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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.
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
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 tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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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.”