“Soon after the U.S. Supreme Court’s first session in 1790 in New York City, the justices repaired to nearby Fraunces Tavern for dinner and 13 toasts.
Thus began a tradition that continues today, of justices eating together regularly—certainly more than in most workplaces.
A just-published book aptly named “Table for 9” recounts the history of that tradition, and throws in some recipes to boot. The author is Clare Cushman, the Supreme Court Historical Society’s publications director, whose previous books have also chronicled the human side and biographies of justices through history.
In this new book, Cushman has done it again, and it is worth a read, as much for the glimpses it gives into the lives of the justices as the recipes that are included.
Where else could one find photos of teenage Sandra Day (the future Justice O’Connor) eating lunch out in a field with ranch hands at the Lazy B Ranch? Or: Antonin Scalia showing off his hunting prowess; Sonia Sotomayor cooking Chinese food while a student at Yale Law School; Warren Burger, eating a formal lunch alone in his chambers; and justices admiring a 28-pound king salmon that Stephen Breyer caught while at an Alaska bar association meeting in 2001.”
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