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SCOTUS Map: February 2015

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On Friday, we documented the many appearances of the Justices in January. Today we will look at the travels and appearances of our nine current and three retired Justices this month:

At least one Justice left winter in Washington for warmer climates: Justice Sotomayor appeared before a crowd of 1,200 at a February 2 Forum Club lunch in West Palm Beach, Florida. Sotomayor made headlines when she told the audience that she was “moving more closely” to thinking that cameras in the Court “might be a bad idea,” a change from her testimony during her Supreme Court confirmation hearings. “I think the temptation to grandstand in front a camera is so huge,” Sotomayor remarked. Video of the event is posted here.

Justice Elena Kagan, speaking at the University of Chicago on the same day, also faced questions about cameras in the courtroom; she said that she felt “very conflicted” and could see “pretty strong arguments on both sides.” On the one hand, she voiced concern that cameras might affect not only the behavior of the Justices but also the attorneys arguing before the Court. But on the other hand, Kagan acknowledged that “[T]here are ways we can become more open to the public, and we should explore those ways.” Video of Kagan’s speech is also available.

On the same night, Justice Ginsburg introduced Gloria Steinem at the New York City Bar Association’s 2015 Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Distinguished Lecture on Women and the Law. Video of both Ginsburg’s introduction and Steinem’s speech (in which she thanks Ginsburg for her work on women’s rights) is also available.

Justice Kagan’s next stop on her Chicago trip was a February 3 visit to Northwestern University School of Law, where she discussed topics such as hunting with Justice Scalia, legal education, the specialized Supreme Court bar, and the role that her law clerks play. “I do my writing basically by myself, but I make them write a draft anyway,” Kagan explained. Coverage of her visit is available via the Daily Northwestern and the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, and Northwestern has posted the full video of her conversation.

On February 4, Justice Ginsburg delivered the Second Annual Dean’s Lecture to the Graduating Class at Georgetown University Law Center. Asked for her thoughts on the future of reproductive rights in the United States, Ginsburg responded: “That depends on women of your generation, if you care about the issue.” Justice Ginsburg also had some career advice for the audience: “Yes, you need a job. But if you don’t do something outside yourself—something that repairs the tears in your community … you’re not really a true professional.” The National Law Journal reported on her talk, and Georgetown has posted a recording of the event.

On the same day, Justice Kagan appeared at Stanford Law School at an event co-sponsored by the American Constitution and Federalist Societies. Judge Sri Srinivasan of the D.C. Circuit and Judge Raymond Kethledge of the Sixth Circuit also appeared at the event. According to Stanford Law’s report on the event, Justice Kagan told the students: “The best thing is not to plan, but to work hard and be a good person. In the end that’s what gets you the opportunity.” The trio then presided over the final round of a moot court competition.

In other February news, Justice Thomas taught a seminar on the Supreme Court at Creighton University Law School from February 2 to 6.

On February 6, Justice Ginsburg gave the Tanner Lecture on Human Values at the University of Michigan, where she told the audience that her approach to the Constitution is grounded in its “first three words—’We the People.’ Over the centuries, this notion of ‘We the People’ has grown, and today, it is a much more embracing concept than it was in the 1770s.” MLive covered the event and posted a short video of Justice Ginsburg discussing the Court’s 1996 decision in United States v. Virginia.

On February 7, retired Justice John Paul Stevens will participate in the 2015 University of Miami Law Review Symposium, whose theme this year is “Criminalized Justice: Consequences of Punitive Policy.”

On February 12, Justice Scalia and Justice Ginsburg are set to appear together as part of a Smithsonian Associates Program at George Washington University, where the duo will be interviewed by Nina Totenberg of NPR.

On February 26, Justice Scalia is slated to deliver the first of the U.S. Marshals Museum’s three Winthrop P. Rockefeller Distinguished Lecture Series presentations in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Recommended Citation: Victoria Kwan | SCOTUS map, SCOTUS Map: February 2015, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 10, 2015, 10:58 AM),