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16 Holiday Gifts for the Supreme Court Justices

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By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on December 19, 2016 5:57 AM

December 24th marks not just Christmas Eve this year but, thanks to a rare calendrical convergence, the first night of Hanukkah. That should make your Supreme Court holiday shopping a bit easier, split as the Court is between five Catholic and three Jewish justices.

Of course, you probably don't have to buy any of the justices a holiday sweater or celebratory jabot. But if you were to, we have some ideas. We've gathered 16 potential SCOTUS gifts, two for each justice -- one for if you think they've been naughty, one if they've been nice.

1. Chief Justice Roberts

If he's been naughty: A pre-order for Judge Richard Posner's upcoming book, the "Strengths and Weaknesses of the American Legal System." (Judge Posner has made it clear that he places the Chief Justice in the weaknesses column.) Or, if you're still upset about Roberts' Obamacare decisions, a jar of pure applesauce.

If he's been nice: Something diamond. This year marks the Chief Justice's tenth year helming the Court, his diamond anniversary.

2. Justice Kennedy

If he's been naughty: A subscription to the Federalist. Justice Kennedy, long the Court's swing vote, tipped pretty liberal last term, much to conservatives' ire.

If he's been nice: A trip around the world. Justice Kennedy is probably the Court's biggest internationalist, arguing for more use of foreign law as an aid in interpreting and understanding the law -- but his travels last year kept him largely domestic.

3. Justice Thomas

If he's been naughty: A membership to Toastmasters. After 10 years of silence on the bench, Justice Thomas broke his non-speaking streak this year. Once. He's kept his mouth shut ever since.

If he's been nice: Anything RV-related. Our favorite thing about Justice Thomas is still that he loves traveling the country in his trailer, often camping out in Walmart parking lots.

4. Justice Ginsburg

If she's been naughty: A ticket to New Zealand. The Notorious RBG got a lot of flak for joking that she'd move to New Zealand if Trump became president. Now that he will, maybe she'd at least like to visit?

If she's been nice: Opera tickets. Ginsburg can't get enough opera. She's even performed in them.

5. Justice Breyer

If he's been naughty: A new typewriter. Justice Breyer's latest book, published last year, is all about American law working in harmony with other jurisdictions in an increasingly globalized world. Given recent political developments, it might need some revisions.

If he's been nice: High-end binoculars. In addition to his cooking and biking hobbies, Justice Breyer is known as an avid birder. Help him spot the rarest winged creatures with a fancy set of binoculars.

6. Justice Alito

If he's been naughty: An etiquette guide. After mouthing "not true" during the State of the Union address and making some eye rolls from the bench, Justice Alito has gained a reputation as the rude justice.

If he's been nice: Season tickets to the Philadelphia Phillies. Justice Alito, a native of southern New Jersey, is a long time Phillies fan -- and D.C. is close enough that he could make a game or two without much trouble.

7. Justice Sotomayor

If she's been naughty: A copy of "How to Win Friends and Influence People." Sotomayor has been praised for being outspoken, but she's also been accused of alienating her colleagues, by, say, calling the Chief Justice's views "out of touch with reality."

If she's been nice: A "Stay Woke" t-shirt. (No, not the one Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey got mocked for.) Last term, Justice Sotomayor stood out for repeatedly challenging injustices in the criminal system from the Supreme Court bench. This gift will remind her to keep it up.

8. Justice Kagan

If she's been naughty: A new haircut. Girl. Please.

If she's been nice: Still a haircut? Naw, how about a formal portrait? With her joint portrait with Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Sandra Day O'Connor leaving the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery this year, now is an appropriate time for some new memorialization.

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