Legends accumulate around legendary characters. They are often enough apocryphal. Einstein wasn’t overly forgetful. George Washington probably fibbed. Babe Ruth may not have called his shot. That sort of thing. But some of them are true: Tom Hanks really is related to Abraham Lincoln, making the two most popular Americans ever distant cousins.
Now a name that last week most Americans had never heard of is joining the league of legends with an unforgettable anecdote of his own. The US Circuit Court Judge Sri Srinivasan just entered the public eye as President Obama‘s potential choice to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Srinivasan is by all accounts off-the-charts smart, but also wily and savvy. Since he’s both, he sometimes has to exercise false humility to achieve his goals. To wit, legend has it that the first time Srinivasan appeared before the Supreme Court to argue a case he took a single sheet of paper to the podium so he wouldn’t appear overconfident. The paper was blank.