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First Timers Flood Supreme Court Arguments in December

Dec. 2, 2019, 9:52 AM

Eleven attorneys, including Hogan Lovells associate Mitchell Reich, will take the U.S. Supreme Court lectern for the first time during December’s oral arguments.

Supreme Court veterans typically dominate, and they will out number first timers 16 to 11 in the sitting that stretches over two weeks.

But some new faces will be joining the elite field of attorneys who have argued before the justices, including Kirkland & Ellis partner K. Winn Allen, who was appointed by the court to argue his first case Dec. 10.

Only three women—compared to 29 men—will argue cases in December, marking the second month in a row with such a low number.

The gender disparity trend continues while male advocates rack up arguments and even appear twice before the justices in the same session, as Kirkland & Ellis partner Paul Clement will do.

A George W. Bush-era U.S. solicitor general and giant of the high court bar, Clement represents challengers to New York gun restrictions in a closely watched Second Amendment appeal set for argument on Dec. 2, and he represents healthcare companies against the federal government in a Dec. 10 dispute involving the Affordable Care Act.

As it happens, two of the three women, Kendall Turner and Morgan L. Ratner, will square off Dec. 10 against Allen in a technical criminal case. It’s the first argument for Turner, counsel at O’Melveny, and the fourth for Ratner, an assistant to the U.S. solicitor general.

Veteran advocate Lisa Blatt of Williams & Connolly LLP is arguing Dec. 3 on behalf of Atlantic Richfield Company in an environmental case. She’s closing in on 40 high court arguments, most of which she won.

For more on why the gender disparity remains consistent, check out this Cases and Controversies podcast.