On the HBO program Last Week Tonight, John Oliver observed that without video Supreme Court oral arguments are pretty dry, even with courtroom sketches as backdrops. So he proposed that the audio be livened up with video. What video? Dogs!
Clip from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Oct. 19, 2014.
Oliver and his team didn't stop with a cute video of their own. They went further, posting clips of nine canine justices and two lawyers that others could mash up with oral argument recordings. Some of the casting is apt: Justice Ginsburg, played by a Chihuahua, is petite; Justice Scalia, played by a Bulldog, is assertive and jowly.
The YouTube community has responded. Just a few days after the original broadcast, you can now watch the canine Court hear arguments in:
- Citizens United v. FEC (see Citizens United v. FEC (2010), Google Scholar)
- Hobby Lobby Stores v. Sibelius (see Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (2014), Google Scholar
- Bond v. United States (see Bond v. United States, 134 S.Ct. 2077 (2014), Google Scholar )
- Florida v. Jardines (see Florida v. Jardines, 133 S.Ct. 1409 (2013), Google Scholar)
- NLRB v. Noel Canning (see NLRB v. Noel Canning, 134 S.Ct. 2550 (2014), Google Scholar)
- Florida v. Harris (see Florida v. Harris, 133 S.Ct. 1050 (2013) Google Scholar)
- Holt v. Hobbs (not yet decided; see SCOTUS Blog page )
- Heien v. North Carolina (not yet decided; see SCOTUS Blog page )
I can't be alone in finding these amusing (otherwise, why would so many people have gone to the trouble of making the mash-ups?). Love the dogs. I also like the court reporter pecking at her stenotpe machine.