Only 16 Percent Of Attorneys Arguing Before The Supreme Court This Term Were Women


To date, members of the Supreme Court bar have appeared before the Court 139 times since the current term began in October. According to SCOTUSBlog, women appeared before the Court just 22 times, or a total of 16 percent of all appearances. Moreover, the majority of these appearances involved a woman from the Solicitor General’s office. When Justice Department attorneys are omitted, women argued just eight times before the justices.

Admittedly, the number of appearances by women may be somewhat higher if President Obama had not recently appointed one of the two most prominent female Supreme Court advocates in the country to the federal bench. Judge Patricia Millett, who argued 32 cases before the Supreme Court during her career as an advocate, probably won’t be appearing before the justices very often from her new perch as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Nevertheless, even if Millett had made each of her 32 appearances before the justices during the current term, men would still vastly outnumber women at the Supreme Court’s podium.