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SCOTUS Map: April 2018

Could Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Clarence Thomas be the new Scalia/Ginsburg? At an April 3 lecture at Vanderbilt Law, Sotomayor mused that Thomas was the justice “with whom I probably disagree the most.” However, The Tennessean quoted Sotomayor as saying, “I can stand here and say that I just love the man as a person.” Additional coverage comes from Vanderbilt University News.

The next day, Sotomayor gave remarks at NYU Law’s new Guarini Institute for Global Legal Studies, sharing the stage with a former justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa. NYU has coverage of the event and video online.

Meanwhile, Justice Stephen Breyer sat for an hour-long conversation and Q&A session at Tufts University, where he artfully dodged questions on hot-button issues such as banning assault rifles and partisan gerrymandering. Breyer reminded the students that working in federal government is not the only way to effect change: “If you want to help your families and friends and make a difference in your communities, don’t you all run to Washington … look to the states.” Of the Supreme Court’s role, Breyer said, “I think we work best when we come in last, because our job is not to say what is good or bad for the country. … Our job is to decide whether what the country comes up with is consistent with [the Constitution].” Coverage comes from TuftsNow. Video of the event is posted on YouTube.

On April 5, Thomas spoke at the 71st Horatio Alger National Scholars Conference in Washington, D.C., and hosted the organization’s awards program at the Supreme Court building.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg visited Georgetown Law on April 6 to inaugurate a new annual lecture series named for her. Video of the lecture, which began with footage of her husband Martin Ginsburg introducing the justice at a 2003 event and ended with a musical performance from the Georgetown Gilbert and Sullivan Society, is available via C-SPAN.

The following week, Ginsburg presided over a naturalization ceremony held at the New-York Historical Society. According to the New York Times, Ginsburg recounted the story of her own father’s immigration to this country, telling the new American citizens that “[w]e are a nation made strong by people like you.” After the ceremony, the justice spoke to fellows from the Immigrant Justice Corps.

Justice Samuel Alito was part of the judging panel for Fordham Law’s Irving R. Kaufman Memorial Securities Law Moot Court Competition on April 8. A brief recap comes from the Virginia Law Weekly.

Justice Anthony Kennedy returned home to give remarks at an April 10 luncheon celebrating the centennial of the Sacramento County Bar Association.

Harvard University played host to Breyer on April 11, though this time at the medical school and not the law school. In his Roger Allan Moore Lecture on Values and Medicine, Breyer exhorted the audience to participate in public life and engage with people with whom they disagree. Harvard Medical School News covered the event.

Sotomayor was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Ninth Annual DVF Awards (named for the fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg) on April 13. The justice (who represented Italian fashion houses against counterfeiters as a litigator in the 1980s and 1990s) spoke about the women in her family who raised her and inspired her. According to Vogue, Sotomayor said, “The stories of your grandmothers, of your mothers, and of the other women in your lives who have uplifted you – don’t forget their stories because they’re the stories that will keep us moving.” Additional coverage comes from the Hollywood Reporter and Women’s Wear Daily.

To close out this month, Justice Elena Kagan will speak on April 30 at the 67th Annual Meeting of the Seventh Circuit Bar Association and Judicial Conference of the Seventh Circuit in Chicago.

Recommended Citation: Victoria Kwan | SCOTUS map, SCOTUS Map: April 2018, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 20, 2018, 12:30 PM),