By Cara L. Gallagher, weekend contributor
*Warning! This post contains House of Cards spoilers. Beware/Enjoy!
The Supreme Court has never been cooler than it is right now. I place the kickoff around the summer of 2013 with a Tumbler page adorably called Notorious R.B.G. dedicated to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. By last summer, the website tipped. Ginsburg had seen it and commented on her eponymous website telling Katie Couric that she’s “a fan.”
If bloodshed is any proof of adoration, this woman’s tattoo of the “Supreme” R.B.G. puts her on another level of fandom. Clearly Ginsburg is having a moment.
John Oliver melted the internet for a hot minute when his HBO show Last Week, Tonight set the audio of the Hobby Lobby decision to dogs sitting on a mock Supreme Court bench dressed as the Justices. Uber nerds covet the Supreme Court bobble head dolls, which can be purchased for $250 on EBay if you’re cool with getting a James Iredell bobble head.
Collectors got a peek at what a SCOTUS Lego set of the female Supreme Court Justices – including Sandra Day O’Connor – would look like only to learn Lego passed on the “Legal Justice League” idea because it was too “political.” Boo!
“The Originalist,” a play about Justice Scalia debuts in Washington, D.C. this spring. Actor Edward Gero, who in the photos bears an eerie resemblance to the Justice, captures an “affectionately antagonistic” Scalia at the end of the 2013 term. Derrick Wang created an operatic tribute to the Odd-Couple friendship between Ginsburg and Scalia. Both have seen it and “both enjoyed it,” according to R.B.G.
In short, Supreme Court impersonations, tributes, and fanfare of the last year have been ubiquitous. All of which, even if they mock, reveal greater attention paid to the Supreme Court – whether the Justices want it or not – in American pop culture. Perhaps wise to this attention, Netflix’s House of Cards added a Supreme Court storyline this season. [Spoiler Alert!]
On the show, the President offers the Solicitor General a seat on the Supreme Court, but she turns it down to throw her hat into the presidential race. The idea of Donald Verrilli or Neal Katyal, two very recent SG’s, garnering enough affection to mount a credible campaign seemed extraordinary. What did not, however, were the shots from the show inside the Supreme Court. The set director and design team perfected the television SCOTUS in its size, design, and accuracy. The SG is called into the chambers of a Justice who could’ve been cast because of his uncanny likeness to Stephen Breyer.
The more Supreme Court, the better, I say. And I hope the attention paid to the Justices and the SCOTUS remind the bench of the pervasive and continuing curiosity Americans have for the “least dangerous branch.”
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