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.

Sentencing Dry-Run

An odd hearing yesterday. Last week Judge Emmet Sullivan scheduled a status hearing in United States v. Flynn, ordering the defendant, former national security advisor Michael Flynn, to attend. It was Flynn’s first appearance in court since pleading guilty last

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Capital Gazette Shooter In Court

Jarrod Ramos had his first appearance before a judge via CC TV after murdering five people with a shotgun at the offices of the Capital Gazette, a local Annapolis newspaper. Ramos, who appeared to be handcuffed, looked upward the entire

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End of SCOTUS Term . . . and the World As We Know It

Reporting on the retirement of Justice Kennedy, Nina Totenberg quoted R.E.M. “. . . it’s the end of the world as we know it”. Although rumors had been circulating for over a year most Court-watchers figured Kennedy would hold off

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Sketches From This Week’s Added Opinion Days

Monday on the Supreme Court plaza was sizzling hot, Friday was not. In fact now, on the other side of the solstice, it’s drizzling and mild. Into the home stretch now, the Court is adding opinion days to its regular

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Gerrymander Side-Step on a Hot Day

Nothing is more welcome on a broiling summer day in DC than the cool marble halls inside the Supreme Court building . Outside, by the plaza, camera crews waited under beach umbrellas for reporters with news of the Court’s latest

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Catching Up: Some SCOTUS Opinions

First things first, DC threw a parade last week to celebrate the home team Stanley Cup winners. Congratulations Washington Capitals! Below are sketches of opinions announced in three major cases, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Husted v. A.

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Catching Up: AT&T and a Leaker

I’ve been neglecting this blog lately, forgive me. Here are a couple of sketches from the past two weeks. Depicted above is the conclusion of the months long AT&T / Time Warner anti-trust trial. Judge Leon delivered his decision approving

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Go Directly To Jail

Special Counsel Mueller’s team asked a judge on Friday to reconsider the conditions of Paul Manafort’s bail in light of additional charges relating to his attempts to influence potential witnesses. It surprised no one when judge Amy Berman Jackson revoked

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More SCOTUS Sketches From Last Week

I’m a little late getting these posted. The last week of arguments for the term was dominated by Wednesday’s Trump v. Hawaii, which I’ve already posted, but the justices also heard cases on Texas gerrymandering, Abbott v. Perez, and on

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Trump v. Hawaii Sketches

On the last argument day of the term the Justices heard the challenge to Trump’s travel ban. Line sitters had been camped out on the sidewalk since Monday. As expected the courtroom was packed. If you look closely at the

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