This summer, US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will preside over a mock trial between The Merchant of Venice’s Shylock and Antonio.
For the price of $2,500, theatre-goers have access to four VIP tickets to see the production, guided museum tours, and one seat at the mock trial. The news comes as part of a wave of Shakespeare-related productions coming to the fore to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.
English students should think about how the law is used as a plot device in Shakespeare’s plays, such as how Angelo’s enforcement of new laws in Measure For Measure sets Claudio’s execution into motion. Considering three of Shakespeare’s plays which stage trials (Richard II, Measure For Measure and The Merchant Of Venice), History students should consider how reflective the trials are of Tudor law which was enacted at the time.
Law students should consider the role of Supreme Court Justices relative to other legal positions. Due to the selectivity and visibility of Supreme Court Justices, it isn’t uncommon for them to make talk show appearances or, in this case, appear in a theatre production. Lawyers should consider how the fame and scrutiny of Justices impacts their role as a judge.