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April 9, 2010

Your Turn: The Stevens Era



That was then, this is now. What are you seeing (besides the tilt)?

(photo 1: Barry Thumma-AP. Oct. 1, 1982. caption: President Ronald Reagan, center right, poses with the nine members of the Supreme Court at the White House. Back row from left: Stevens, Lewis F. Powell Jr., William H. Rehnquist and Sandra Day O’Connor. Front row, from left: Thurgood Marshall, William J. Brennan Jr., Warren E. Burger, Reagan, Byron R. White and Harry A. Blackmun. photo 2: Jim Young/Reuters. Sept. 29, 2009. caption: The U.S. Supreme Court. Front row, from left: Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Justice John Paul Stevens, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., Justice Antonin Scalia, Justice Clarence Thomas. Second row, from left: Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice Stephen G. Breyer, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor.)

  • Aunt Moe

    Well, first observation – yeserday’s court looked much slimmer, much healthier and much happier.

  • gmoke

    Samuel Alito is an arrogant SOB. At least, that’s what his body language screams at me. Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas aren’t much better.

  • oliviacw

    The gender and racial balance hasn’t changed much in nearly 30 years.
    In the later picture, Thomas, Scalia, and Alito all look somewhere between disdainful and positively disrespectful. That photo was taken just before the start of the fall session after Sotomayor was sworn in, so my intuition is that they were responding to her presence. Especially so since Thomas and Scalia are seated right in front of her, and Alito is tilting his head away from her to his right, while everyone else is generally looking leftwards.

  • Jerry Quance

    What am I seeing? An incredible argument for limited terms (15 years? 20 years?) or a mandatory retirement age…

  • Lynne

    I’m interested in the posture of the seated Justices (the the Pres) and both images. Legs crossed, knees spread wide, knees straight. And the placement of their hands. What stand out the most to me is the posture of Justices Roberts, Alito, and Thomas — prissy, up yours, and in your face.

  • Me

    To see a second rate intellect, gutless conservative, hypocrite like Clarence Thomas follow in the steps of Thurgood Marshall is just shameful.

  • ST

    It is interesting in both pictures the African American justice is on the periphery and looking a bit annoyed.

  • Stella

    Is there a more belligerant cheap hack than Clarence Thomas on our payroll?
    Looking through my feminist filter, I see a man who refuses to give up his seat on the bus to a woman. Alito’s face reflects the same emotion.
    It may be a loss of status, or perhaps it’s just annoyance at the requirements of showbiz to put on the costume and look happy.

  • Rima

    In the B&W pic, in the front row, third from the right…who’s the guy with the vacant star on his face?

  • elfpix

    Quite honestly, it’s pretty appalling to me that the women are standing. Period courtesy would require that they be seated.

  • acm

    Intrigued that the current photo is all in robes, the older one all in street clothes. Do they need the costumes to engender the respect these days?

  • jmac

    Scalia wanted to be a priest (didn’t because he was an only child) – and he looks like he has a priest’s robe on – and he legislates like he’s a priest.

  • tinwoman

    It looks, unfortunately, like the very conservative judges are pretty young, and will be around for a long time :(

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