October 9, 2010

"The robes acknowledge that the justices have shed distractions in favor of objectivity, fairness and a common, high-minded purpose."

Opines WaPo fashion critic Robin Givhan:
The law is their religion. That's where they place their faith. Their piousness may be imperfect -- they are human, after all. But true devotion is worth striving for.

The robe helps to ward off hubris and self-importance. Indeed, wouldn't we be perturbed if a justice decided that a little rhinestone trim along the sleeves would be quite nice? Or what if a justice decided that a mink collar would be quite lovely in the winter?

14 comments:

Trooper York said...

Judge Sotomayor has a purse from the store but we would love the chance to dress her in some of our clothing.

I would be happy to give her a special wise Latina discount.

Trooper York said...

And I certainly would love to release the Kagan this weekend as we are having a Columbus day sale.

Just sayn'

rhhardin said...

Who can forget gold stripes.

edutcher said...

"The robe helps to ward off hubris and self-importance."?????

As they once said in the Special Identification Group - Whiskey Tango Foxtrot????

The robes reinforce it, Ms Givhan.

amba said...

What does she have to say about Rehnquist's Gilbert & Sullivan gold stripes, then??

traditionalguy said...

The Regalia Robes are uniforms showing educational degrees. We call indoctrinated men and women Doctors. We permit Divinity College graduates to wear their Robes while "Ministering" in churches to be sure that they are certified as educated. Givhan is apparently as uneducated as they come.

Palladian said...

This woman still has a job?

john said...

Givhan was criticizing the practice of poofyness.

Irene said...

"They need a little something at their necks so they don't appear to be naked under their judicial uniforms."

Why Justice, that's a lovely kerchief. It hides your double chin.

John Lynch said...

So Rehnquist's stripes....?

Beldar said...

In my first serious first-chair jury trial almost 30 years ago, the presiding judge was famous among Houston lawyers for wearing a red robe. (He insisted it had precedent in the ancient courts of Rome.) His other ideosyncratic behavior -- which eventually netted him a reprimand from the judicial ethics commission -- included requiring counsel to address each other in front of the jury as "Dr. ____" (on the premise that we all have Juris Doctor degrees) and requiring the plaintiff's lawyer to always sit at a particular table (regardless of either side's preference or lack thereof).

Despite all that, I found him to be a fair enough jurist. Here's an extended war story from the trial, if you're curious about how I humiliated myself before the red-robed judge:

http://beldar.blogs.com/beldarblog/2005/08/report_from_the.html

Beldar said...

Oh, and re "ward[ing] off hubris and self-importance": The costume for THAT is the one judges and barristers in the U.K. still wear, with not only robes but wigs. They tend to be -- indeed, are often celebrated by their wearers precisely on account of -- their (the wigs', that is) ill-used, threadbare, and/or unkempt appearance.

stevenehrbar said...

I find it fascinating that Sandra Day O'Connor's added collar has managed to become traditional for women justices so quickly, with Ginsburg and Sotomayor both adopting it.

Fred4Pres said...

Rhenquist had his gold stripes, inspired by the Lord High Executioner in the Mikado.

No word if he had a little list...