Abrams’s workaday legal experience may be an appropriate antidote. After graduating from Yale Law School, Abrams practiced tax law with an Atlanta firm, then advised local officials on public works issues as a deputy city attorney.
Her subsequent tenure as the minority leader in the Georgia General Assembly recalls the early career of retired justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who was the majority leader in the Arizona State Senate in the 1970s. After losing the Georgia governor’s race, Abrams founded Fair Fight 2020, a nationwide advocacy and impact litigation group.
As a state legislator turned cause lawyer, Abrams would follow in the tradition of Southern politicians and activists elevated to the High Court by Democratic presidents. The Court’s first black member, Justice Thurgood Marshall, was a Marylander who litigated across the South as a lawyer with the NAACP. Likewise, Justice Hugo Black, an Alabaman, was a two-term U.S. senator before his appointment to the Court. A repentant Klansman, Black became a passionate supporter of school desegregation and civil liberties.