May 28, 2015

Supreme Court Justices In Pop Culture

Slate columnist Dahlia Lithwick and her guests discuss the suddenly expanding cottage industry of biopics and other entertainment focusing on Supreme Court Justices, including Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas, on episode 18 of Slate's podcast Amicus. More here.

But interest in the Justices, or in the Supreme Court generally, as fodder for pop images, isn't new. Consider John Grisham's thriller The Pelican Brief (1992; filmed 1993 with Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington). The Justices turn up in scenes from The People Vs. Larry Flynt (1996), Recount (2008), and Gideon's Trumpet (1980), as well as any number of other films. At least two scholars, Maxwell Bloomfield, and Laura Ray, have examined the image of the Justices in pop culture; their work is quite instructive. Cites below.

Maxwell Bloomfield, The Supreme Court in American Popular Culture, 4 Journal of American Culture 1 (Winter 1981).

Laura Ray, Judicial Fictions: Images of Supreme Court Justices in the Novel, Drama, and Film, 39 Arizona Law Review 151 (1997).

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