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ASU to feature a conversation with U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor will speak at ASU Gammage on Monday, Jan. 23.

January 11, 2017

This year the Justice and Social Inquiry faculty in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University is proud to host U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor as the guest speaker for its annual John P. Frank Memorial Lecture on Monday, Jan. 23. 

Now in its 18th year, the lecture will feature a conversation between U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sotomayor and the Honorable Mary Schroeder, Chief Judge Emeritus, Senior Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The public talk, which is free and open to the community at large, concludes a day of student and faculty sessions with Associate Justice Sotomayor. Additionally, there will be an invitation-only reception prior to the lecture. 

“The John P. Frank Memorial Lecture has always addressed timely justice issues,” said Madelaine Adelman, associate professor in Justice and Social Inquiry, “which complement what our undergraduate and graduate students explore in their respective courses and research.” This year’s speaker joins a list of distinguished John P. Frank Memorial Lecture guests — legal scholars, journalists, government officials, and advocacy experts — who have drawn attendees from across the greater Phoenix region.

“We anticipate a full house for this year’s special guest,” Adelman said, “given community interest in how the court navigates the relationship between law and justice, and emerging questions about the constituent roles of the three main branches of U.S. government: executive, legislative, and judicial.”

Sonia Sotomayor, associate justice, U.S. Supreme Court, was born in Bronx, New York, on June 25, 1954. She earned a bachelor's in 1976 from Princeton University, graduating summa cum laude and receiving the university's highest academic honor. In 1979, she earned a JD from Yale Law School where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. She served as assistant district attorney in the New York County District Attorney's Office from 1979–1984. She then litigated international commercial matters in New York City at Pavia & Harcourt, where she served as an associate and then partner from 1984–1992.

In 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated her to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, and she served in that role from 1992–1998. She served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1998–2009. President Barack Obama nominated her as an associate justice of the Supreme Court on May 26, 2009, and she assumed this role August 8, 2009.

This signature lecture series honors the memory of lawyer John P. Frank (1917-2002). Frank is recognized as part of the team that represented Ernesto Miranda before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1966. Frank wrote or delivered arguments for numerous First Amendment and desegregation cases, and made important contributions to the historical brief for Brown v. Board of Education (1954). He is remembered as well for his expertise in civil procedure and standards for judicial disqualification. As a constitutional scholar, historian, author and mentor, his opinion was sought by presidents and Supreme Court justices, and was influential in shaping public policy in Arizona and across the nation.

The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are required for admittance. Tickets will be distributed outside the North Lobby of Gammage Auditorium from 3:30-5 p.m. Jan. 23, on a first-come, first-served basis. Each person may request up to two tickets. Gammage Auditorium is located at 1200 S. Forest Avenue, Tempe, 85281. For directions and parking information, visit

For more information, visit and search for “Frank Lecture,” or 

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