I recently had the honor of being sworn in to the United States Supreme Court in Washington, DC. Although I don’t anticipate ever trying a case before this august court, it was an opportunity that I could not pass up.
On February 24, 2014, the ten other attorneys and I (all who had signed up through the Cobb County Bar Association) were formally led into the large and very impressive courtroom in the United States Supreme Court building. I was seated in front, directly in front of the justices, and when the swearing-in ceremony began, just hearing the Chief Justice say my name and feeling all the justices’ eyes on me while I took the oath, it almost took my breath away!
Immediately after each lawyer was sworn in, the justices began their calendar with oral argument in an environmental law case. Though I had anticipated that hearing the case would be a pretty dull hour and a half, I was so wrong. Almost immediately, the justices (except for Justice Thomas, of course) peppered the lawyers before them with questions and comments. The time flew – I had not expected such a lively exchange.
After the justices left the bench, we had a private reception with the very gracious Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who introduced herself to each of us. Then a docent led some of us on a tour of the Supreme Court building, finishing with a visit to the justices’ impressive law library.
The entire experience was quite exciting – a special memory I will cherish. I must admit though, that the best part was being able to share it with my son, Doug, who lives in Nashville with his wife and two children. It was our first mother-son trip in many years – one not to be forgotten by either of us.