Rediscovering childhood dreams: visiting the Supreme Court

By Samantha Bayne
The columns of the Supreme Court.

I have been to DC quite a few times, but I had never quite made it over to the Supreme Court. When the snow changed our plans at the last minute, the Drake group decided to visit the court, and I felt an immediate sense of awe. The intense emotion that I experienced facing the courtroom was overwhelming.

Looking into the courtroom.

I have wanted to be a lawyer since I was ten years old. In my fifth grade class, I did a presentation on Eleanor Roosevelt, and I wanted to pursue a career that was focused on justice and human rights for all. Although my career path has now changed away from immediately attending law school, those values have stuck. The Supreme Court still holds immense symbolism for me. Walking past the columns today and peering into the courtroom flooded me with emotion as I pondered the thousands of cases that have been decided within those walls.

One of two spiral staircases that are entirely self-supporting.

I may not be the future lawyer I have always dreamed of being, but I am still fascinated by the law and role of justice. Cases like Marbury v. Madison and Brown v. Board of Education among others have altered the United States forever. No body other than the Supreme Court has the same power to question authority and protect the Constitution with the simple stroke of a gavel. Today, I studied the portraits of Justices Brandeis and Day O’Connor, both reminders that my identity as a Jewish woman should not halt my path to success.

A statue of Chief Justice Marshall.

Sometimes, DC sites can be tourist traps. Today, however, wandering the halls of the Supreme Court made me feel both alone and a part of something larger than myself. Looking at those nine chairs where so many legendary justices listened to those pleading their cases was a powerful homage to the judicial system and rule of law. Standing still at the opening of the courtroom, a tear appeared in my eye, and ten-year-old me appeared once again, dreaming of arguing a case that will uphold equal justice under law.

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