March 6, 2004

My all-time favorite Rehnquist idea. From an interview in the NYT about his current book, Centennial Crisis, about the disputed 1876 election: when asked about his next book, the Chief Justice says:
I don't know there is going to be a next book. I think maybe some sort of a cartoon history of the court. That has been done, but it's not been done with a very good text. I've always enjoyed cartoons. That's one of the things I would like to have been able to do, I would like to have the ability to draw.

He adds that he can't do the drawings himself, so let me say, I went to art school (long ago), and I've done some cartooning over the years and have quite a collection of artistic comic books. Now that I'm figuring out how to do images here, I'll try to put some of my pictures up at some point. One of my most elaborate ones involves Justice Blackmun and his statement, "From this day forward, I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death."

Here's my favorite comic book:

That's a style entirely inappropriate for a cartoon history of the Supreme Court, at least the authorized Rehnquist version. Visitors to my law school office may notice a postcard of this Mark Beyer work near my door:

Actually, the more I think about it the more I'd love to read a cartoon history of the Supreme Court illustrated by Mark Beyer. That postcard could represent one of the Justices, hard at work at his desk, haunted by the criticisms of the other Justices (at the left) and worried about the fate of the litigants (on the other side of the window).

C'mon Chief, take a chance! We know you love art from the fact that you told the NYT that if you hadn't become a Supreme Court Justice, you would have liked to be an architect or a symphony conductor ... and from the stripes on your robe (photo from the NYT):

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