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Justice Antonin Gregory Scalia

Self Description

December 2005: "Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice, was born in Trenton, New Jersey, March 11, 1936. He married Maureen McCarthy and has nine children—Ann Forrest, Eugene, John Francis, Catherine Elisabeth, Mary Clare, Paul David, Matthew, Christopher James, and Margaret Jane. He received his A.B. from Georgetown University and the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, and his LL.B. from Harvard Law School, and was a Sheldon Fellow of Harvard University from 1960–1961. He was in private practice in Cleveland, Ohio from 1961–1967, a Professor of Law at the University of Virginia from 1967–1971, and a Professor of Law at the University of Chicago from 1977–1982, and a Visiting Professor of Law at Georgetown University and Stanford University. He was chairman of the American Bar Association’s Section of Administrative Law, 1981–1982, and its Conference of Section Chairmen, 1982–1983. He served the federal government as General Counsel of the Office of Telecommunications Policy from 1971–1972, Chairman of the Administrative Conference of the United States from 1972–1974, and Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel from 1974–1977. He was appointed Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1982. President Reagan nominated him as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and he took his seat September 26, 1986."

Third-Party Descriptions

June 2016: "Mr. Obama said the court’s immigration ruling was a stark reminder of the consequences of Republicans’ refusal to consider Judge Merrick B. Garland, the president’s nominee to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia."

May 2014: 'That’s ironic, because the Second Amendment to the Constitution contains some of that document’s most ambiguous language: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” People have been debating that language almost since it was written. “Its foggy wording and odd locution stand out in the Constitution,” Waldman writes. “Lawyers and scholars debate its commas and clauses. For 218 years, judges overwhelmingly concluded that the amendment authorized states to form militias, what we now call the National Guard. Then, in 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court upended two centuries of precedent. In the [Heller case], an opinion written by Justice Antonin Scalia declared that the Constitution confers a right to own a gun for self-defense in the home.” The import of this recent sea change in judicial thinking can be measured by the fact that Waldman devotes roughly half of his book to an analysis of Scalia’s ruling and its impact.'

June 2013: 'At trial, Salinas did not testify, but prosecutors described his reportedly uncomfortable reaction to the question about his shotgun. Salinas argued this violated his Fifth Amendment rights: He had remained silent, and the Supreme Court had previously made clear that prosecutors can’t bring up a defendant’s refusal to answer the state’s questions. This time around, however, Justice Samuel Alito blithely responded that Salinas was “free to leave” and did not assert his right to remain silent. He was silent. But somehow, without a lawyer, and without being told his rights, he should have affirmatively “invoked” his right to not answer questions. Two other justices signed on to Alito’s opinion. Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Antonin Scalia joined the judgment, but for a different reason; they think Salinas had no rights at all to invoke before his arrest (they also object to Miranda itself). The upshot is another terrible Roberts Court ruling on confessions. In 2010 the court held that a suspect did not sufficiently invoke the right to remain silent when he stubbornly refused to talk, after receiving his Miranda warnings, during two hours of questioning. Now people have to somehow invoke the right to remain silent even when they’re not formal suspects and they haven’t been heard the Miranda warnings. As Orin Kerr points out on the Volokh Conspiracy, this just isn’t realistic.'

June 2013: '“By formally declaring anyone opposed to same-sex marriage an enemy of human decency,” Justice Scalia said, “the majority arms well every challenger to a state law restricting marriage to its traditional definition.”'

March 2012: "The 1942 decision against him, Wickard v. Filburn, is the basis for the Supreme Court’s modern understanding of the scope of federal power. It is the contested ground on which the health care case has been fought in the lower courts and in the parties’ briefs. And it is likely to be crucial to the votes of Justices Anthony M. Kennedy and Antonin Scalia, who are widely seen as open to persuasion by either side."

January 2012: 'The Supreme Court affirmed that decision, but on a different ground. “We hold that the government’s installation of a GPS device on a target’s vehicle, and its use of that device to monitor the vehicle’s movements, constitutes a ‘search,’ ” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the majority. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Sonia Sotomayor joined the majority opinion.'

