren’t the former president of United States, that would probably be pretty unique anyway. Yeah but you might have heard he was indicted on four counts related to the January 6 attempted coup and there was a judge assigned in the case, Tanya Chutkan which, you know, great, great news, very well-respected judge, D.C. Circuit, yada yada yada.
Joe Patrice: District, yeah.
Kathryn Rubino: Yes. I’m sorry. Yes, it’s District Court. It’s always weird I think when there’s a district for the District of Columbia when you have to like write that out. Like when I was writing a story about her, she’s like a district court judge for the District of Columbia. I don’t know. It seems weird to put the same word twice for two slightly different meanings.
Joe Patrice: The DDC.
Kathryn Rubino: The DDC. Yeah, writing that seems less weird than writing out right to me. Anyway so Tanya Chutkan was assigned and because it is not —
Joe Patrice: I mean this is obviously a very qualified judge so I assume there was no complaints from either side about this and everyone accepted this very calmly.
Kathryn Rubino: It’s almost like you know, where I’m going with this story.
Joe Patrice: Okay.
Kathryn Rubino: Lindsey Graham came out complaining about her bio said that the judge of this hates Trump. You can’t convicted Trump of kidnapping Lindbergh’s baby in D.C. and obviously pushing for a venue change, which LOL that is hilarious because let’s not forget that Trump Judge Aileen Cannon is also in the mix, doing the other – or one of the other indictments.
Joe Patrice: And it’s worth noting why? Why both cases are where they are, right. There’s a reason why Aileen Cannon has one of the cases and why Tanya Chutkan has the other, which is the Department of Justice is bringing these cases where criminal conduct happened. The document that — the classified documents that Trump allegedly made his lawyers lie to the Department of Justice about having returned happened in Florida. So that’s there.
The, let’s try to coordinate an effort to stop to have fake electors and stop the counting of the Electoral College happened in D.C. So the case is there. If you don’t like the idea of being in front of a D.C. jury pool, my suggestion would be don’t commit crimes in D.C.
Kathryn Rubino: Sure, sure, yeah.
Chris Williams: I am sorry Joe, I’ll have to interrupt you here. The real reason is because the anarchist socialist demoncrats are corrupt.
Joe Patrice: Well that’s the thing. I don’t quite understand because the coup was run by Antifa, right. Like I didn’t –
Chris Williams: No, no, no.
Joe Patrice: It was okay, yeah I don’t know.
Chris Williams: We ignore that. We ignore that one.
Joe Patrice: If that was – yeah so yeah, so don’t commit crimes in the place.
Kathryn Rubino: Right and both Lindsey Graham and actually Ted Cruz also joined in saying that Judge Chutkan is relentlessly hostile to the former president which to be expected I suppose that when the case appears to be a very solid case, you should attach the process if that’s your bag. But the really fun little twist is that both Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz voted to confirm Chutkan.
Joe Patrice: Right. Okay, this is not actually a judge who was particularly controversy.
Kathryn Rubino: Right.
Joe Patrice: This was a very straight up nomination in the first place and it is a very straight up judge today having sat on the court now for a while.
Kathryn Rubino: Yeah.
Joe Patrice: Yeah. Honestly the complaints about the judge make very little sense to me and Trump too has felt like we’re going to come after you stuff in all of this makes no sense.
Kathryn Rubino: I mean it’s coated, right.
Joe Patrice: Right. Well, sure but it just — it really underlines how problematic this person is as a client, making enemies of these folks out of the gate especially because the judge is not particularly relevant to how this is going to play out, right. Like there’s not a ton of great procedural arguments that they’re going to have to get out of having this trial and I can’t say like oh we were illegally wiretapped or anything, right like that is just not how this case is set up.
Kathryn Rubino: Yeah.
Joe Patrice: So the judge’s role is much more constrained. So, look, I get —
Kathryn Rubino: It’s about tainting the process for –
Joe Patrice: Exactly.
Kathryn Rubino: Yes, and I mean, listen, Tanya Chutkan was confirmed unanimously. It was 95-0, right, five people didn’t vote. This is not a controversial judge, this is not a — this shouldn’t be and there the process is not tainted but in order to make the case that Donald Trump needs to make to his supporters that is the way they’re doing this. Because his only out really realistically is to just win the presidency and absolve and pardon himself.
Joe Patrice: Sure. Yeah, it’s the Rubicon moment for every again, I’ve written about this. I don’t know if I talked about it on the show, but I’ve written about when the original indictment for a Federal indictment came down, there was a lot of right-wing talking heads talking about how this was crossing the Rubicon which was inapt. It’s the opposite.
