Colorful Justice

     Good news for art fans: There are now not one, but two Ruth Bader Ginsburg coloring books.
     Yes, Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg – aka Notorious RBG, although I prefer to think of her as the Betty White of the judiciary – can be displayed in any shade you like, or even polka dots, in a variety of settings and poses.
     And if you’re creative and industrious, you can cut out the finished pieces of art, paste them onto action figures, and create your very own miniature highest court of the land.
     There are also T-shirts.
     I’m thinking it’s the sort of thing you could wear in the audience at a big trial.
     A coloring book you can buy – available, believe it or not, at – describes the justice as “octogenarian, United States Supreme Court justice, pop icon, feminist hero, ferocious equal rights champion, jabot-wearing trend-setter, scathing dissent-writer, lousy cook, bad driver, whitewater rafter, opera-loving workout queen.”
     No wonder we need so many drawings of her.
     A free coloring book, though, may be cooler. There’s an RBG with a tattoo, there’s an RBG in skin-tight superhero duds, and, my favorite, an RBG riding a unicorn in front of a rainbow.
     Now that’s the kind of justice that gets my respect.
     RBG is so popular that the American Bar Association’s Senior Lawyers Division is sponsoring a private reception and photo session with her for new Supreme Court bar members. Apparently, no other justices are sufficiently photogenic.
     This is all quite wonderful, but I do see a problem here: What about the other seven justices on the court?
     Isn’t it equally important that we get to know them too? Do we want to risk them making bad decisions because they’re grumpy about not getting any attention?
     Of course not.
     Coloring books, however, should not be the way to recognize the other justices. We need to treat them as the individuals they are, with appropriate tributes.
     I have a few suggestions.
     The Clarence Thomas Meditation Guide. Instructions for finding inner peace through silence.
     The Anthony Kennedy Souvenir Swing Set. Rock back and forth on a seat bearing the portrait of your favorite swing voter.
     The Stephen Breyer Coat of Arms and Commemorative Swords. In honor of Justice Breyer’s connection to British aristocracy. (Bet you didn’t know that.)
     John Roberts Silent Video Memes. This is sort of like the coloring books except that instead of using crayons, you fill in the words emanating from the Chief Justice.
     Because he’s the justice who most looks like a TV news anchor. Stay classy, America.
     Samuel Alito Pasta. Come on. He’s Italian.
     Sonia Sotomayor Salsa Jams. They can be condiments or parties.
     Elena Kagan Themed Bat/Bar Mitzvahs. Put on a black robe and dance the hora.
     Image of the profession. I can understand why non-lawyers might have a poor impression of lawyers and the legal system, but shouldn’t lawyers be a little more upbeat?
     You’d think so, but the results of yet another unnecessary survey may reveal a dark side of lawyer self-non-esteem.
     (Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t read or seen “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Bleak House,” or “The Firm,” stop reading now.)
     A legal consulting firm for some reason has issued a press release touting the results of a survey that asked lawyers to name the greatest novel about the legal profession.
     Almost half picked “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
     OK, great book. I loved it.
     Now, consider what happened – a completely unfair trial sent an innocent man to prison, where he was killed.
     Number two on the list is “Bleak House.” It’s not exactly a rosy picture of trial efficiency.
     Then there’s “The Firm,” with lawyers getting murdered by their partners to keep money laundering secret.
     Hmm. Maybe I’ve been missing something about the legal profession.
     I’m getting scared.

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