June 2011: '“Like the protected books, plays and movies that preceded them, video games communicate ideas — and even social messages — through many familiar literary devices (such as characters, dialogue, plot and music) and through features distinctive to the medium (such as the player’s interaction with the virtual world),” Justice Scalia wrote. “That suffices to confer First Amendment protection.”'

June 2011: "In January, the liberal advocacy organization Common Cause asked the Justice Department to investigate whether Justices Thomas and Antonin Scalia should have recused themselves from last year’s Citizens United campaign finance case because they had attended a political retreat organized by the billionaire Koch brothers, who support groups that stood to benefit from the court’s decision."

January 2011: 'Justice Antonin Scalia proposed to resolve the case based on what he called “the ‘go away’ principle of our jurisprudence.”'

January 2011: 'That led to a long back-and-forth among Frederick, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Antonin Scalia. Scalia said he thought it was "ridiculous" to hold companies to standards of what irrational investors might find important.'

June 2010: "But in a flurry of separate opinions that accompanied the decision, at least five members of the court made clear that such claims may not succeed. And Justice Antonin Scalia said there was no First Amendment protection at all for the challengers."

June 2010: '"The Court's implication that where electronic privacy is concerned we should decide less than we otherwise would . . . or that we should hedge our bets by concocting case-specific standards or issuing opaque opinions is in my view indefensible," Scalia wrote.'

May 2010: "The court ruled unanimously that a group of more than 6,000 African Americans may sue the city of Chicago on their claim that the way the city used a written application test kept them from being hired as firefighters. Justice Antonin Scalia said the city opened itself to liability each time it used the test results to hire a class of firefighters over a six-year period and rejected Chicago's assertion that the applicants waited too long to sue."

March 2010: 'Justice Antonin Scalia, a sharp critic of using the due-process clause in the past, blasted Gura. "What you argue is the darling of the professoriate, for sure, but it's also contrary to 140 years of our jurisprudence," he said. "Why do you want to undertake that burden instead of just arguing substantive due process, which as much as I think it's wrong, I have -- even I have acquiesced in it?"'

February 2010: "The court ruled unanimously that Maryland could use an imprisoned child molester's statement -- given voluntarily 2 1/2 years after police first approached him -- to convict him on additional charges that he abused his son. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote that an initial request for an attorney does not mean that police can never reinitiate questioning, provided that the person has been released from custody in the meantime."

October 2009: 'In February, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote that federal prosecutors had developed an unseemly crush on a particularly vague law, one that had “been invoked to impose criminal penalties upon a staggeringly broad swath of behavior.”'

June 2009: 'Writing for a 5-to-4 majority, Justice Antonin Scalia concluded that the attorney general had not been engaged in the broad “visitorial powers” reserved by the federal government, in which the government acts like a supervisor with free access to bank records on demand. The court, he wrote, has always understood that visitorial powers are “quite separate” from the power to enforce the law, and the attorney general was acting in the role of “sovereign-as-law-enforcer” in seeking the information.'

June 2009: "Justice Kennedy was joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr."

April 2009: 'Justice Scalia added that the looming First Amendment question in the background “will be determined soon enough, perhaps in this very case.”'

July 2008: 'But there are signs that some justices on the United States Supreme Court may be ready to reconsider the American version of the exclusionary rule. Writing for the majority two years ago, Justice Antonin Scalia said that at least some unconstitutional conduct ought not require “resort to the massive remedy of suppressing evidence of guilt.”'

June 2008: 'Justice Antonin Scalia, on the other hand, said the Constitution had largely shut down the discussion. Justice Scalia, writing for the majority, acknowledged that “gun violence is a serious problem.” But, he went on, “the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table.”'

June 2008: '"Domestic violence is an intolerable offense that legislatures may choose to combat through many means," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the majority. "But for that serious crime, as for others, abridging the constitutional rights of criminal defendants is not in the State's arsenal."'

June 2008: 'Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority in the landmark 5-to-4 decision, said the Constitution does not allow “the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home.” In so declaring, the majority found that a gun-control law in the nation’s capital went too far by making it nearly impossible to own a handgun.'

