Supreme Court rulings are often considered the most important texts produced by the country's judiciary system, with observations and precedents that will resonate down through the generations. The photos, known as "LOLcats," are best known for expressing a humorous thought in a single photo and brief text.
The most anticipated case of the current term, the review of the 2010 healthcare act, is expected to be the first ruling issued as a LOLcat. The hearings were in late March, but most court observers now believe the wait for a ruling, coming in late June, was not to write the opinion but to find the perfect photo of a hospital, doctor's office or ambulance.
Dred Scott v. Sandford, 1857.
Legal scholars and observers were split on the court's new direction.
"On the one hand, it creates a new realm of expression and precedent for judicial thought," said Carl Winterborough, the Harold K. Marr Distinguished Professor of Law at Georgetown University. "On the hand, using LOLcats? Lol, whatevs."
Miranda v. Arizona, 1966.
"Citizens used to discuss with each other the impact that Supreme Court rulings had in their lives," noted Deena Bartz, reporter for the Washington Post who covers the Court. "But in an age of reality TV, Twitter and immediate hyper-reaction, this seems like a logical conclusion. Besides, the online judicial commentariat, the so-called 'SCOTUS-bloggers,' will end up making LOLcats about the opinions anyway. The Court is just cutting out the middleman."
Others felt the move had great potential.
"This is fantastic," said Juan Gonzalez, owner of the ScotusRules.com fanblog. "No more tedious reading through dozens of pages of yammering text, this case or that case, this law or that squiggle symbol. Just a good ol' straightforward rendering of constitutionality, with pictures and bad spelling. I hope they use lots of kittens."
John Paul Stevens was said to be weeping softly in his home, upon hearing the news.
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 2010.