In recent years it seems that every nomination to the U. S. Supreme Court leads to partisan controversy. This exhibit displays political memorabilia from the collection of Professor Kurt Metzmeier that documents some of the most recent controversies. Also included are some buttons from the pre-Court political careers of justices, a button urging the election of a sitting justice as president, and humorous objects gently mocking the dignity of the Supreme Court.
While appointments to the Court had always stirred interest in legal circles, it wasn’t until the nomination of “the people’s lawyer” Louis D. Brandeis to the court that the nation saw an active campaign against a justice. Still, that nomination was somewhat of a special case, as Brandeis had stirred up unusual distaste among the banking and railroad trusts. Even President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s frequent battles with the Supreme Court did not lead to organized campaigns against his nominees. This is surprising since most early justices were drawn from political life and many had served as governors, senators, and even, in the case of William Howard Taft, president. Indeed, the only political activity involving Supreme Court justices until the late 20th century was an occasional convention boomlet to draft one of justices to run for the presidency. (William O. Douglas perhaps was the last sitting justice to entertain such dreams).
The first attempt by an organized political group to set its sights on a member of the Supreme Court was the conservative John Birch Society’s billboard campaign to impeach sitting Chief Justice Earl Warren for the perceived liberalism of his court. However, it was President Ronald Reagan’s nomination of conservative scholar Robert Bork to the Supreme Court in 1986 that set off the first full-scale campaign against a nominee; one that would lead to the word “Borking” being entered in the dictionary as a term for the process of defeating a judicial nomination. Metzmeier’s collection has no fewer than four different buttons involving this effort.
After the Bork nomination, things would never be the same. Buttons and bumper stickers would be employed to both support and oppose controversial nominations. In addition, the ability to possibly choose members of the Supreme Court would be noted in every presidential campaign. A classic 1996 campaign button features a free-spinning arrow pointing to the names of existing justices who (the button implies) could die or resign at any time and asks “Who do you want to choose the next Justice?” The Supreme Court now plays more prominent role in popular political culture than at any time. Its secret service nickname SCOTUS is well-known and forms part of a popular legal blog. And it hard to imagine any prior justice being so lovingly re-imaged as Justice Ginsburg has been as “The Notorious RGB.”
The exhibit is in the Law Library reading room through the end of 2014.
The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction's (CALI) Library of Lessons contains over 900 interactive, computer-based legal tutorials covering more than three dozen legal education subject areas. The lessons are designed to augment traditional law school instruction. Many of your classmates have found them helpful in preparing for their exams.
Free copies of the DVD are available at the library's Circulation Desk. You may also view the lessons online. The student authorization code and instructions are available at the library's website. You must register with your "@louisville.edu" email address.
- Tarasoff Duties after Newtown by Mark Rothstein
- Founding Worker Cooperatives: Social Movement Theory and the Law by Ariana Levinson
- Resilient Cities and Adaptive Law by Craig Anthony
- The Forgotten Right to Be Secure by Luke Milligan
More information about the RPS:
The Law Library's Fall semester schedule begins Monday, August 18. The library will generally be open from 8 AM to 11 PM Monday's thru Thursday's, 8 AM to 6 PM on Friday's, 9 AM to 6 PM on Saturday's and 1 PM to 11 PM on Sunday's.
Please note that in addition Labor Day (September 1), the Law Library is closed on Sunday, August 24, due to traffic issues caused by the annual Iron Man triathalon.
Two self-service scanners are now available in the Law Library's Reading Room. Each provides an affordable alternative to the photocopiers.
If you have a mobile device, CamScanner is a useful app for scanning and managing documents as well as the library's scanner.
Here's a review of recent law school related news from the Louisville and Kentucky Bar Associations.
In the June 2014 issue of the Louisville Bar Association's Bar Briefs, Dean Susan Duncan reports on how the "Law School's Strategic Plan Benefits from Legal Community Input" and outlines its mission on page 6.
Highlights from the LBA's May 2014 Bar Briefs include:
- "Professor Ed Render's Legacy Lives on at the UofL School of Law" by Dean Duncan and Professor Jones (page 6)
- "Labor & Employment Moot Court Team Enjoys Unprecedented Success" (page 6)
- "OSHA & Workers' Compensation: Beware Conflating the Two" co-authored by Leah Rupp Smith, '13 (page 18)
More highlights from the LBA's April 2014 Bar Briefs include:
- Dean Duncan's "Spotlight on UofL School of Law's Environmental Law Education" (page 6)
- "Getting to the Know the Professor: Q&A with Professor Tom "Fitz" FitzGerald" (page 6)
- Props for the law school's adjunct professors (page 6)
- "No Money, Mo' Problems: Researching Federal and State Budgets"
Highlights from the Kentucky Bar Association's May 2014 Bench & Bar include:
- "UofL Alumni Serve as Role Models for Future Lawyers in 'Kentucky's' Global Economy" (page 20)
- "Transactional Lawmeet Team Wins the Regional Competition" (page 20)
- "On the Move" (page 70)
In the March 2014 issue of the KBA's Bench & Bar, Dean Duncan writes about "The Importance of Municipal Law Society" and touts the faculty's service and leadership in several local civic organizations (page 22). Assistant Professor of Justice Administration, Michael Losavio, reviews "A Basics Handbook on Adobe Acrobat: Adobe Acrobat in One Hour for Lawyers" on page 25. The bi-monthly "On the Move" column beginning on page 54 features news about many of our law school's graduates. Lastly, Ed Render is remembered on page 64.
Both publications are available in the law library.
The latest issue of our SSRN Research Paper series features articles covering timely issues in healthcare, human rights, family law and legal education.
- Intestate Inheritance and Stepparent Adoption: A Reappraisal by Jim Jones
- Creating a More Dangerous Branch: How the United Kingdom's Human Rights Act Has Empowered the Judiciary and Changed the Way the British Government Creates Law by JoAnne Sweeny
- Disability Discrimination Law: The Impact on Legal Education and the Legal Profession by Laura Rothstein
- The Latest Challenge to Health Privacy: Health Care Consolidation by Mark Rothstein
More information about the RPS:
On May 19, faculty members were recognized for their service to the University of Louisville with an awards ceremony at the University Club. Public Services Librarian, Robin Harris, was honored for 30 years of service and Law Library Director, David Ensign, was honored for 25 years of service.
Full Story: "Faculty Service Awards add up to more than 1,700 years of service" (UofL Today, May 27, 2014)
In other news, Library Assistant, Marcus Walker, recently received a Masters in Library Science from the University of Kentucky and Circulation Assistant, Jerome Neukirch, was named the law school's Employee of the Month for April 2014.