The Rubicon analogy goes the other way. The Trump is at this point much like Caesar in a position where he’s facing criminal liability if he doesn’t seize power again. So that’s where we sit. Now, but that said, I will say about Lindsey Graham’s complaints. The complaints about the judge are so dumb, because there’s not a lot of leeway for the judge to make a lot of difference here, but the complaints about the jury pool, that’s much more in my mind “compelling”.
I don’t think it’s particularly compelling, but I can understand how you can pitch that. You can say this is a population that voted something along the lines of 90% against Trump given that drawing a jury from here is very likely to have political overtones that are aimed by Trump. That isn’t a terrible, terrible argument.
Kathryn Rubino: Listen, listen everybody had — well, that’s not true. Anybody who voted made a political decision one way or another about Donald Trump.
Joe Patrice: Sure.
Kathryn Rubino: And it is just as biased to have people in unanimous a pool that is exclusively made up of people who voted for Trump, as it would be to have a pool who voted against Trump. I think that again I think your point about like well, then don’t do the crime, but it’s inevitable that people have an opinion on Donald Trump because he was the president of the United States.
Joe Patrice: Oh, of course. This is a bad argument. I’m just saying that this is a lot closer to the sort of argument that you could make to say, hey, why don’t we move this case to Northern Virginia or something along those lines? It’s way easier to try in –
Kathryn Rubino: Oh West Virginia I think is where they’re actual hilariously.
Joe Patrice: Whatever.
Kathryn Rubino: Trying to get it.
Joe Patrice: It’s a lot easier to make that argument if you say, hey, this is people not only did they vote and vote strongly against but they’re folks who voted in the capital who therefore are more savvy politically than even anywhere else. Like, we really need to get out of here. That’s an argument you could put in a brief and not seem like you’re crazy. Arguing against this judge, crazy talk.
But arguing gets that like it’s still wrong but at least you could put it together. This things going forward, they’re asking for, they are going to ask for delays of course, the DOJ is not likely to grant those at that point. It is up to the judge to decide whether or not she wants to grant those. I suppose that’s one role for the judge. I sincerely doubt that that will be granted.
Kathryn Rubino: I mean yeah I think the big thing that the judges in both of the federal indictments are doing is setting the timeline, right, is whether or not this can happen before the election I think is really the question.
Joe Patrice: Yeah. And we’ll see, it doesn’t seem I’m not altogether sure it matters. I guess it matters to the extent of how much Trump gets to travel in the last month of the campaign, but it doesn’t seem like he’s barely traveling now, has something like a 30 point lead over everybody else in the GOP Primary. I’m not sure it really matters whether he’s convicted or not. Nobody –
Kathryn Rubino: That’s a terrible statement about our country.
Joe Patrice: But this is big din at this point.
Kathryn Rubino: Yeah.
Joe Patrice: I mean, people are innocent until proven guilty. However, everyone has prejudged whether or not they believe these allegations one way or the other and that’s not going to change. So I don’t really know so this trial makes much difference. But as far as whether or not he becomes the nominee, so that’s that.
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Joe Patrice: All right we’re back. What are we talking about now?
Kathryn Rubino: Chris actually wrote a story about Samuel Alito’s Wall Street Journal thoughts.
Chris Williams: Yeah I mean he is a sub stack now. It’s really just the Wall Street Journal.
Joe Patrice: What’s it called?
Chris Williams: Wall Street Journal.
Joe Patrice: Wall Street Journal op-ed page okay that’s a clever never for a sub stack.
Chris Williams: Yeah, makes it seem a lot neutral and what not. Yeah but this one really seems where he is like oh basically trying to make this argument that the Supreme Court justices are kings that their ethical actions are unassailable because of the Constitution and then that’s not how it works, and how it never worked and should work, but.
Kathryn Rubino: Yeah, I think the money quote from the story is something like no provision in the Constitution gives any other branch of the government the authority to regulate the Supreme Court.
Chris Williams: Definitely yes.
Joe Patrice: Which is I mean even taking his argument at the most generous is that it –
Kathryn Rubino: Bold, okay, continue.
Joe Patrice: The most generous is that nothing, nothing says that, but that’s kind of approving of the negative because the Constitution itself doesn’t say anything about the Supreme Court other than it should exist. It says, you know, we should have a Supreme Court.
Kathryn Rubino: Get on that.
Joe Patrice: Congress should create one that lives by its regulations.
Kathryn Rubino: But get never regulated.
Joe Patrice: Yeah. I mean it even says that it makes it, it should have jurisdiction such that the court, that Congress allows. It’s only really constitutionally authorized to be a few people who sit in a room and here, whenever two states decide to have a lawsuit, which we had a few of this year. But over what part of the river do we own? If two states choose to do that, then yeah, Supreme Court is constitutionally created. Otherwise it’s all a congressional thing. So –
Kathryn Rubino: Yeah, the interesting part is Elena Kagan is willing to say that, she, this is not the first time she has responded to her conservative colleagues’ wild statements about the Supreme Court. She responded to John Roberts’ musings on legitimacy and abortion in the post Dobbs era, but she also was at the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference last week and responding very much to what Alito said.
