img509The return address on the envelope was Washington, D.C. When I slipped it open, there was the smiling visage of Chief Justice John Roberts, framed by a festive holiday wreath, next to the message:

Happy Holidays!
Here’s what the Supreme Court has been up to.

But when I opened it, something was not right. It appeared to be a holiday message from the chief justice, but several parts of it were redacted, with whole phrases covered by a thick black line.

Read on and you reach a disclaimer:

This card is a parody and not actually from Chief Justice Roberts.

And also this:

They shroud themselves in secrecy and make their own rules. The Supreme Court is our most powerful, least accountable branch of government.

In actuality, the card is from, an organization devoted to bringing greater transparency to the Supreme Court. It would like to see the court be more explicit about recusals, adopt a code of ethics, provide more detailed financial disclosures, and provide greater access to court proceedings.

I’ll say this about it: It caught my attention. A clever, well-timed and executed campaign.


Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.