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“[Scalia’s writings] are as readable today as they were when they first appeared. . . . Especially illuminating to anyone who wants to unlock the mystery of why Ginsburg admired Scalia—or who wants to get a sense of where the Supreme Court may be headed.”—The Wall Street Journal
A justice on the United States Supreme Court for three decades, Antonin Scalia transformed the way that judges, lawyers, and citizens think about the law. The Essential Scalia presents Justice Scalia on his own terms, allowing readers to understand the reasoning and insights that made him one of the most consequential jurists in American history.
Known for his forceful intellect and remarkable wit, Scalia mastered the art of writing in a way that both educated and entertained. This comprehensive collection draws from the best of Scalia’s opinions, essays, speeches, and testimony to paint a complete and nuanced portrait of his jurisprudence. This compendium addresses the hot-button issues of the times, from abortion and the right to bear arms to marriage, free speech, religious liberty, and so much more. It also presents the justice’s wise insights on perennial debates over the structure of government created by our Constitution and the proper methods for interpreting our laws.
Brilliant and passionately argued, The Essential Scalia is an indispensable resource for anyone who wants to understand our Constitution, the American legal system, and one of our nation’s most influential and highly regarded jurists and thinkers.
Americans have long been inspired by Justice Scalia’s ideas, delighted by his wit, and instructed by his intelligence. He was a sought-after speaker at commencements, convocations, and events across the country. Scalia Speaks will give readers the opportunity to encounter the legendary man more fully, helping them better understand the jurisprudence that made him one of the most important justices in the Court's history and introducing them to his broader insights on faith and life.
Antonin Scalia reflected deeply on matters of religion and shared his insights with many audiences over the course of his remarkable career. As a Supreme Court justice for three decades, he vigorously defended the American constitutional tradition of allowing religion a prominent place in the public square. As a man of faith, he recognized the special challenges of living a distinctively religious life in modern America, and he inspired other believers to meet those challenges.
This volume contains Justice Scalia's incisive thoughts on these matters, laced with his characteristic wit. It includes outstanding speeches featured in Scalia Speaks and also draws from his Supreme Court opinions and his articles. In addition to the introduction by Fr. Scalia, other highlights include Fr. Scalia's beautiful homily at his father's funeral Mass and reminiscences from various friends and law clerks whose lives were influenced by Antonin Scalia's faith.
We are all familiar with the image of the immensely clever judge who discerns the best rule of common law for the case at hand. According to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a judge like this can maneuver through earlier cases to achieve the desired aim—“distinguishing one prior case on his left, straight-arming another one on his right, high-stepping away from another precedent about to tackle him from the rear, until (bravo!) he reaches the goal—good law." But is this common-law mindset, which is appropriate in its place, suitable also in statutory and constitutional interpretation? In a witty and trenchant essay, Justice Scalia answers this question with a resounding negative.
In exploring the neglected art of statutory interpretation, Scalia urges that judges resist the temptation to use legislative intention and legislative history. In his view, it is incompatible with democratic government to allow the meaning of a statute to be determined by what the judges think the lawgivers meant rather than by what the legislature actually promulgated. Eschewing the judicial lawmaking that is the essence of common law, judges should interpret statutes and regulations by focusing on the text itself. Scalia then extends this principle to constitutional law. He proposes that we abandon the notion of an everchanging Constitution and pay attention to the Constitution's original meaning. Although not subscribing to the “strict constructionism” that would prevent applying the Constitution to modern circumstances, Scalia emphatically rejects the idea that judges can properly “smuggle” in new rights or deny old rights by using the Due Process Clause, for instance. In fact, such judicial discretion might lead to the destruction of the Bill of Rights if a majority of the judges ever wished to reach that most undesirable of goals.
This essay is followed by four commentaries by Professors Gordon Wood, Laurence Tribe, Mary Ann Glendon, and Ronald Dworkin, who engage Justice Scalia’s ideas about judicial interpretation from varying standpoints. In the spirit of debate, Justice Scalia responds to these critics.
Featuring a new foreword that discusses Scalia’s impact, jurisprudence, and legacy, this witty and trenchant exchange illuminates the brilliance of one of the most influential legal minds of our time.
The sudden passing of Justice Antonin Scalia shook America. After almost thirty years on the Supreme Court, Scalia had become as integral to the institution as the hallowed room in which he sat. His wisecracking interruptions during oral arguments, his unmatched legal wisdom, his unwavering dedication to the Constitution, and his blistering dissents defined his leadership role on the court and inspired new generations of policymakers and legal minds.
Now, as Republicans and Democrats wage war over Scalia’s lamentably empty Supreme Court seat, Kevin Ring, former counsel to the U.S. Senate’s Constitution Subcommittee, has taken a close look at the cases that best illustrate Scalia’s character, philosophy, and legacy. In Scalia’s Court: A Legacy of Landmark Opinions and Dissents, Ring collects Scalia’s most memorable opinions on free speech, separation of powers, race, religious freedom, the rights of the accused, abortion, and more; and intersperses Scalia's own words with an analysis of his legal reasoning and his lasting impact on American jurisprudence.
“I don’t worry about my legacy,” Scalia once told an audience at the National Archives. “Just do your job right, and who cares?”
Now that "the lion of American law has left the stage,” as the U.S. Attorney General put it, it is for the rest of America to worry about his legacy—and to care.