On May 1, Fordham Law School admitted 28 individuals—alumni and faculty—to the Supreme Court Bar, making them eligible to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The ceremony, which takes places annually in Washington, D.C. at the Court, included alumni currently admitted to practice in Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. This year’s ceremony was the first since Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch’s installment to the high court.
“Growing up in Washington, I imagined the Court as an intellectual space elevated above the fray of day-to-day politics,” said 2017 inductee Susan Scafidi, who directs the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham Law. “It’s an honor to be part of that legal conversation and tradition.”
For over 30 years, Fordham Law Professor Constantine N. “Gus” Katsoris ’57 has led the annual Supreme Court Bar induction ceremonies, which have in total admitted more than 1,000 of the School’s alumni and faculty to practice before the United States’ highest judicial body. Among those admitted in past ceremonies have been Fordham Law deans John Feerick ’61, William Michael Treanor, and Michael M. Martin.
“The thrill of partaking in the admission ceremony has grown with each passing year,” said Katsoris. “The pure joy of watching the expressions of the admittees as they are admitted to practice before the highest court is breathtaking.”
Admission to the Supreme Court Bar gives attorneys the right to conduct business before the Court, and affords them preferential seating during key Supreme Court arguments.
“Fordham has a long history of encouraging students and alumni not only to practice law but also to improve it,” said Scafidi. “The School’s connection to the nation’s highest court reflects that aspiration.”
Scafidi has had recent involvement with the Court. Last September, the Fashion Law Institute, with the assistance of Fordham alumna and Supreme Court Bar member Michelle Mancino Marsh ’96, filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in the case of Star Athletica v. Varsity.
A visit from Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Associate Justice Clarence Thomas distinguished last year’s ceremony. Justice Ginsburg reappeared this year after the ceremony along with Justice Samuel Alito. Before the ceremony, the Supreme Court announced rulings on two cases: Bank of America v. City of Miami, a housing discrimination case; and Venezuela v. Helmerich & Payne, a case involving a lawsuit by an American drilling company against the government of Venezuela.