Celebrities, Federal Judges, John Roberts, Media and Journalism, SCOTUS, Supreme Court

What Does Chief Justice John Roberts Have in Common With Lena Dunham?

We know what you must be thinking: how could the Chief Justice of the United States have anything in common with the woman who wrote and starred in Girls, the overtly sexualized hit series on HBO? Chief Justice John Roberts thinks that corporations are people whose money talks, while Lena Dunham often appears naked on the small screen while contemplating raunchy sex acts. The pair seem like complete opposites — but as we know from that fabulous Paula Abdul song, opposites sometimes attract.

As it turns out, Chief Justice Roberts and Dunham were both big hits this year with liberal thinkers. Yes, you read that correctly. Roberts, once a bastion of conservative hope, is now being praised as a liberal hero alongside a woman who starred in an Obama ad that likened first-time voting to losing one’s virginity.

They’ve even been named on a few year-end lists together. Let’s check them out….

As noted by the Wall Street Journal, Roberts and Dunham were both included in Esquire’s “Americans of the Year” issue, as well as the Atlantic’s list of the “Brave Thinkers of 2012.” Aside from being named on these lists, they differ in every way. The 57-year-old Chief Justice graduated from Harvard Law and served at the Justice Department, in the Office of White House Counsel, and as a D.C. Circuit judge, before heading to SCOTUS. Dunham, a 26-year-old writer/actress, graduated from college in 2008, where she studied creative writing. She’s been nominated for four Emmy Awards for Girls, but thus far, she hasn’t won any of them.

While Roberts is praised by Esquire for his “nimbleness” in “sav[ing] the court’s credibility,” Dunham is praised for being “the emblem of something — it’s just that no one’s sure what.” Over at the Atlantic, Chief Justice Roberts is recognized as being “both brave and shrewd,” and Dunham receives props for “acting like an underage street hooker to turn her boyfriend on.” Justice Scalia must be laughing his ass off right now.

So, while other Supreme Court justices are doling out career advice on Sesame Street and being named to Glamour’s annual “Women of the Year” list, the Chief Justice of the United States has been relegated to sharing a slot on multiple lists with a woman who, while she may be a genius in her own right, receives the most praise for her graphic depictions of this generation’s waves of sexual frustration.

The Wall Street Journal went so far as to name Chief Justice Roberts its “Liberal Man of the Year.” Perhaps this is Roberts’s karmic bitchslap for Citizens United. Either way, we think he should follow the WSJ’s advice and hire Lena Dunham as a clerk — it’d certainly be entertaining, and maybe she’d even get to proposition her boss again, just like she did at her law firm job on Girls. We’d totally watch that episode.

Review & Outlook: Liberal Man of the Year [Wall Street Journal]
John Roberts: An American of the Year [Politics Blog / Esquire]
Lena Dunham Is Building an Empire [Esquire]
Brave Thinkers 2012: John Roberts [The Atlantic]
Brave Thinkers 2012: Lena Dunham [The Atlantic]

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