May 2008: "Fischhoff and others worry about collateral damage: If minors aren't capable of fully matured reasoning, will that argument be used to deny girls the ability to purchase the morning-after pill or obtain an abortion without parental consent? The abortion issue has already been raised by Justice Antonin Scalia, one of four justices to dissent in Roper. Scalia took the American Psychological Association to task for filing a brief opposing the juvenile death penalty, when it had argued in an earlier case that young people were mature enough to get an abortion without parental agreement."

May 2008: "The law in question arose from a sensible, constitutionally acceptable approach by Congress to correct faults that the high court found in an earlier child-pornography law, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the court."

March 2008: 'the Supreme Court considered whether that decision violated Edwards's right under the Sixth Amendment to represent himself at his trial...."Give it a try," Scalia said. "The person wants to represent himself. It's his constitutional right. If, indeed, it turns out that this is turning into a sham, fine, bring in a lawyer to represent him."'

March 2008: "A couple of years ago, Justice Antonin Scalia, concurring in a Supreme Court death penalty decision, took stock of the American criminal justice system and pronounced himself satisfied. The rate at which innocent people are convicted of felonies is, he said, less than three-hundredths of 1 percent — .027 percent, to be exact."

March 2008: 'In the dissenting opinion, Justices Thomas and Scalia said that because it was not clear that the jurors were struck on the basis of race, there was no reason for the court to “second guess” the judge.'

February 2008: 'The Supreme Court yesterday protected the makers of medical devices that have passed the most rigorous federal review standards from lawsuits by consumers who allege that the devices caused them harm.....That law, Scalia noted, was passed in response to the "thousands of tort claims" resulting from the problems caused by the Dalkon Shield intrauterine device. It set up a detailed federal regime for the FDA to test medical devices and precluded states from imposing "any requirement which is different from, or in addition to, any requirement applicable under this chapter."'

February 2008: "Just two years ago, the Supreme Court, in a decision by Justice Antonin Scalia, ruled that depriving a defendant of the lawyer of his choice was such a fundamental violation of the Sixth Amendment that the conviction must be reversed whether or not the defendant would have done better with a different lawyer."

February 2008: '"I agree with you entirely that it would make sense to provide a cause of action for retaliation, but we don't write statutes," Scalia said. "We read them. And there's nothing in this statute that says that."'

February 2008: 'But Guerra, Gomez-Perez's lawyer, faced skeptical questioning from Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Antonin Scalia after saying the "plain language" of the law included retaliation.'

January 2008: 'Justice Antonin Scalia strenuously disagreed, saying the process "could take years," while executions are put on hold. He also said a comparative analysis is unnecessary.'

January 2008: '“Party conventions, with their attendant ‘smoke-filled rooms’ and domination by party leaders, have long been an accepted manner of selecting party candidates,” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote, in a decision that provided ample reminders that judges are politicians as well as somber, black-robed jurists.'

October 2007: Justice Scalia objected that the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the Kentucky case “does not alter the application of normal rules of procedure, including those related to timeliness.” He said the appeals court appeared to be operating on the “mistaken premise” that every lethal injection challenge now merited a stay.

October 2007: Three justices dissented. Justices Antonin Scalia, John Paul Stevens, and David Souter said under the ordinary meaning of the word 'use,' the statute outlaws the use of a gun as a weapon – not for barter.

October 2007: “The office was designed to insulate against any need to be an advocate,” said Mr. Kmiec, now a conservative scholar at Pepperdine University law school. But at times in recent years, Mr. Kmiec said, the office, headed by William H. Rehnquist and Antonin Scalia before they served on the Supreme Court, “lost its ability to say no.”

August 2007: A few minutes later, Justice Antonin Scalia, an anchor on the court's conservative wing, said he found nothing in his research to support Bush's assertion of unchecked authority to wage the war on terror. 'It doesn't say you can do whatever it takes to win the war,' he said.

February 2007: Also last term, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote a separate opinion in a death-penalty case for the sole purpose of excoriating Justice David Souter—who had written in a dissent in a technical case about the Kansas capital-sentencing scheme—and made mention of exonerated innocents. Justice Scalia's opinion was a full-bore attack on the whole notion of the innocent exonerees 'paraded by various professors.' He claimed, in effect, that even if those exonerated were not guilty enough to warrant the death penalty, they were still far from 'innocent.'

