Judge Anthony J. Scirica ’62, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, was one of two justices presented with the 28th Annual Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Awards on Sept. 13 in Washington, D.C.
The Devitt award, administered by the American Judicature Society, is given annually to honor judges “whose careers have been exemplary, measured by their significant contribution to the administration of justice, the advancement of the rule of law, and the improvement of our society as a whole.”
William D. Johnston, president of the society, noted in the press release that, “The award is considered the highest award that can be bestowed upon a member of the federal judiciary. It reflects the extraordinarily high regard in which honorees are held by their colleagues on the federal bench.” He praised Judge Scirica and co-honoree Judge Ann Claire Williams “for all they have done and are doing to preserve and strengthen the rule of law in our country and to ensure access to justice for all.”
At the ceremony, Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. of the Supreme Court of the United States, lauded Scirica as “a skillful leader and conciliator. He is adept at finding a solution that calms the waters. And his tremendous work in these roles has made an enormous contribution to the federal judiciary and to our country’s legal system.”
In accepting the award, Scirica spoke about his work on federal rulemaking, court governance and institutional independence, and focused his attention on his colleagues: “All of us, we are all bound together in this extraordinary experiment in democracy, crafting together a legal system that is the envy of the world. It is a privilege to take part.”
Also honored locally last spring, Scirica was presented with his portrait, which hangs in the federal courthouse in Philadelphia.