October 20, 2006

Is law really this exciting?

Statue of Justice

That's the statue of Justice on display at Saint Louis University School of Law (where I was last week). Quite something, no? All we have is "Blind Bucky":



And it's not even a statue.

I don't like the way Bucky is holding the sword by the blade. And I don't like the way the SLU Justice is waving the sword around while blindfolded. In the classic portrayal of Justicia/Themis, the blindfolded goddess holds the sword by the handle and in the "down" position. Then there's the federal government's Spirit of Justice, who doesn't bother holding any implements but just flings her arms up in the Evita position and lets the toga fall where it may, setting the stage for years of fun mocking Attorneys General.

37 comments:

stephenb said...
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stephenb said...

Yes, Bucky does look a bit ridiculous holding the sword by the blade. It reminds me of my 4-year-old son licking a knife the other day. He won't do that again.

Mike said...

Ann, doesn't the Law school find Blind Bucky to be a bit of a hinderance in faculty recruiting? He isn't, exactly, shall we say, inspiring.

Ann Althouse said...

Mike: Don't taunt the badger.

MadisonMan said...

What good is a sword if you're blindfolded, anyway?

AlaskaJack said...

Maybe the SLU Justice is waving her sword around because, while her scales of justice seem to have tipped in favor of one party, the loser refuses to accept the decision.

Unknown Pundit said...

The Washington Univ. statue is quite impressive. But I do find it troublesome that the sword is lifted and ready to strike. The sword represents punishment, of course, and by having it raised in such an aggressive pose suggests (to me) severe punishment. Sometimes mercy is warranted, so having the sword at the side would be better, implying thoughtful deliberation of the coming punishment to the guilty.

Fitz said...

zAh – Lady Justice.

Problem is she doesn’t appear this way anymore.

She lost the blindfold of impartiality with the Warren court in the 1960’s
She tossed the scales aside in 73 with the Roe & Doe decisions basically removing federalism and any compromise on an unfettered abortion license.

She removed her toga when anti-pornography statutes become “free speech” & “free expression”

So we have what we have today…

A Naked Pagan Goddess, wielding a sword. (ruthlessly)

Maxine Weiss said...

uh oh, looking for deeper meaning in the mascots.....means it's time to finally leave the cloistered cocoon of the campus world....

...and finally go out into the real world of work.

Unknown Pundit said...

What good is a sword if you're blindfolded, anyway?

Ninja training?

Mike said...

Ann said: "Don't taunt the badger."

Blind Bucky doesn't scare me.

Jeremy said...

Ok, but couldn't the same arguement about blindfoldedness be made about Justice's inability to correctly calibrate or read the scales?

Maybe the best solution could be a lifesize doll (a la Real Barbie) with poseable arms (to indicate mercy, thoughtful deliberation or punishment) depending on the verdict.

Alan said...

God no, the law isn't that exiting. But then I don't know anything about the law...so my answer is meaningless. My only hope, as I refine my political philosophy, is I don't look too much an idiot with respect to the law.

Mike said...

MadisonMan said: "What good is a sword if you're blindfolded, anyway?"

Feel the Force, Luke.

Alan said...

...or exciting.

The Mechanical Eye said...

Considering the Anglo-Saxon tradition of trial by combat (not to mention code duello), depicting the law as a naked sword-weilding goddess isn't that much of a stretch.

Revenant said...

That is a cool statue.

The sword isn't held "ready to strike", though. It is drawn and ready, but the posture isn't an aggressive one.

Tibore said...

You know, carrying the sword cradled in your arms like Bucky's doing is valid if it's sheathed, but doing that by the bare blade... aiieeeee!... if he trips, he's gonna be one seriously wounded badger.

And why such a big frown? I know the image of justice is supposed to be serious, but he looks more pissed than serious.

As a non-law aside: Why's he called "Bucky"? Wouldn't that be a more suitable name for the Ohio State U's mascot?

And yeah, the St. Louis U. statue: It's almost too exciting. That stance says more "I'm gonna kick your a**" than it does "I'm going to thoughtfully and deliberately consider your case". Not that I'd argue... I mean, she's wielding that sword, I wouldn't wanna piss her off or anything... :)

George said...

Looks like the painting Frank Frazetta did for the book "Conana the Barbarian Lawgiver"

tiggeril said...

Lady Godiva is back and she is pissed!

Anthony said...

Lady Godiva is back and she is pissed!

Bwahahahahah!!!!!

Xena the Warrior Justice!

Bucky: Origin is Buckingham U. Badger. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bucky_Badger

Ernst Blofeld said...

I think the sword pointed down rather than up has some significance in heraldry.

BrianOfAtlanta said...

Mike, I agree. This Justice obviously has Jedi training.

Anthony said...

I've been desperately trying to find an online representation of what the law school should really portray Bucky as.

Ann probably knows. . . . .

PWS said...

At the risk of lowering the discussion, I'm a bit surprised Ann didn't mention the prominence of the statue's breasts. I mean it is quite a pose!

AllenS said...

The statue of Justice on display is a woman with breasts! What's the deal with Bucky? What kind of chest is that? Man or woman? Would someone please, lift up Bucky's tail, and tell me what you see.

Mortimer Brezny said...

The law, in fact, is that slutty. That's why there are so many lawyers.

stephenb said...

Wow, 25 comments (including this one). Law must really be this exciting!!!

Truly said...

The lady justice statue makes me think of someone auditioning for 'Fame'! Doesn't she look like she's about to start singing?

bearing said...

Ohio State's mascot is named Brutus. Brutus Buckeye.

Johnny Nucleo said...

That statue is awesome! I have one just like it, but the chick does not have a sword, or scales, or a toga, and the pose is different.

Unknown Pundit was close, but BrianOfAtlanta is correct. Lady Deathstrike can wield the sword blindfolded no problem because the Force is her ally.

Johnny Nucleo said...

Correction: Mike was correct. BrianOfAtlanta was also correct, but Mike was correct first. My apologies to all.

Paul Zrimsek said...

If I were appearing in SLU Justice's court, I'd want my case placed in the pan that's noticeably heavier than the other one.

Ron said...

Yeah, she's not waving the sword around...even if you ignore the fact that she's a statue. She's just holding it. Wouldn't your assertion raise an objection in court?

By the way, can't they make a modern statue where she has a gun? That would be pretty hot.

Timothy K. Morris said...

Great representation of Justice -- emphasizing the idea that you seek Justice at your own risk.

Timothy K. Morris said...

Also, note how the sword is held by Justice on the top of the Old Bailey - who is not wearing a blindfold, either. Though that's a bit hard to see in most photos. See the picute at http://www.fotosearch.com/ITS166/itf066031/

Mellow-Drama said...

She's got the sword in the ready position but the scales are elevated. The balance of the equities is more important; the sword is a reminder as to what will come later, once judgment is rendered.

As far as swordfighting blind, hello, haven't any of you people seen The House of Flying Daggers?