March 2005: Throughout the morning it becomes increasingly clear that Scalia is the only member of the court who is being truly honest. His position: Sure, the display is religious and not secular. Let's put up some crosses, too, and have a revival meeting. In this sense, Scalia represents the vast majority of the protesters outside. They are not venerating the historical secular influence of the commandments, whatever the lawyers inside the courthouse may say. They just really like God.

January 2006: In dissent, Scalia argued that Ashcroft had acted well within his legal powers. 'If the term legitimate medical purpose has any meaning, it surely excludes the prescription of drugs to produce death,' Scalia wrote.

April 2005: Several justices, most prominently Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, favor drawing on such sources for nonbinding input, arguing that it improves the court's decisions and helps foreign courts establish their own legitimacy. Thomas and Justice Antonin Scalia oppose the use of foreign law, arguing that the Supreme Court is competent only to rule on the U.S. Constitution and statutes.


RoleNameTypeLast Updated
Advised by (past or present) Federalist Society, The (for Law and Public Policy Studies) Organization Aug 1, 2005
Student/Trainee (past or present) Georgetown University Organization Dec 21, 2005
Student/Trainee (past or present) Harvard University Organization Dec 21, 2005
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) Organization Oct 4, 2007
Member of (past or present) US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Organization
Employee/Contractor/Fellow/Freelancer (past or present) University of Chicago Organization Dec 21, 2005
Employee/Contractor/Fellow/Freelancer (past or present) University of Virginia (UVA) Organization Dec 21, 2005
Supervisor of (past or present) Paul D. Clement Esq., MS Person Apr 9, 2007
Supervisor of (past or present) Prof. John Fitzgerald Duffy Esq. Person May 7, 2008
Supervisor of (past or present) Edward M. Whelan III, Esq. Person Jan 29, 2011
Friend (past or present) Prof. John C. Yoo Esq. Person Dec 26, 2005

Articles and Resources

121 Articles and Resources. Go to:  [Beginning] [Previous 20] [Next 5]

Date Resource Read it at:
Jun 23, 2005 A Supreme Court Conversation

QUOTE: he court might have reined in local governments from bulldozing private property rights by at least demanding some heightened legal inquiry into the government's claim that its action will bring about a public benefit. But Justice John Paul Stevens, writing the majority opinion for the court, would have none of that: While intoning the formula that a pure grab to favor cronies of the state would not be tolerated, he refused to consider even the mildest boost to judicial scrutiny.

Jun 06, 2005 High Court Allows Prosecution of Medical Marijuana Users

QUOTE: The Supreme Court today upheld the power of Congress to prohibit and prosecute the possession and use of marijuana for medical purposes, even in the 11 states that permit it.

New York Times
Jun 01, 2005 Prisoners' Religious Rights Law Upheld: Statute Bars Burdens on Observances

QUOTE: The Supreme Court upheld a federal religious freedom law for prisoners and mental patients yesterday, ruling that Congress has the power to require that state institutions accommodate the reasonable religious needs of those under their control.

Washington Post
Apr 27, 2005 2 Rulings Reveal Views on Effects Of Overseas Law: High Court Debates Whether Foreign Rulings Apply Here

QUOTE: The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the government may not deny a U.S. citizen gun ownership because of a criminal conviction abroad -- but may prosecute one for plotting to cheat a foreign government out of tax revenue.

Washington Post
Mar 30, 2005 Threshold Eased for Age-Bias Lawsuits: Claims Not Dependent On Employer Intent, Supreme Court Rules

QUOTE: The Supreme Court made it easier to sue for age discrimination on the job yesterday, ruling that older workers may take their employers to federal court even in cases in which the alleged adverse impact on them was not intentional.

Washington Post
Mar 02, 2005 Take Two Tablets: The Supreme Court picks through the rubble of its Ten Commandments jurisprudence.

QUOTE: ...pair of [Supreme Court--Ed.] cases involving displays of the Ten Commandments on state property. At one level everything appears scholarly and doctrinal. Until you realize that the doctrine is a mess, and the justices are so tangled up in old tests, old glosses on old tests, and new glosses on new tests that they don't even know how to talk about the Establishment Clause cases, much less how to resolve them.

