SCOTUS Map: July and August 2015
on Sep 18, 2015 at 11:40 am
This summer’s spate of events kicked off abroad, with Justice Antonin Scalia receiving the inaugural Margaret Thatcher Rule of Law Award from the Margaret Thatcher Centre in London on July 3. Both Scalia and Justice Anthony Kennedy spent part of their July teaching classes in Europe. For the twenty-sixth time, Kennedy taught at the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law’s summer program in Salzburg, Austria. Scalia, meanwhile, returned to Italy this year for the Annual Rome Program hosted by Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., also took an overseas trip: on July 9, he delivered a lecture entitled “Roles of the Chief Justice of the United States” at the University of Tokyo. He then taught a class at in Kyoto four days later. Pictures from the Chief Justice’s visit are available on Kyoto University’s website.
While Roberts was in Japan, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who has made a tradition of attending and participating in opera-themed events over the summer recess, headed to Virginia on July 11 to headline the Castleton Festival’s Law in Opera event. DC Theatre Scene reported on the occasion, in which Ginsburg introduced scenes from various operas that feature lawyers and legal issues. The following week, on July 18, Ginsburg made her annual appearance at the Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, New York, where she hosted a similar program, providing commentary between performances of select scenes.
On July 15, Kennedy gave remarks at the 2015 Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference in San Diego. The Associated Press reported that Kennedy compared public reaction to the Court’s recent same-sex marriage ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges to that of Texas v. Johnson, in which initial outrage to the 1989 decision to treat flag burning as protected speech quickly died down. On a lighter note, KPBS News reported that Kennedy told the crowd he considers the Internet and beer to be among man’s greatest inventions.
Meanwhile, back on the East Coast, Justice Elena Kagan spoke to Princeton-in-Washington students in Washington, D.C., on July 20.
Like Ginsburg, Justice Sonia Sotomayor makes a point of returning to certain events each summer, including the Bronx Children’s Museum’s Dream Big Day. This year, the event took place on July 23 at Fordham University. “I’m a kid at heart, you know,” Sotomayor told the participating children. Coverage comes from WABC-TV and the New York Daily News.
On July 29, Ginsburg spoke with Duke alumni and students at Duke Law’s DC Summer Institute on Law and Policy; the Huffington Post, Duke Law News, and this website all had coverage. The following day, Kennedy delivered the keynote speech at the Utah State Bar Summer Convention, which was held this year in Sun Valley, Idaho. “Sometimes people say the Supreme Court is there to protect the voice of a minority. Perhaps, but over time I think most Supreme Court decisions have been accepted as consistent with the views and beliefs and commitments and ideas and hopes and dreams of the people,” Kennedy said. Fox13 covered the speech.
Justice Stephen Breyer and retired Justice John Paul Stevens both made scheduled appearances on July 31. Breyer participated in a mock trial for the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta held at Westminster Hall in London, while Stevens spoke at the American Bar Association Section of Litigation’s Passing of the Gavel Luncheon at the 2015 ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago. Video of the Stevens event is available via the American Bar Association, and the transcript of his speech is posted on the Court’s website.
In August, Ginsburg traveled to Asia as part of a State Department program. She spoke about justice and women’s rights at the Embassy Youth Forum in Seoul, South Korea on August 5. A week later, on August 12, she met with members of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where she talked about the country’s need for a free press and an independent judiciary. Voice of America News covered Ginsburg’s speech in Vietnam.
Meanwhile, Scalia taught a CLE course on federalism and the separation of powers on August 20 for The Federalist Society in Avon, Colorado. Ginsburg closed out the month on August 21 by visiting and speaking with students at the Santa Fe campus of St. John’s College, according to the college’s blog.