She was like, that can’t be right. That can’t be what he means and kind of generously afforded Alito the space to back away and say, oh, that’s not what I said. I mean he’s not going to take that graceful exit obviously. But she definitely said, well, I don’t know the exact way that he meant it or the questions that were asked and what how what he was responding to. But she was like, of course. Yeah, I mean, literally is a raise, of course, Congress can regulate various aspects of what the Supreme Court does.
Joe Patrice: Yeah. Because it says it right there. Now that said, the other issue of course is that this piece is not unlike the previous Wall Street Journal piece. This is not written by Alito. This is an interview with Alito by some lawyers who just put a case on the Supreme Court docket.
Kathryn Rubino: Yeah. Is he going to recuse himself? No, no.
Joe Patrice: That’s what gets me about how stupid this whole thing is, is that putting aside, he should recuse himself, he won’t. But even if I think it’s indicative even if it’s not necessarily an illegal thing until that recusal happens. But like this is indicative of the lack of respect for the rule of law this guy has. If you know you have a case on the docket with these guys who want to show how much they know and are buddy-buddy with him in a national newspaper when they ask you for an interview, you say no, not appropriate at this time. That’s really all you need to say.
Kathryn Rubino: Yeah.
Chris Williams: Well in his defense the Constitution doesn’t say that you can’t recuse yourself just because you run a Wall Street Journal with the people in front of you.
Joe Patrice: And yeah and those literal words need to be in it or else.
Kathryn Rubino: Kagan also revealed in her statements that the court is working, is talking about various ethics rules because obviously the court can create its own ethics rules. But said that it’s perhaps unsurprising that the nine members of the Supreme Court to do not agree about what should happen.
Joe Patrice: Yeah, because two of them were on the take, right, at least, two of them are openly on the take and like at this point, that’s a bold allegation, but at this point, we’ve got confirmation of the stuff, I mean it’s not an allegation.
Kathryn Rubino: I mean I was going to say, I was going to say that was a bold allegation in like the early 2000s. It is no longer a bold allegation.
Joe Patrice: Right like at this point, I mean, Alito’s previous—
Kathryn Rubino: It is seen what, yeah.
Joe Patrice: Yeah his previous Wall Street Journal op-ed was I did something incredibly illegal and corrupt but I don’t think it’s illegal so I don’t care. Like he’s admitting to the facts and Thomas does too in his statements that have been released about this Crow stuff like these guys just think that we get to decide whether or not the law applies to us.
At that point, I don’t think we’re varying too far to say, hey, they’ve done this stuff when they’re admitting to all the facts in public. Of course, they don’t want more clear rules because their attempt to pretend that this hasn’t been just dripping with corruption is to say, we’ve decided to read what are otherwise very clear rules in a way that doesn’t apply to us.
But like, that’s not really how criminal law works. Not that this is a criminal act here, but that’s not how any of these laws works. But I wanted to bring it up as a criminal thing just because this also appears to be the primary defense that’s being articulated in the aforementioned Trump case that there couldn’t have been a conspiracy. He didn’t really think it was. So if he didn’t think it was a conspiracy, it couldn’t have been one. That is not how any laws.
Kathryn Rubino: That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.
Joe Patrice: But it would be amazing, right.
Kathryn Rubino: If you could just be like, well, I didn’t mean it and that was a full defense.
Joe Patrice: Right, mistake of everything is a full defense of everything like yeah.
Chris Williams: Like Your Honor says oopsy.
Kathryn Rubino: Oh oh the oopsy defense.
Joe Patrice: We call oopsy.
Kathryn Rubino: We are dismissing the charges man.
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Joe Patrice: Okay, now what?
Kathryn Rubino: Our last thing we’re going to turn to some law school news. News you can use the National Association for Law Placement, NALP, put out the median salary information for the class of 2022. Great news, great news for the class of 2022, average salary is up the median salary is up 6.3% over the year before. So, it’s now in a median salary of $85,000, the year before for the class of 2021, it was $80,000 and the average salary is also up 6.3%. Yay.
Joe Patrice: Yeah, so this is interesting course, because we did not have a run of big law salary increases. That means –
Kathryn Rubino: We did.
Joe Patrice: What?
Kathryn Rubino: For the class of 2022.
Joe Patrice: Right.
Kathryn Rubino: So there were a bunch of that was when all yeah –
Joe Patrice: I am trying to get this math, right. The class of 2022, no the raises were the year before they would have been class of 2021.
