Editorial Cartoons About Brandeis’ Supreme Court Nomination


In honor of the 100th anniversary of Louis D. Brandeis’ ascension to the Supreme Court, I will be posting a number of collections of newspaper images and stories from Brandeis’ personal scrapbooks. For this post, I will be displaying a number of editorial cartoons about Woodrow Wilson’s nomination of Brandeis to the Court. Honestly, I was surprised at how few of these cartoons we have in our collection. Brandeis had a number of scrapbooks dedicated to newspaper clippings about the nomination. And while there was unsurprisingly many editorials about the nomination, I am only able to find a handful of cartoons on the subject. I am not sure why that is. One theory that comes to mind is suggested by the fact that all the ones that are in the scrapbook are all positive. Did Brandeis purposely exclude any negative cartoons? Or did none of his friends have the heart to send them to him?

We start out with the most famous one. It has been reprinted in a number of books about Brandeis and it remains funny to this day. It is from the New York World, January 29(?), 1916.

The Blow That Almost Killed Father.

The next two are more straightforward. The first one is from the New York Sun, January 31, 1916. The second one is from the Denver Post, February 6, 1916.

The President -- "Louis Brandeis, I'm Putting, For Life, Where We Need You Most!"

The next one has a little bit of the wit and social commentary of the first one. It is from the Denver Post, February 18, 1916. Update: Kurt Metzmeier has identified the artist of this cartoon. It is Albert Wilbur Steele, who worked for the Denver Post from 1897 until his death in 1925. He appears to have been fairly famous during his time (his death was noted on page 2 of the Cincinnati Enquirer) but he is completely forgotten today. I would love to see more of his work.

Same Thing Only - Different.

The next two are a little rarer as they are from Jewish newspapers. The first one is from the American Hebrew, May 12, 1916. Unfortunately, the scrapbook has next to no information about the second one. There is no date attached to it nor is there any indication as to what newspaper it came from. In fact, it may not even be about Brandeis’ nomination at all. (However, it was near all of the other cartoons so I suspect that it is.)

You Are Good Enough For Me.

A Hard Nut.

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