Jack Shafer thoroughly reviews court documents filed as part of Stephen Glass' attempt to be approved by the California Bar so he can practice law there. Judge Richard A. Honn ruled in Glass' favor in 2010, and in his ruling explained the origins of Glass' fabrications: His parents pressured him to succeed, hoped he'd go to medical school and disapproved of his journalism career. After a visit home in 1995, Glass "felt he had to find a way around this problem," the judge writes.

He decided to create articles with “electricity” and excitement that even his parents would appreciate. To do so, he felt he needed to “embellish” the facts. Shortly thereafter, he wrote “The Hall Monitor,” his first article that contained fabrications. Applicant was clearly a gifted writer and was on a steep trajectory toward success in journalism. However, with that article a dark cloud began growing which would completely destroy his promising career in that field.

The California Supreme Court's decision will hinge on whether or not they believe Glass is morally fit. Shafer thinks not and suspects the court will rule against Glass.