Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Highlighting the Supreme Court's Role in Our Lives

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Highlighting the Supreme Court's Role in Our Lives

Article excerpt

Mikhaela Reid, a New York City cartoonist and illustrator, readily admits that she is no legal scholar. So when the 26-year-old was commissioned by the national LGBT legal rights advocacy group Lambda Legal to create its new "Life Without Fair Courts" series of comics depicting what life would be like without such key court victories as Lawrence v. Texas, in which the Supreme Court struck down sodomy laws, Reid had to bone up on reams of legal opinions and decisions before she could begin to draw. "Legalese is not the most exciting thing," she says. "It's like, What does this matter to me?"

That is the question Lambda Legal hopes to answer with its novel public-service campaign cartoon strip series, which features 10 comic strips corresponding to 10 precedent-setting court cases, from obviously LGBT-relevant ones such as Lawrence to those with more obscure but no less important connections as City of Ladue v. Gilleo, in which the high court ruled in 1994 that signs on private property are protected by the First Amendment. "We want to show what courts do when they do their jobs," says Hector Vargas, Lambda Legal's deputy director of education and public affairs. "It's difficult to imagine what this alternate reality would look like because the way life is, is so ingrained in our daily lives. …

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