Following precedent, Trump hopes to schedule a dinner with the Supreme Court's justices
President Donald Trump’s plans to host a dinner for U.S. Supreme Court justices this week raised some eyebrows, but there is precedent for such a get-together.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer attributed the change to scheduling issues and said the White House hoped to move the dinner to a later date.
A reporter asked Spicer whether the event was dropped from the schedule because justices were reluctant to be seen as part of Trump’s celebration of his first 100 days in office.
“No,” Spicer answered, “I think having a relationship and meeting with the Supreme Court at some point would be a great idea.”
The National Law Journal notes that, if the dinner is rescheduled, it won’t be the first time a president dined with justices.
Some people on Twitter suggested such a dinner is highly unusual, but “history proves the opposite,” according to a blog post by Julie Silverbrook, executive director of The Constitutional Sources Project. Supreme Court justices were invited to White House dinners as long ago as the late 1800s, though many of the dinners included other guests.
According to Silverbrook, President Barack Obama often invited justices to state dinners for foreign leaders. Among those who attended where Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Antonin Scalia, who died Feb.13, 2016.
President George W. Bush also hosted a dinner honoring the justices in October 2008.