For the first time since 2009, none of the Supreme Court's conservative justices will appear at the Federalist Society's annual Washington convention.

The society is a network of conservative and libertarian legal professionals that has long viewed the conservative justices, especially Antonin Scalia, as leading lights.

It's not clear why the justices have skipped this year, assuming they were invited. A spokesman for the society did not respond to an inquiry by the Washington Examiner. The justices, who rarely issue statements under any circumstances, have not explained.

National Law Journal, which first noticed the absences, suggested that the reason may be because the event's theme this year is the role of Congress and will feature numerous lawmakers as speakers. That would put the justices in the uncomfortable position of weighing in on another branch of government and the legislative process rather than individual laws or legal theory.

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