Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Samuel Alito Jr.
Sharing good food and even better conversation with a U.S. Supreme Court justice would be an
ideal lunch date for most lawyers across the country. But which justice would you choose? And
where would you take them?
In 2014 and 2015, Super Lawyers surveyed 99 of the top lawyers in the U.S. for our Word for Word
column, and asked, “Which U.S. Supreme Court justice would you take to lunch? And where?”
Answers included taking Justice Clarence Thomas to Dreamland Bar-B-Que in Tuscaloosa (“I
understand he is a man with great friendships and good humor”); bringing Justice Stephen Breyer to
Rami’s falafel restaurant on Harvard Street in Boston (“I’ve always admired his practical yet principled
approach”); and commiserating with Justice Elena Kagan at a Nathan’s Famous at Citi Field in New
York (“Mets aside … 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”).
The most popular fantasy lunch date was Ruth Bader Ginsburg, with 20 invites, followed by the
late Antonin Scalia with 15. One creative attorney out of Colorado suggested both of them. “They
are so ideologically diverse and yet the best of friends socially,” he said. “I think there’s a lot to be
learned for Republicans and Democrats in the current partisan divide.”
Here are the final results for justices serving during this period:
Which SCOTUS justice
would you take to lunch?
Justice Ginsburg tops Super Lawyers list
The survey referenced here was
taken from 2014 to 2015, before
the death of Justice Antonin Scalia
on Feb. 13, 2016.
REU TERS/Larry Downing
Some lawyers reached into the past for their lunch dates: Sandra Day O’Connor was chosen
nine times, John Paul Stevens four, Earl Warren three, and both David Souter and Oliver Wen-
dell Holmes got two invites. One attorney from Atlanta suggested introducing Justice Holmes to
Waffle House. “He might be more talkative over grits and hash browns,” she said.
Interestingly, many attorneys went with a justice they disagreed with. Lawyers being lawyers, they
wanted to argue. So a choice of lunch date, like a retweet, isn’t necessarily an endorsement.
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