WHICH U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE WOULD YOU
TAKE TO LUNCH? AND WHERE? AS TOLD TO ERIK LUNDEGAARD AND JESSICA TAM
I would take Justice
Since she’s in Washington, I would go to the
Willard Hotel for their high tea in Peacock Alley.
She supports women’s rights—equal pay, a
woman’s right to an abortion, a lot of the things
that I certainly support—and she’s not afraid to
stand alone in the dissent.
Justice Ginsburg went to law school at a time
when there were very few women in law school.
I went to law school in the early ‘80s, and we
weren’t 50 percent of the class but we were
close to it. So to speak to somebody who really
paved the way would be fascinating. I’m sure she
had to overcome many biases and prejudices
throughout her career. I know when I started … I
would [often] be the only woman in a room with
all men. They’d always want to know if you were
the court reporter, that kind of thing. … It would
be interesting to trade stories. My mother’s age
would have been very close to the justice’s age
so it would be like getting the inside scoop from
somebody of your mom’s generation.
ANNAMARIE BONDI-STODDARD / MANAGING
PARTNER, PEGALIS & ERICKSON; LAKE SUCCESS;
PERSONAL INJURY-MEDICAL MALPRACTICE: PLAINTIFF
Justice John Paul Stevens
at Manny’s Cafeteria and
Delicatessen in Chicago.
We’re both originally from Chicago and share
the peculiar experience of growing up on the
South Side as Cubs fans. I suspect that at some
point, maybe when returning to the office after
representing indigents at 26th and California,
he did as I have done and enjoyed the city’s best
pastrami and potato pancakes at Manny’s.
I’d like to hear how Justice Stevens’ personal and
professional experiences influenced his judicial
approach. He once represented a man who had
a confession beaten out of him by the Chicago
police. And his own father was convicted but
ultimately exonerated of charges in connection
with the financing of the Stevens Hotel—now the
Conrad Hilton. His investigation of the former
Illinois Supreme Court [chief] justices led to the
establishment of the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board.
He also served as counsel to the House judiciary
subcommittee on monopolies.
He had an excellent reputation as an advocate
before going on the bench—leaving the great
firm that would become Jenner & Block to found
a litigation boutique doing high-stakes work. I’d
love to know what his many years on the bench
taught him about how best to persuade a court.
STEVEN F. MOLO / FOUNDING PARTNER,
MOLOLAMKEN; NEW YORK; BUSINESS LITIGATION,
CRIMINAL DEFENSE: WHITE COLLAR, APPELLATE
Justice Ginsburg at the
Her opinions, particularly those relating to
If permitted to expand the invitation list, we might
women’s rights and social justice, are not only
models of great logic and thoughtful reasoning,
they are also exquisitely written. “Dissents speak
to a future age,” she once wrote. “So that’s the
dissenter’s hope: that they are writing not for
today but for tomorrow.”
Both Justice Ginsburg and I are Jewish women
and New Yorkers by soul. She loves opera, often
speaks about it, so taking advantage of the fact
that the Metropolitan Opera is a client of my firm,
I would guide her past the stage door and into the
employee cafeteria. Here, we might sit shoulder-
to-shoulder with a famed tenor, a tired usher or
a Tony Award-winning stage director. I could tell
Justice Ginsburg how much I admire her advocacy
for human rights, which is increasingly crucial in a
world that is increasingly divided.
ask Justice Frankfurter to join us. We’d remind
him of his decision to reject Justice Ginsburg’s
clerkship application, allegedly due to her gender.
Perhaps we’d request one of the mezzo-sopranos
to hum a few bars from Cosi fan tutte (roughly and
condescendingly: “such are all women”) for Justice
Frankfurter. If all women were like Justice Ginsburg,
what a wonderful world it would be.
ROSE H. SCH WARTZ / PARTNER, FRANKLIN, WEINRIB,
RUDELL & VASSALLO; NEW YORK; ENTERTAINMENT &
SPORTS, INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY