Supreme Court Trivia:
Eric Muller has a question for serious Supreme Court geeks.
HLSbertarian (mail):
Marbury and Madison?
10.11.2006 6:32pm
Colin (mail):
Based purely on the fact that they're hanging in a cafeteria, and allegedly humerous, would one of them be Spooner?
10.11.2006 6:41pm
HLSbertarian is correct.
10.11.2006 6:42pm
Mike BUSL07 (mail) (www):
10.11.2006 6:42pm
Justin (mail):
The one on the right is clearly James Madison, so I'll third Jared and HLS.
10.11.2006 6:46pm
Chris 24601 (mail):
I'd heard about that from someone before, but I had heard that they were facing each other on opposite walls. So the picture is somewhat deflating. Sort of Marbury and Madison, rather than Marbury versus Madison.
10.11.2006 7:01pm
Kent Scheidegger (mail) (www):
I really think a third picture should hang in that room. Marbury and Madison constantly remind them they have the power to review statutes. A picture of Dred Scott should be there to remind them of the consequences of the misuse of that power.
10.11.2006 7:27pm
Richard Riley (mail):
Chris24601, an old-fashioned way of referring to Supreme Court cases - still current among some law professors and the occasional justice - is indeed "Marbury and Madison," "Brown and Board of Education," etc. So Marbury and Madison's portraits on the wall next to each other works fine.
10.11.2006 7:29pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
That's nothing. You should see the pictures they hung for Hustler v Falwell.
10.11.2006 7:35pm
nyejm (mail) (www):
I'm just not really sure why that's funny.
10.11.2006 9:14pm
Average Joe (mail):
Notice also the title of the post at Is That Legal?:

It Is Emphatically The Duty of the Judicial Department To Have Lunch.
which echos the phrase from Marshall's opinion in Marbury vs. Madison :

It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is. Those who apply the rule to particular cases, must of necessity expound and interpret that rule. If two laws conflict with each other, the courts must decide on the operation of each.
which, in turn, gives a clue to the identity of the two gentlemen in the portraits.
10.11.2006 9:41pm
Tom R (mail):
> "an old-fashioned way of referring to Supreme Court cases - still current among some law professors and the occasional justice"

We subjects of the Queen in the British Empire still pronounce "v" as "and" for civil matters. For criminal cases, it's pronounced "against". It is a solecism, anywhere in Her Majesty's current (or post-1777 past) realms, to pronounce it as "versus" or "vee", unless of course citing US cases.

How do Canadians say it?
10.11.2006 9:45pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
The one on the left is Alexis Rapscallion, the 18th century Scot who began his career by defauding a string of orphanages, then used to proceeds to finance orgies at an abandoned church, and died in 1807 of injuries suffered while attempting to rape an ox. As a result, his name became a common noun in English -- alexis.
10.11.2006 10:55pm
TomHynes (mail):
I saw "It Is Emphatically The Duty of the Judicial Department To Have Lunch" and guessed the Earl of Sandwich.
10.11.2006 11:23pm
Here's another Supreme Court trivia question that I do not know the answer to, but I'd sure like to know:

What happened to Marbury's commission document, as in, where is it stored today?
10.11.2006 11:58pm
A Northwestern Law Student:
Anonymous1L: As of the middle of this August, Marbury's commission was on display at the National Archives, just past the Bill of Rights.
10.12.2006 1:15am
Northwestern Law Student:
Do you know if they're planning to deliver it anytime soon?
10.12.2006 12:07pm
Stevethepatentguy (mail) (www):
Learned and Augustus Hand.

I'm not sure which one is the left Hand.
10.12.2006 2:44pm
anonymousblogger (mail):
FYI, here's a good article on the case, with an excerpt on the portraits:


Excerpt: Of all the disappointed office seekers in American history, only William Marbury obtained the honor of having his portrait hang in the chambers of the United States Supreme Court. In the Justices' small dining room designated by Chief Justice Warren Burger as the "the John Marshall room," Chief Justice Burger placed the portraits of Marbury and James Madison, Marbury's legal adversary, as if the two men, in partnership, had given the Chief Justice his commission to practice judicial review.

The portraits hang side by side, their styles, frames, and expressions in marked incongruity with one another. Marbury, painted it is thought by Rembrandt Peale, a cousin of his wife's, sits corpulently self-satisfied. n1 He returns the viewer's gaze pleasantly, comfortable in the social and financial status he has achieved. Compared to the soft, almost sepia tones of Marbury's portrait, the smaller Madison painting by James Frothingham has sharper contrasts. Madison looks past the observer, with an intelligent, almost combative intensity.
10.12.2006 3:08pm