McCarter attorney Kristy Avino was among the ten members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Bar Association (DHHBA) who were sworn in and admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States. All members are deaf or hard of hearing attorneys. DHHBA President Rachel Arfa made the motion in American Sign Language (ASL) and Spoken English, becoming the first attorney to address the court in two languages simultaneously. Chief Justice John Roberts responded to Attorney Arfa’s motion in ASL and Spoken English, signing, “Your motion is granted.” The Supreme Court also provided ASL interpreters, real-time captioning, and assistive listening devices for DHHBA participants. This is DHHBA’s third appearance since 2016 and the total number of DHHBA members admitted to the Supreme Court Bar is now 34 deaf and hard of hearing attorneys.
Arfa said, “DHHBA is honored to present its members for admittance to the Supreme Court Bar, as a demonstrated commitment to increasing representation of deaf and hard of hearing attorneys in the legal field. Deaf and hard of hearing attorneys often have to navigate through barriers to succeed in their careers, and having them stand up in front of the greatest court of the land to be admitted is a significant and symbolic gesture for our members.”