Old news, but here are my sketches of Steve Bannon’s first court appearance on Congressional Contempt charges last week. I couldn’t tell for sure how many shirts he was wearing but it was reported to be three. Such a repulsive slob, but fun to draw.
As the air to a bird or the sea to a fish, so is contempt to the contemptible. – W. Blake
The justices heard arguments in some notable cases this month, from abortion to gun rights in just the first week. It’s been pretty exciting. The new seating arrangement for the press puts us directly behind arguing counsel; such an improvement after years of being sidelined into a cramped alcove behind two rows of reporters. That’s Nina Totenberg in the foreground, and you can just spy Joan Biskupic on the far right in red.
As usual, I’m late in posting these. I have an aversion to looking at my drawings once they’re done, at least for awhile. It’s always such a struggle, and there’s never enough time, that it’s hard to be satisfied. If that sounds like false modesty it’s just temporary . . . The drawings aren’t bad. I’m just trying to excuse my laziness in publishing them.
On October first, at the investiture ceremony for Justice Amy Coney Barrett, the new Supreme Court, with the exception of Justice Kavanaugh had recently tested positive for COVID-19, assembled on the bench for the first time.
The new term began as usual on the first Monday in October but with Kavanaugh still absent from the bench but participating remotely by telephone.
Here are the sketches from October’s arguments:
By the second week of arguments Kavanaugh was back to participating in person.
Next Monday, November first, the justices will hear arguments in two expedited cases on Texas’ new law, SB8, enforcing abortion restrictions by bounty, and on Wednesday comes a Second Amendment appeal of New York’s gun carry law. It promises to be an interesting term for the new Court.
Yesterday a Trump supporter from Florida, Paul Allard Hodgkins was the first defendant charged with a felony to be sentenced for the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
Judge Randolph Moss imposed a prison term of 8 months, less than the 18 months the government requested. Before sentence was imposed, Hodgkins addressed the judge telling him that he had stopped drinking, joined a church, gave blood, was doing community service and participating in a therapy program.
It also seems that Hodgkins is a cat lover.
Last month another participant in the Capitol riot, 49-year-old grandmother Anna Morgan-Lloyd pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge and was sentenced to probation.
Sentencing of Anna Morgan-Lloyd for her part in January 6 attack on US Capitol / judge Royce Lamberth
In what is being called the largest criminal investigation in US history over 500 people have been charged. And with tens of thousands of hours of video evidence these cases will drag on for a long time to come.
US District judge Amit Mehta holds hearing for dozen Oath Keepers
Proud Boy Charles Donohoe arraignment via zoom
Proud Boys leaders Ethan Nordean and Joe Biggs appear via zoom before US District judge Timothy J. Kelly
. . . for a most unusual SCOTUS term. And, while I hate to admit it, it’s been kinda fun sketching at home from photos of lawyers arguing their case in more casual settings. It will be interesting to return to the courtroom, as expected, in the fall.
Here are the last sketches from this term, April’s arguments plus the one in early May. I’ll probably do a couple more banners between now and when the last opinion is announced. That’s it, I hope, till October in-person.
Amy M. Saharia for petitioners
Jeffrey Fisher, joined by students from Stanford’s Supreme Court Litigation Clinic, arguing on behalf of Michael Gary.
Daniel L. Geyser for petitioners
Robert N. Hochman for petitioner
Matthew M. Wolf for respondents
Aimee A. Feinberg, California Deputy Solicitor General
Derek L. Shafer for petitioners
Bradley N. Garcia, appointed by the Court
Peter D. Keisler for petitioners
Matthew W. Morrison for private respondents
Lisa S. Blatt for petitioner
Jeremy M. Feigenbaum, New Jersey State Solicitor
Andrew L. Adler for petitioner
The justices, all now fully vaccinated, recently sat for an official portrait. The SCOTUSblog banner above was based on that photo. Interestingly another photo taken at the same time shows a wider view of the room including a portrait of Chief Justice Roger Taney, author of the infamous Dred Scott opinion. I originally had included the Taney portrait — see below — but was persuaded that it might be confusing.