According to an interview he gave as part of a project on legal writing, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas looks to the show as the model for his opinions, and is not so much a fan of Agatha Christie. Certainly, 24 is quite clear when it comes to like Jack Bauer explaining how he’ll wreck your stomach lining, or the fact that you can’t be sort of dead, and I suppose its perspective on the world is easy to discern. But really, what this suggests to me is that Thomas hasn’t read a lot of Agatha Christie. When it comes to economy of prose and story, Christie’s amazingly good at stating a problem, moving through it quickly, and resolving it in a logical way, all useful things for judicial opinions. And Hercule Poirot’s declaration that “Understand this, I mean to arrive at the truth. The truth, however ugly in itself, is always curious and beautiful to seekers after it,” is as good a motto, whether you’re solving murders in large country houses to which you’ve been invited for the weekend, or writing briefs.
The Continuing Influence of ‘24’