September 29, 2020

Four Female Justices, the Lego Version

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LEGO-SCOTUS-JusticesBy Tony Mauro, From Legal Times,

First there was the stately portrait of the four female U.S. Supreme Court justices, unveiled in 2013 at the National Portrait Gallery.

Now comes a Lego set of the four women who have been on the high court, complete with a replica of the Supreme Court bench and the lectern that advocates use when they appear before them. The other justices are nowhere to be found in the display.

Maia Weinstock, a producer of children’s media and an editor of at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is the creator of what she calls the “Legal Justice League.” Her aim, she wrote, was “to celebrate the accomplishments of women in the legal realm, and to encourage girls and women to work toward high positions in the U.S. judicial system.”

Here is her description of the creation:

“Celebrate women in law with the Legal Justice League! For 192 years, the constitutionality of United States law was decided by men alone. Then in 1981, President Ronald Reagan appointed Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Three women have since joined O’Connor in representing the female half of the U.S. population on the Supreme Court bench: Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1993), Sonia Sotomayor (2009), and Elena Kagan (2010).”

But don’t start making room for the Lego fixtures next to the bobbleheads of the justices you’ve gathered as subscribers to the Green Bag.

Weinstock posted an addendum to her online display thanking readers for their “amazing outpouring of support for this set.” She regretted to tell everyone that the set is not available for purchase. “Please note that the set was already submitted to LEGO Ideas,” she added, “but was rejected by the company for going against their ‘no politics or political symbols’ rule.”

Even though the justices usually view themselves as the apolitical branch, Lego appears to have ruled otherwise.

Speaking of the more formal portrait of the four female justices, the painter, Nelson Shanks, has attracted new attention. Shanks recently revealed that he embedded a shadow of Monica Lewinsky’s dress into his portrait of Bill Clinton.

That news prompted a second look at Shank’s portrait of the four female justices. No out-of-place shadows are readily apparent. The main oddity in the painting is that the diminutive Ginsburg looms larger than the taller O’Connor seated next to her.

IMAGE: Custom LEGO minifigures of the first four female justices of the U.S. Supreme Court: (l-r) Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sandra Day O’Connor, and Elena Kagan. Credit: Maia Weinstock

For more on this story go to: http://www.nationallawjournal.com/legaltimes/id=1202720138381/Four-Female-Justices-the-Lego-Version#ixzz3U5G4SYjY

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