Happy Gold Medal and/or Marbury v. Madison Day!

Sunday was the 35th anniversary of the “Miracle on Ice,” the amazing 1980 Winter Olympics upset of the dominant Soviet national team by the amateur US team (a team that had lost to those same Soviets 10-3 in an exhibition a couple of weeks earlier). What gets lost in the remembrance of that game is that the Olympic hockey tournament wasn’t over yet. The U.S. team still had to play Finland, and they had to win in order to get the gold medal. In fact, because the medal round back then was conducted as a round-robin, not an elimination tournament, the Soviets still had a shot at winning gold if the US lost and they were able to beat Sweden in their final game (which they did, 9-2). Today marks the 35th anniversary of the US team’s gold-clinching win over Finland, in a game they were actually losing, 2-1, after the second period. During the second intermission, US head coach Herb Brooks told his players, “If you lose this game, you’ll take it to your fucking graves,” and they responded by scoring 3 third period goals to win 4-2.

Today is also the 212th anniversary of the Marbury v. Madison decision, arguably (actually I’m not sure it’s all that arguable?) the most important Supreme Court decision ever, which I assume the USSC justices celebrate somehow. Your enthusiasm for commemorating the day probably matches your appreciation for the idea of judicial review.


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