Is the drought over?

I don’t know if it’s because of the primaries, or the economy, but there has been little interest lately by the news media in covering the courts here in the DC area.

Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision may, or may not, change that.


The Court’s decision clears the way for Guantanamo detainees to have their habeas petitions heard in U.S. District Court, for the District of Columbia.

After sketching a few notes at the Supreme Court (Pete Williams rarely uses sketches in his SCOTUS decision stories, but I go just in case) I was sent by the local affiliate to cover a hearing in Greenbelt where five defendants in a mortgage fraud scheme were making their initial appearance.


Let’s hope this signals the end of the courtroom sketch drought – although with the Conventions and the Olympics coming up it could be a dry summer.


Art Lien

Courtartist is me, Art Lien. I've been sketching the courts since 1976, and for most of that time the U.S. Supreme Court has been my regular beat. I've been working almost exclusively for NBC News since 1980. Courtroom sketching is a form of visual journalism or reportage drawing that is slowly dying out. Where once upon a time news organization each had their own artist covering a story, today a "pool" artist often sketches for all. It is a demanding and stressful discipline where the drawing is often done directly and under tight deadline.

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