Full house at the D.C. federal appeals court?


American flag flies in front of the Supreme Court in Washington (Alex Brandon/AP)

With the confirmation last week of former principal deputy solicitor general Sri Srinivasan, those three, if somehow confirmed, would mean all seats on that court would be filled.

QUICK LOOP QUIZ! When was the last time the “no vacancy” sign was put up at what many call the second most important court in the land?

Here are a few hints: Will Smith was still known as the Fresh Prince (his single, along with DJ Jazzy Jeff, “Summertime,” was on the charts), and Mark Wahlberg went by Marky Mark, backed by the Funky Bunch.

How times have changed — both are now Serious Actors.

Movie hits from that year included now-classics “Thelma & Louise” (with Brad Pitt!) and “The Silence of the Lambs” (fava beans and a nice Chianti, anyone?). The Gulf War had recently ended, and Mike Tyson had just been arrested.

Okay, you guessed it. It’s been nearly 22 years, an Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts spokesperson tells us. It was back in October 1991, when the court had 12 seats (it only has 11 now) and President George H.W. Bush’s nominee, Judge Clarence Thomas, filled the high court seat of retired Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.
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