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Whatever happened to the Spirit of Justice?



And I'm not talking metaphorically, either: I'm talking about the bare-breasted statue, created by C. Paul Jennewein in 1933 for the Department of Justice building, that figured so prominently in the first term of the Bush Administration.

Ashcroft and the Spirit of JusticeBlue backdrop

Photographers sprawled on the floor to tauntingly photograph John Ashcroft with the nude in the background; when the Justice Department responded by putting up a dark blue backdrop so that press conference photos would be more dignified, reporters and pundits tittered that Ashcroft was a censorious prude.

Fast forward eight years, and we have a new administration, and a new attorney general. But I can't recall seeing a single photo of Eric Holder in front of the Spirit of Justice. Did I miss it? Or are reporters and editors giving Holder more respect than they gave the conservative Ashcroft?

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy
rmangual@manhattan-institute.org

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute
klazarski@manhattan-institute.org

 

Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.