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Let justice rise from the ground, and not spiral downward

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By Jon Katz, a criminal defense lawyer and DWI/ DUI/ Drunk Driving lawyer fighting for the best possible results in the courts of Fairfax County, Virginia, Montgomery County, Maryland, and beyond. 

This past Wednesday, I returned to the Supreme Court for the first time in many years, to hear oral argument in the Westboro Baptist Church case, which is an appeal from the over week-long trial I did three years ago, defending the church’s First Amendment rights. I stayed for the Brady/exculpatory evidence argument that followed.

While I think it is more important for me to assess the justices for their opinions, I did make the following observations of them beyond their opinions:

– None of the sitting justices were on the court when I started law school twenty-four years ago. Some of them are less than ten years older than I.

– Justice Thomas has not asked even one question in the last four years of oral argumen. He nevertheless did seem to be discussing some aspects of oral argument at times with Justice Breyer to his left and Justice Sotomayor to his right.

– They all seem to like their jobs enough for job dissatisfaction not to come into play when I am disappointed by one or more of the justices.

– I miss Justice Brennan. When I met him in 1994, as he sat in a wheelchair in his small frame, he was more of a giant than anyone else I ever have met. He passed away three years later.

Here are four pictures I took at the court.