By Randall Howe

Illustration by Doug Davis

Never run over a United States Supreme Court justice. That would be my advice to all mobility-impaired attorneys who are going to appear before the United States Supreme Court. Just a word to the wise from someone who began the most important experience in his legal career by nearly knocking over Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

I am an assistant attorney general for the Arizona attorney general’s office, and one of my cases was set for argument before the Supreme Court on April 19, 2006. Arguing a case before the Supreme Court is a rare event and one you don’t want to mess up. So a few days before my argument I went to observe an oral argument to see the justices in action and get acclimated to the courtroom. Although I walk with a crutch, I rented a scooter so that I could get around more easily and quickly. I rode the scooter to the Supreme Court building and parked it in the foyer of the lawyers’ lounge