September 27, 2010
Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy visited campus on September 24, 2010, and delivered an hour-long lecture on "Painting the Law" that filled the lecture hall with students, faculty and community leaders.
Kennedy, in Sacramento to participate in the month-long celebration leading up to the re-opening of the new Crocker Art Museum, drew insightful comparisons between the history of art and the history of American law. "There are parallels between the great artists and the great jurists," he said. "Artists and attorneys seek to make order out of a world in disorder. The timelines are not parallel, but the breakthroughs in each venue are stunning."
Armed with a slideshow that featured great works of art and quotations from famous Supreme Court opinions and dissents, Kennedy commanded the full attention of his audience with a deep knowledge of both subjects.
Among the innovative artists he cited were Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Edouard Manet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Vincent Van Gogh and Edward Hopper. Jurists he credited with making advancements in the law through their power of language and thought included John Marshall, John Marshall Harlan, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Benjamin Cardozo, William O. Douglas and Hugo Black.