Celebration of a Norm: The Civility of the Supreme Court
Oct. 9, 2019
By Aubrey Neal and Anthony Marcum
This week the Supreme Court began its new term, which runs from October to June, with oral arguments on five cases that range from mundane to undoubtedly controversial. Although the audio recordings will not be released until Friday, Oct. 11, the transcripts bring to mind a feeling that is increasingly rare in Washington—civility.
Sprinkled with times of laughter, clear acknowledgements of respect and a new courtroom policy of allowing each advocate two minutes of uninterrupted speech, the character and collegiality inside the marble walls of the highest court is being maintained, despite the partisanship that has taken over across the street in the Capitol.
The political alignment of the various presidents who appointed the nine justices run the spectrum, yet from Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr. to Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor to Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, there is friendship, mutual respect and dedication to duty and the law. This civility should be celebrated and more often emphasized.
And Congress should take notes.