Watch John Oliver Present Supreme Court Justices As Dogs, A.K.A. Our Favorite Look Inside SCOTUS Yet
The country's most important cases are decided in the federal Supreme Court, but those cases will never be seen by the public. The only thing we're privy to is audio recordings of the oral arguments and opinions made in court. Well, that's just silly, thought our Last Week Tonight host. As a solution, John Oliver recorded his own Supreme Court footage using... dogs! What's better than dogs? Nothing. And this "raw footage," which Oliver encourages networks to use "to make Supreme Court arguments more compelling to watch," is leaps and bounds more entertaining than those lame pencil drawings they usually show.
Oliver started his segment by stating that the Supreme Court's latest term, which began earlier this month, will be "one to watch ... Unfortunately, we won't be able to watch any of it." That's because the U.S.' highest court has never allowed cameras into its courtroom, even though three-fourths of Americans want to watch the proceedings. But why do they ban them? According to Justice Antonin Scalia, "what most of the American people would see would be 30-second, 15-second takeouts from our arguments, and those takeouts would not be characteristic of what we do."
Fair enough. Oliver conceded that television can be very irresponsible — for instance, if you, say, conduct an interview in front of a blue screen, like Justice Scalia did, someone could easily superimpose a weird orgy into the background.
Anyway, that's the beside the point. Oliver's main argument is that those 15-second takeaways are presented to the public anyway, in the form of audio recordings, only they're accompanied by sketched renderings that make Justice Elena Kagan look like "Jonah Hill in a wig."
Plus, this type of presentation is boring, and what happens in the Supreme Court is too important not to watch. So, Oliver's solution?
The Supreme Court Should Take a Cue From Keyboard Cat
Before introducing his idea, Oliver presents to his audience the paragon of mirth that is Keyboard Cat, who clumsily bangs his paws against a keyboard to a monotonous poppy tune. What the Supreme Court can learn something from keyboard cat is that certain visuals can make snooze-inducing audio "irresistible." Why?
But more importantly:
Holt vs. Hobbs, As Told By Real Dogs With Fake Paws
So, this week, Oliver and his team spent "an almost immoral amount of resources" to recreate the Supreme Court using real animals with fake paws. One of the cases they reenact is Holt vs. Hobbs, which is about whether a prison can require a Muslim inmate to trim his beard for security reasons. Before you protest to hearing about the case, Oliver says, you might want to watch this.
Man, their paws are so expressive!
Oliver is kind enough to give us another taste.
Public Service Announcement
Oliver then announces that they're releasing raw video of the proceedings on his official YouTube channel. It will include close ups, medium shots, and wide shots from their real-animals-fake-paws Supreme Court. Hopefully, news networks will start using this footage so that more people will tune in and pay closer attention to our country's important decision-making process. And don't worry, Oliver says, all nine Justices are represented, each by a different dog with fake paws:
The reenactments even pick up on the finer details of the Justices' habits, like Justice Ginsburg adjusting her glasses and Justice Alito taking notes, taking a drink of water, covering his ears with his paws, banging his gavel, and even humping Justice Kagan.
Plus, there are two dog lawyers, a duck assistant, and a chicken court stenographer who's "just doing the best she can to keep up."
Hear that? Let's all get on it. Who wants to take Hobby Lobby?Watch the entire video below.
Images: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver/YouTube