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University Archives

The Way We Were

Witnesses recall supreme visitors

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little more than a year ago, Chief Justice John Roberts visited KU Law and judged the final round of the moot court competition. When we featured his visit in the Fall 2008 edition of the KU Law Magazine, we printed a list of other Supreme Court justices who have been to the law school through the years. It included Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Stephen Breyer, Byron White and Wiley Blount Rutledge. We failed to point out that the list was not exhaustive. A number of astute KU Law faculty and alumni drew our attention to some of the distinguished visitors whose names and photos did not appear in the magazine. Professor Steve McAllister, L’88, noted that Justice William Rehnquist visited in the 1970s, when the law school was still in “old” Green. “The pictures of his visit are fabulous, with his sideburns and very wide 1970s tie,” McAllister said. “Justice Harry Blackmun visited around 1983, drawing Roe v. Wade protests which I remember clearly as an undergraduate student at

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the time. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor came a year or two later, giving a lecture in old Hoch Auditorium, and Justice William Brennan visited in 1986, while I was a law student. Lastly, retired Justice Arthur Goldberg visited in maybe spring of 1988, again while I was a law student, and he presided over a very amusing moot court proceeding pulled together specifically for his visit. I remember, though do not necessarily believe, his advice to me that a lawyer before a court could say just about anything so long as it was prefaced by the phrase ‘with all due respect.’” Indeed, as these pictures show, Justice Blackmun visited in the spring of 1983, and Justice O’Connor spoke informally at the law school in 1984 while at KU to deliver the Vickers Lecture. Justice Rehnquist is pictured at right during a news conference the day before he gave the Stevens Lecture at Woodruff Auditorium. Let us know if you recall other visits.

KU Law Magazine | Spring 2009  

A magazine for alumni and friends of the University of Kansas School of Law. Story highlights include: Alumni spread legal roots in rural Ka...

KU Law Magazine | Spring 2009  

A magazine for alumni and friends of the University of Kansas School of Law. Story highlights include: Alumni spread legal roots in rural Ka...