Mark Walsh, SCOTUSBlog columnist, informed me that Art Lien will soon be retiring as a veteran Supreme Court artist.
[Art Lien]He will be retiring after a few months. In 1977-1978, he began sketching Supreme Court arguments. Regents of the University of California v. BakkeA case involving affirmative action was decided. I would like to prevail on him to go one more term and have some symmetry by sketching the Harvard and University of North Carolina affirmative-action cases, but it seems that his mind is made up. Lien is not like Breyer and has not set his retirement date dependent on the confirmation of a replacement.
This is why art has such an important function. Even though the audio is live streamed from the chamber, there are no visuals. We don’t know how else to find out if Justices wear masks. Today, there was an extinguisher left of the bench, but it wasn’t for unknown reasons. Why? It is not clear. But Art drew it.
Mark Walsh had a comment that was just *fire emoji* (Reason.com blocks the inclusion of emoji in posts).
As we wait for the session to begin, the always astute Art Lien notices an object in the courtroom that is not usually there, at least not in so prominent a position. The floor is littered with a fire extinguisher, just to the left and below the bench. Maybe the court decided that podcasters needed more information to make their metaphors about court status.. Lien quickly drew a diagram of the fire extinguisher.
Art, we will be missing you.