Friday, December 18, 2009


There is all kinds of SCOTUS junk out there, from baseball cards to bobbleheads. Generally, if it can be made, molded, and sold, then it can be SCOTUS-ified. No, really. It's true.

Wall-mounted bling is a nichier category. Traditionally, it has been dominated by Supreme Court bar membership plaques, which are awarded to that highly select group of 300,000 attorneys who are licensed to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States. A new poster entitled "A Visual History of the Supreme Court of the United States," which is actually very, very cool, threatens to upset that regime. Check it out here. And check out a SCOTUS Blog write-up, here.



Note that the poster describes 53 "landmark cases" along the bottom. As SCOTUS Blog observes, such a list requires judgment, and is subject to debate.

Nuts & Boalts is as good a place as any for that debate, so here are my two cents: Replace Bowers v. Hardwick with Northern Pipeline Co. v. Marathon Pipe Line Co. The invalidation of the bankruptcy statutes and Northern Pipeline's rule for the separation of Article I and Article III powers was more important than the Bowers holding — which was subsequently invalidated by Lawrence v. Texas, anyway.

I would also note that the poster is decidedly short on intellectual property cases. It seems pretty clear its designers consulted traditional, straight arrow con law types when selecting content. Which is fine. But I do think cases like Nichols v. Universal Pictures Corp., Sony Corporation of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc., and MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd. are certainly "landmarks" deserving of recognition.



Blogger Vanessa said...

Acuff-Rose v. Campbell forevah

12/18/2009 7:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who needs a poster when you can play the game:

We are all nerds. I know this and am ok with that.

12/18/2009 8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nichols is a 2nd Circuit case, not SCOTUS. Good ol' Hand.

12/18/2009 11:17 PM  

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