Jan 10, 2005 Unocal Announces It Will Settle A Human Rights Suit: What Is the Real Story Behind Its Decision?

QUOTE: Last month, Unocal announced that it had agreed, in principle, to settle a long-standing suit that had been brought against it by human rights groups... The real story behind the settlement may be more complicated...

Dec 01, 2004 High Court Puts Limit On Lender Liability

QUOTE: The Supreme Court yesterday overturned a five-figure damage award to an Alexandria man for a local auto dealer's alleged loan scam...

Washington Post
Jul 04, 2004 Finality Seems to Elude High Court's Grasp. In Ruling on Constitutional Controversies, the Justices Are Leaving Them Unsettled

QUOTE: It was as if the justices, at a time when the country is involved not only in war but also a closely fought election campaign, had lost confidence in their ability to forecast the likely practical or political impact of their actions, and reined themselves in accordingly.

Washington Post
Jun 29, 2004 Executive Branch Reined In

QUOTE: The Supreme Court's complicated holdings in three cases involving detainees from the battle against terrorism may not result in any prisoners going free -- the justices yesterday left that for lower courts or tribunals to decide. They represent a nearly unanimous repudiation of the Bush administration's sweeping claims to power over those captives.

Washington Post
May 26, 2004 Judicial Discipline to be Examined: Rehnquist Names Panel in Response to Ethics Controversies

QUOTE: There has been some recent criticism from Congress about the way in which the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act of 1980 is being implemented. In response to this, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist has named a high-level panel to investigate the federal courts’ handling of judicial misconduct.

Washington Post
Apr 28, 2004 Justices Hear Arguments in Energy Task Force Case

QUOTE: ...Olson said the vice president, "acting as the subordinate and surrogate for the president here," should not have to pay the price of submitting to discovery "in order to challenge the constitutionality of a process that's invasive to fundamental presidential prerogatives and responsibilities."

New York Times
Apr 27, 2004 Justices Won't Hear Military-College Appeal on Dinner Prayer

QUOTE: "V.M.I. has previously seen another of its traditions abolished by this court," Justice Scalia said, adding, "This time, however, its cause has been ignored rather than rejected — though the consequence will be just the same."

New York Times
Mar 25, 2004 Atheist Presents Case For Taking God From Pledge

QUOTE: "...when I see the flag and I think of pledging allegiance, it's like I'm getting slapped in the face every time, bam, you know, `this is a nation under God, your religious belief system is wrong.'"

New York Times
Nov 13, 2003 Supreme Court Debates Age Discrimination Issue

QUOTE: General Dynamics, the defense contractor, is defending itself against age discrimination charges in a lawsuit brought by its younger workers.

Los Angeles Times
Mar 27, 2003 Supreme Court Seems Set to Reverse a Sodomy Law

QUOTE: A majority of the Supreme Court appeared ready today to overturn a Texas "homosexual conduct" law that criminalizes sexual practices between same-sex couples that are lawful in the state when performed by a man and a woman.

New York Times
Jan 27, 2003 Justices Say F.C.C. Wrongly Seized Wireless Licenses

QUOTE: The United States Supreme Court ruled, in a case of great importance for the telecommunications industry, that the federal government was wrong when it took back wireless communications licenses from a bankrupt company in 1998.

New York Times
Nov 19, 2002 Justices Agree to Review Disabilities Act Protections: States Rights at Issue in Calif. Case of Mentally Ill Doctor

QUOTE: ...whether disabled people who feel that they have been discriminated against in the provision of public services can sue state governments, or whether that common method of enforcing the law is prohibited because the Constitution gives the states "sovereign immunity," ....

Washington Post
Nov 06, 2002 California's 3-Strikes Law Tested Again

QUOTE: The Supreme Court's precedents have established that a sentence can be so disproportionate to the offense as to violate the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

New York Times
Jun 20, 2002 Supreme Court Bars Executing the Mentally Retarded

QUOTE: ...the United States Supreme Court ruled today that executing killers who are mentally retarded is unconstitutional.

New York Times

121 Articles and Resources. Go to:  [Beginning] [Previous 20] [Next 5]