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Women Make Gains But Still Trail Men at Supreme Court Lectern

Oct. 6, 2021, 8:46 AM

Seven women attorneys will argue at the Supreme Court during the October sitting, as the justices headed back to the courtroom for the first time since February 2020.

That’s an increase in the percent of female advocates—35%—which typically ranges between 12% to 21% each term. That number was near the bottom of the range last term, when 20 women argued all term, compared to 136 men.

Gender disparity among arguing attorneys at the U.S. Supreme Court
Illustration: Jonathan Hurtarte/Bloomberg Law

The Justice Department’s Erica Ross was the first female to argue before the justices, in the criminal case, Wooden v. United States, which the court heard during its term opener Oct. 4. Also representing the federal government is Nicole Frazer Reaves, who will argue Oct. 13 in the Social Security case Babcock v. Kijakazi.

Four women are making their Supreme Court debut during the sitting, including Michigan Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud and Wilmer Hale’s Tasha J. Bahal, who faced off in the criminal case Brown v. Davenport; Bronx County District Attorney’s Gina Mignola, who defended the state in Hemphill v. New York; and the ACLU’s Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, who will argue in the civil procedure case Cameron v. EMW Women’s Surgical Center.

Ginger Anders of Munger Tolles will argue a case involving the Boston Marathon bomber, United States v. Tsarnaev.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kimberly Strawbridge Robinson in Washington at krobinson@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Seth Stern at sstern@bloomberglaw.com; John Crawley at jcrawley@bloomberglaw.com

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