Saturday, February 13, 2016

Justice Antonin Scalia, Who Led a Conservative Renaissance on the Supreme Court, Is Dead at 79 - The New York Times

Left...Antonin Scalia in uniform at Xavier H.S.,
 then a military academy.

Antonin Scalia was Jesuit Xavier High School on West 16th Street in Manhattan. About twenty years ago he was invited to give the annual Founders Day lecture at Seton Hall University, where I had recently started teaching. The law school Dean Ronald Riccio introduced him, saying "if you know anything about Catholic education in the City in the fifties you know that Xavier was at the top, and Justice Scalia was at the top of his class."

I waited my turn on the reception line following the talk. "I graduated from Brooklyn Prep, I said, introducing myself. Ah ha, he said, recognizing a fellow Jesuit-schooled lawyer. "But", I said, I thought all the smart guys went to Regis (where every boy was on scholarship)". He said "I took the test for Brooklyn Prep but had a bad morning and didn't get in". From which I concluded that Antonin Scalia was willing to tell a white lie for the sake of a better story. -GWC

Justice Antonin Scalia, Who Led a Conservative Renaissance on the Supreme Court, Is Dead at 79 - The New York Times
by Adam Liptak

Justice Antonin Scalia, whose transformative legal theories, vivid writing and outsize personality made him a leader of a conservative intellectual renaissance in his three decades on the Supreme Court, was found dead on Saturday at a resort in West Texas, according to a statement from Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. He was 79.

“He was an extraordinary individual and jurist, admired and treasured by his colleagues,” Chief Justice Roberts said. “His passing is a great loss to the Court and the country he so loyally served.”

The cause of death was not immediately released.

Justice Scalia began his service on the court as an outsider known for caustic dissents that alienated even potential allies. But his theories, initially viewed as idiosyncratic, gradually took hold, and not only on the right and not only in the courts.
He was, Judge Richard A. Posner wrote in The New Republic in 2011, “the most influential justice of the last quarter century.” Justice Scalia was a champion of originalism, the theory of constitutional interpretation that seeks to apply the understanding of those who drafted and ratified the Constitution. In Justice Scalia’s hands, originalism generally led to outcomes that pleased political conservatives, but not always. His approach was helpful to criminal defendants in cases involving sentencing and the cross-examination of witnesses.

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