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#RealAnimalsFakePaws: Our Favorite SCOTUS Dog Re-Enactment Videos

By William Peacock, Esq. on October 24, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Many have complained, time and time again, that the Supreme Court's refusal to allow cameras in the courtroom is the wrong move. Cameras in the court would help Americans understand how the co-equal third branch of the government works. It would increase transparency and trust in the Court's decisions as well. And, it would likely be extremely entertaining.

Alas, there are no cameras in the Court, not unless you sneak one in. There are microphones, but audio recordings of oral arguments are usually released days after the cases are argued, when the case is no longer news. Media coverage is typically done with Art Lien's amazing sketches and the audio feed, which makes for must-not-see TV. It's a stupid problem to have, but it's still a problem.

Fortunately, HBO's "Last Week Tonight" has an answer. If you haven't seen what the show's host John Oliver did to revolutionize coverage of Supreme Court cases, you need to stop everything and watch this clip now:


The choices are absolutely inspired: Scalia as a bulldog? And little Ruff Bader Ginsburg? So perfect.

"LWT" also released stock footage of its canine justices for folks to create their own videos set to oral arguments -- an offer that was immediately accepted by the Internet.

Short Clips

Of course, the most popular #RealAnimalsFakePaws cases were the twin dog-sniffing cases from 2013: Florida v. Harris (dog sniff during a routine traffic stop) and Florida v. Jardines (dog sniff of a property's curtilage):

There is a human sacrifice hypothetical, from United States v. Stevens (2010):

The landmark NLRB v. Noel Canning recess appointments case from earlier this year:

And Justice Alito, talking about how he gave poison to children (chocolate), just in time for Halloween (from Bond v. United States):

Long Form

If you want full-length arguments, someone did a full-length Citizens United v. FEC campaign finance oral arguments video (which required some dog-swapping, since Kagan wasn't on the Court yet):

And Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the corporations have a religious right to refuse to provide birth control case:

Or for a more recent one, here's this week's Heien v. North Carolina (our recap is almost as interesting):

And Last but Not Least...

This is not a Supreme Court recap, but a recreation of a famous movie scene:

Did we miss any of your favorite #RealAnimalsFakePaws re-enactment videos? Are there any that you'd like to see? Tweet us @FindLawLP.

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