Kathryn Rubino: Right and then they actually would have start so they would have started with those increased numbers as opposed to the class of 21 that didn’t start with those numbers.
Joe Patrice: Oh is that?
Kathryn Rubino: Yeah.
Joe Patrice: Okay well then this is actually not a particularly interesting –
Kathryn Rubino: It is expecting. No it’s interesting. It’s expected. It is absolutely what we expected. What I think also though is interesting is there was also an increase in non-profit. The median nonprofit salaries for that same class so that was great for folks who are doing that.
But also the now powers that be saying, yeah, this is great, I would not continue to expect this. Do not think that this is a trend. This is a blip and we will – the ship will right itself going forward. Do not expect a further upward trajectory, which I do think is accurate.
Joe Patrice: I don’t know. Like I think that and the reason why I thought that this was probably interesting by the calendar was that this would be suggesting that there is increasing creeping up of the mid and small budgets, which is what you would expect in response to a big law salary increase.
Kathryn Rubino: I mean I think that is also reflected in these numbers and they break it down also by job type.
Joe Patrice: I see. Because that is something you expect obviously they need to come, they need to have the gap be reasonable if they’re ever going to tease someone out of big law to come to them.
Kathryn Rubino: I mean I think that’s what the public interest numbers increase reflects as well, right. So that median salary was now $62,000 up from 58,000 the year before, which is a pretty significant jump for I think the public interest jobs.
Joe Patrice: Yeah. Now I mean, obviously people might point to there’s been some degree of inflation to what extent has that swallowed up. A lot of that increase, inflation fears have been more overblown just statistically then the media has reported. It exists but it’s not merely the hair on fire hyperinflation that some people would like to pretend. So yeah it sucked up a bit of that and a bit of that is a response to increasing cost of living. But yeah, it’s good news.
Kathryn Rubino: Also of note in the report is that the class of 2022 seems happier in their jobs than any class before. It’s a historic low percentage of folks who are currently seeking a different job than the one that they are currently employed in.
Joe Patrice: Okay.
Kathryn Rubino: So it’s 6.8%, which is the lowest it’s ever been. 7.8 did I say that? Did I say that right? Anyway, the point is that it’s the lowest number whether that’s because they are actually happy which maybe or just are terrified to make a change right now, which I think is part of the course correction with Xenon 2023, which might be part of it. But so that’s the way the job landscape looks for recent law school graduates.
Joe Patrice: Well, there you go. Well, cool. So I think we’re unless there’s anything else. No?
Kathryn Rubino: I feel pretty good about it.
Joe Patrice: Excellent. Thanks everybody for listening. You should be subscribed to the show. So you get all these episodes automatically when they come out. You should give reviews, write stars, write something, it always helps. You should be reading Above the Law. Of course you get these stories and more all the time. You should be listening to the other offerings of the Legal Talk Network.
You should listen to The Jabot, Kathryn’s other podcast. You should watch the Legaltech Week Journalists Roundtable, which I’m a panelist on. You should be following us on various forms of social media Above the Law is @atlblog on at least — at least X, I’m going to say.
Kathryn Rubino: Oh don’t, don’t do that.
Chris Williams: No.
Joe Patrice: And –
Chris Williams: Because then the videos posted on our app are X videos, no.
Kathryn Rubino: No.
Joe Patrice: It really was just poorly put together all the way around.
Chris Williams: Yeah.
Joe Patrice: And Threads I think, I don’t think anyone is still on Threads but to the extent anyone is, just reading it, it’s like down 85% since the day it launched so but whatever. You should be, Kathryn is @Kathryn1. Chris is at @WritesForRent, those are both Twitter, artists formerly known as Twitter handles. I am @JosephPatrice at that particular location. I am @JoePatrice at all the other ones, the Bluesky and Threads.
Kathryn you’re on Bluesky. What is it?
Kathryn Rubino: I am, it’s Kathryn1.
Joe Patrice: Kathryn1, the numeral 1 again.
Kathryn Rubino: Yep.
Chris Williams: Is Bluesky breathing? Isn’t it dead yet.
Joe Patrice: So deal with Bluesky is that it’s smaller than Threads like Threads’ whole deal was they pulled in all the Instagram folks, so they instantly had a giant base. But no one’s doing anything over there because it’s just like Instagram with words and nobody understands what to do with it. Meanwhile, Bluesky is gated and it’s just invite only at this point and it’s kind of scarce to get on there, which is generating some interest but once you are on there, it functions exactly as Twitter used to.
So it is very active to the people who are on it and which are growing every day but it’s scarce. Yeah, I think Bluesky seems to me like the organization that has some hope of succeeding but we’ll see. Anyway, that was all I had to say, I think and –
Kathryn Rubino: Peace.
Joe Patrice: Yeah.