WHICH U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE WOULD
YOU TAKE TO LUNCH? AND WHERE? AS TOLD TO ERIK LUNDEGAARD
Justice Kagan, and we
would have lunch at one of
the Nathan’s stands at Citi
Field during a Mets game.
I see us commiserating about how the Mets
have done so little to improve their lineup, even
after she took judicial notice, for a unanimous
court, that the Mets “have no hitting.” See Caraco
Pharm. Laboratories, Ltd. v. Novo Nordisk A/S, 132
S. Ct. 1670, 1681 (2012).
The Mets aside, I think Justice Kagan is
an intriguing figure and an important one to
understand. She is the youngest justice, and her
performance so far—both in her opinions and at
oral argument—suggests the intellectual ability to
make a lasting mark on the court. Beyond that, in
an age of polarization, she is someone who in past
roles has earned a reputation for finding common
ground between liberals and conservatives. If that
ability translates to her current job, she may well
play an outsized role in determining the court’s
direction in the coming decades.
MEIR FEDER / PARTNER, JONES DAY; APPELLATE,
Sonia Sotomayor at the
Columbia University Club.
I think Justice Sotomayor would feel comfortable
there. It shares space with the Princeton Club, she
is a Princeton alum, and I think club members
would abstain from interrupting her lunch.
Why Justice Sotomayor? First, I do not expect a
justice will share over lunch the inner working of
the Court, so I imagine much of the conversation
would relate to a justice’s pre-court years. I have
read Justice Sotomayor’s memoir, My Beloved
World, and there would be plenty to talk about.
Second, I want lunch with someone who would
be interested in having lunch with me and put
me at my ease. Third, I want lunch with someone
with whom I feel philosophically compatible. I
don’t want lunch to become an argument. Fourth,
although I have never met Justice Sotomayor,
from her memoir I see that she and I have certain
things and people in common.
Supreme Court justices are serious people
doing serious work. But this is not a working
lunch. I want to enjoy it, and I think lunch with
Justice Sotomayor would be just that: enjoyable.
NORMAN OLCH / ATTORNEY AT LAW; APPELLATE
Oliver Wendell Holmes
at Legal Sea Foods at
He wrote the great dissents of the early 20th
century and I want to ask him how he feels about
having foreseen the future so presciently.
In 1905 he dissents in Lochner v. New York
and says the government should be able to
enact wage and hours laws, and other economic
legislation, and that the Constitution does
not enact an economic theory, whether of
paternalism or laissez faire. So I want to ask him
whether the upholding of a vast expansion of
federal economic legislation like Obamacare is
what he envisioned.
And his other great dissents, in the 1919 Espionage
Act and 1920s Red Scare cases, where he said there
should be freedom of speech unless there’s a clear
and present danger—I want to talk to him about
WikiLeaks, and the Bradley Manning court-martial,
and the Edward Snowden leaks of the vast metadata
surveillance project that’s been undertaken since
2001. I want to ask him whether he thinks he was
right—and we now have the most stringent free-speech protection of any nation in the industrialized
world—and is he glad to see that happen? Is it what
he predicted should have happened?
I think he would chuckle and agree that he’d
been right and was glad that I invited him back
to see it.
KATHLEEN M. SULLIVAN / PARTNER, QUINN
EMANUEL URQUHART & SULLIVAN; APPELLATE