Justice Antonin Scalia recently reminded us that when the 14th Amendment was drafted in the 19th century, it did not focus on ensuring that women were entitled to equal protection of the law. And yet women have long been used as the symbol of the law—as the image of Justice, a figure dating back centuries and deployed in many countries to mark a courthouse.
That worldwide tradition offered up hundreds of images of white women in paintings, prints, and statues. Then, in the 20th century, as real women of all colors gained access to courts, questions emerged about which women could be the models for Justice. In government-sponsored courtroom art, what skin tones could artists use? What scenes could properly adorn new courthouse walls?
TODAY IN SLATE
The Ebola Story
How our minds build narratives out of disaster.
The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola
PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer
The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics
A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers
Welcome to 13th Grade!
Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.