Painting Constitutional Law

Xavier Cortada’s Images of Constitutional Rights


Volume Editors: and
In May It Please the Court, artist Xavier Cortada portrays ten significant decisions by the Supreme Court of the United States that originated from people, places, and events in Florida. These cases cover the rights of criminal defendants, the rights of free speech and free exercise of religion, and the powers of states. In Painting Constitutional Law, scholars of constitutional law analyse the paintings and cases, describing the law surrounding the cases and discussing how Cortada captures these foundational decisions, their people, and their events on canvas. This book explores new connections between contemporary art and constitutional law.

Contributors are: Renée Ater, Mary Sue Backus, Kathleen A. Brady, Jenny E. Carroll, Erwin Chemerinsky, Xavier Cortada, Andrew Guthrie Ferguson, Leslie Kendrick, Corinna Barrett Lain, Paul Marcus, Linda C. McClain, M.C. Mirow, James E. Pfander, Laura S. Underkuffler, and Howard M. Wasserman.

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M.C. Mirow, Ph.D. (1993), Cambridge University, Dr.jur. (2003), Leiden University, is Professor of Law at FIU College of Law. Focusing on Latin American and Florida legal history, he is the author of Latin American Law and Latin American Constitutions.

Howard M. Wasserman, J.D. (1997), Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, is Professor of Law at FIU College of Law. He is the author and editor of numerous books and articles, including Understanding Civil Rights Litigation.
"This delightful and imaginative book of essays will alter the way in which one writes about cases and constitutional rights. The book should inspire future collaborations among artists, legal scholars, courts, and local communities. It deserves to be widely read. [...] Painting Constitutional Law liberates us to reimagine our own engagement with constitutional cases and doctrines, forcing us to see and confront the cases as emotions, colors, and shapes and to recognize their inherent disruption. May this book be the first of a new genre". Mary Sarah Bilder, Glossae, European Journal of Legal History 18 (2021).
All interested in U.S. constitutional law and the Supreme Court, including in the subjects of the cases depicted in Cortada’s paintings and analysed in the chapters. Those interested in legal iconography and the intersection of art and law.
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