Kavanaugh Investiture

The formal investiture of a Supreme Court justice is a merely ceremonial event, and after the fact for Justice Kavanaugh who has been on the bench from the beginning of the this term. But Thursday’s script was slightly different because of two events of the previous day, the resignation of AG Sessions, and Justice Ginsburg’s fall resulting in fractured ribs. As a result Justice Ginsburg was not present on the bench, and the new Acting AG, Matthew Whitaker was at the lectern.

Otherwise it was a packed house with most, if not all, of the DC Circuit present, including Judge Merrick Garland. A lot of US District judges too. And everyone else you would expect like Senators McConnell and Graham ( the later arriving and leaving with the president, further feeding speculation that he may become the next AG ), Kavanaugh’s parents, wife and daughters. POTUS and FLOTUS were the last to arrive and the first to leave.



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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2 comments on “Kavanaugh Investiture
  1. Avatar Bob Thomas says:

    Hi, Art – I wrote you a few months ago to compliment you on your work and for some reason didn’t think to look for your website. But now that I’ve looked at it, I can expand my appreciation for it. It was great to see the progression of your technique and the way in which you settled into the handling of your present work which I think is just beautiful. I was curious as to when you had started out and it seems we entered our art careers at just about the same time. I’ve been all over, in and out of many disciplines – graphic design for educational TV and advertising, as well as design for interiors, architecture and throughout it all, my personal drawing and painting. It was interesting that you mentioned courtroom drawing as dying out, I find it so in my own career and it pains me to see such change in the craft and physical intimacy of using media. I am often frustrated at using the computer as a means of expressing myself in design situations but I usually create what I do largely in traditional media and disseminate it by cyber means. Hard now to do in graphic print work but I try. Of course, I recognize that time and tide wait for no man or woman but I hold that so-called “progress” is sometimes anything but what it claims to be. The different but not better law applies. Anyway, I digress here, and almost all the time, so I’ll just offer you more kudos and admiration for your talent and steal away. Keep up the wonderful work and since I don’t have TV, haven’t for many years, I’ll continue to hope at seeing your work on YouTube.

    • Art Lien Art Lien says:

      Thank you, Bob! Yes, I too like to stick to the old media. I gave photoshop a try but for me it’s not intuitive, I use it only to tweek my work. And who needs a TV, too much info as it is.

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