Author: 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.

Continuing Beta Theta Pi Preliminary Hearing

Back in Bellefonte last week for two more days of preliminary hearing into the death of Penn State frat house pledge Timothy Piazza. Not an easy assignment. Not because of the challenge of drawing the ornate courtroom crowded with multiple

Posted in Courtroom Tagged with: , ,

June End Of Term Sketches

June is when the Supreme Court releases the last of its opinions in cases argued earlier during the term, especially the harder to decide cases. This term big news on the last day was about a case yet to be

Posted in Opinions, Supreme Court, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , , ,

Gorsuch Investiture

My sketch of Justice Gorsuch’s investiture ceremony at the Supreme Court yesterday. President Trump and first lady Melania attended, seated between Justice Kennedy’s wife, Mary, and retired Justice Stevens (not shown). Also present but not shown in my sketch were

Posted in Supreme Court Tagged with: , ,

The Last Hours Of Timothy Piazza

  A preliminary hearing began yesterday for members of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity at Penn State charged in the death Timothy Piazza. Piazza was one of the pledges made to run a gantlet of drinking stations on the night

Posted in Courtroom Tagged with: , , ,

Still Waiting For The Big Ones . . .

The Supreme Court announced opinions in four argued cases yesterday: Los Angeles v. Mendez, BNSF Railway v. Tyrrell, Esquivel-Quintana v. Sessions, and Impression Products v. Lexmark International. On a gray, rainy day the general feeling was . . . meh.  

Posted in Opinions, Supreme Court Tagged with:

Opinion On North Carolina Redistricting

A little late posting this sketch from Monday of Justice Kagan announcing the opinion in Cooper v. Harris. Note that Justices Alito and Breyer were absent from the bench though they did take part in the decision. Justice Gorsuch (spell

Posted in Opinions, Supreme Court Tagged with:

Fourth Circuit En Banc

The full Fourth Circuit – less two recused – sat in Richmond yesterday for the first appellate review of Trump’s travel ban. Next Monday the Ninth Circuit will also hear arguments on a Hawaiian judge’s order blocking parts of the

Posted in Courtroom Tagged with: , , ,

Two Opinions, One Sketch

Justice Breyer had the opinions in both cases announced today, Venezuela v. Helmerich & Payne International and Bank of America Corp. v. City of Miami ( note, Justice Sotomayor was absent from the bench ). And although one courtroom sketch covered both opinions, I also

Posted in Opinions, Supreme Court Tagged with:

Last Two Arguments Of The Term

On Wednesday the Justices heard arguments in the last two scheduled cases of the term. Between now and the end of June they will take the bench only to announce opinions, and possibly for the ceremonial investiture of Justice Gorsuch.

Posted in Arguments, Supreme Court Tagged with: , , , ,

Penultimate Argument Day Ringtone

A pair of civil jurisdiction cases on the next to last argument day of the Supreme Court’s term promised little in the way of news, but for a ringtone that sounded early into the first argument. Cell phones are not

Posted in Arguments, Opinions, Supreme Court Tagged with: ,