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Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court’s most controversial justice, demonstrated his fiery temper in a recent visit to Florida Atlantic University, where he was marketing his new book, Making Your Case. The Palm Beach Post reports:
The book promotion led Florida Atlantic University student Sarah Jeck to ask Scalia if the Supreme Court’s opposition to having its proceedings televised was “vitiated” by, among other things, “Supreme Court justices going out on book tours.” Her question drew laughter and applause from the crowd of about 730, but Scalia wasn’t amused.
“That’s a nasty, impolite question,” Scalia said before moving on to another query. Later, however, Scalia addressed Jeck’s question, saying he originally favored televising Supreme Court proceedings when President Reagan appointed him in 1986. But he said he has come to believe that “most people will only see 30-second takeouts” that would not give a true impression of the court. “Why should I be a party to the miseducation of the American people?” Scalia said.
Scalia has a long track record of bristling over questions about his ethics, often focused on his numerous expense paid vacation trips in which he hobnobs with lawyers litigating before the Supreme Court on their dime. The fact that his rulings almost invariably side with his sponsors should be disregarded, Scalia reasons. And in the end, Scalia has the last word–through an odd loophole in the nation’s system of checks and balances, Supreme Court justices decide challenges to their ethics themselves. And they rarely decide that these challenges have any merit.
Ms. Jeck is bound for law school, and in a subsequent interview with the Legal Times she didn’t give an inch to the justice’s bullying. “He can dish it out, but he can’t take it, I guess,” she said. According to one of her professors, by standing her ground, Jeck proved she has the makings of a solid advocate. And Scalia showed, once more, exactly what sort of judge he is.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”