March 4th Was More Than a Rally. It Was a Reminder that the Future of RJ Lawyering Has Arrived.

[Featured image courtesy of Bridget Winkler, If/When/How American University Washington College of Law]

By Kelley Huber, If/When/How Suffolk University Law and Bridget Winkler, If/When/How Washington College of Law

On March 4th, If/When/How rallied in solidarity as the June Medical v. Russo case was argued before the Supreme Court. Loudmouth law students and lawyers joined community partners and reproductive health, rights, and justice advocates to demand the court recognize precedent and reaffirm the right to abortion care. Here, two If/When/How student chapter leaders, Kelley Huber of Suffolk University Law and Bridget Winkler of American University Washington College of Law, share their reflections on this movement moment and the energy we must harness now and carry forth in the fights to come.

Kelley Huber, If/When/How Suffolk University of Law President

Kelley Huber and Jaime Watson

I showed up to the Supreme Court of the United States early on the morning of March 4th to a buzzing crowd. The sea of people was a hodgepodge of professionals, students, storytellers, legislators, and advocates. Other participants were discussing how they found the same things in briefs simultaneously concerning and ludicrous. Seeing the intersections of reasons why people joined affirmed my own reasons for being there — a mixture of rage, empathy, and concern for the millions of patients who could have their healthcare options wiped out by partisan appointees to the court.

What I loved most about meeting this variety of protesters was that it did not matter where we came from or why we were there. There was an implicit allyship in every rally attendee because it showed that our intersections in this movement make us stronger. Moving around the crowd allowed me to connect with If/When/How members from chapters nationwide. Knowing that these folks shared the same goal of reproductive justice in their lawyering and in their understanding of the Constitution was an appreciated comfort. 

Overall, going to the demonstration in front of the June Medical hearings was a choice I am proud of. I was one of the hundreds who came from all walks of life to stand up and speak out that the reproductive justice movement is powerful – and more importantly, staying put.  

Bridget Winkler, If/When/How American University Washington College of Law Incoming President

Bridget Winkler

I’ll never forget my experience helping to organize the #LoudMouthLawStudent Cohort for the June Medical Services v. Russo rally at the Supreme Court. Our chapter approached If/When/How with our project, The People’s Judiciary, with the goal of activating our community around the courts. As law students, we recognize our careers are fundamentally altered by the Trump-packed federal judiciary and feel an urgency to continue the fight for reproductive justice in the courts. If/When/How not only supported us but empowered our chapter to lead the #LoudMouthLawStudent Cohort at the rally. We had If/When/How chapters across the East Coast take trains, planes, and buses to Washington, D.C. for the March 4th rally while the national network of chapters hosted campus events in solidarity. 

 The day had a range of emotions: passion, anger, love, and unity. We met advocates and providers working on the ground in Louisiana — fighting for reproductive justice in a state with limited abortion access that disparately impacts people of color and financially vulnerable individuals. I felt powerful rallying before the Supreme Court — surrounded by my fellow law students — in solidarity with June Medical Services. The future of RJ lawyering is here, we are LOUD, united, passionate, and energized to take on the battles ahead. I will march forth with this memory and continue finding strength in this movement and organization I believe in so much.

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