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February 04, 2009



Well many points come to mind in response to Justice Scalia's response and several of the comments left here.

First lets set the stage: He is a public servant entrusted with a lifetime position and an excellent salary (~208K/year) and a retirement at the time of his choosing. The only currently retired Supreme Court Justice, O'Conner, I believe has retired at full pay, but I can't find proof on the web yet. If that's true both values exceed 95th percentile of all Americans in both categories.

When this man of immense power and prestige is asked a question by an earnest student he tells her that its "nasty and impolite"? It boggles my mind that anyone is defending that. Its an extremely valid question, especially given the framing she used about open hearings and transcripts. It should have been answered calmly one way or the other. Maybe he could have reasoned that video is non a valid transcription method, I don't know. Personally I think he got touchy because he is on a book tour and maybe he felt it was a personal attack, which is about what I'd expect from him.

To the person who thought she was "intemperate" in using the term "vitiate", actually she was using a valid legal term "vitiate: to make legally defective or invalid; invalidate: to vitiate a claim". A very correct usage for someone who plans on being a lawyer.

To those who called it a "thinly veiled assault on the judge's moral canons", I think a calmly asked question about something that interests a great many people is about more than bruising one man's ego. All he had to say was that he thought it would be inappropriate to comment on that in this forum and move on.

I've been watching this man since he was appointed, and I'll agree with some others here that he is brilliant, it was one of the most touted points about him during his confirmation hearings, he was a "brilliant legal mind". So what? There are lots of those in the country. The people who sit on the court should not say that the Constitution doesn't prohibit torture because its not punishment, as Scalia said in and interview It is semanticly glib but that doesn't mean that our Constitution allows torture. The Constitution states that treaties ratified by the Senate are on par with anything else in the Constitution (cf Article 6) as the supreme law of the land. America has signed and ratified, in 1994, the Convention Against Torture, which has a pretty clear definition of what torture is. That's a pretty gross oversight for a "brilliant legal mind". For those keeping track that's why the Bush administration had to redefine torture so they could say they weren't committing war crimes or violating international law.


I have heard plenty of aurguments on why judges and such do not want cameras in the court room. many to do with witnesses as well as the accuseds right to some privacy as well as not making the court room a show room, which in many ways it already is. the fact that instead of giving an explanation he just gets nasty is side. of course he seems to be a nasty and mean man so why is anyone surprised.


I am a pretty big fan of Justice Scalia generally, but this question does not seem to be rude at all. Tone might have been a player here but even then, its a pretty tame question. Most all implications of inconsistency imply hypocrisy. In the end it would have been good for him to reflect momentarily that he is a servant of the citizenry


Scalia and 4 other Supreme idiots should be impeached and removed from the court for making a law to install their stupid little man in the Oval Office.

These 5 self-aggrandizing old coots are the best reason ever to limit the terms on the court to a flat 10 yrs or less.


As an attorney, it was clearly a nasty question. It implied that Justice Scalia was an obvious hypocrite. His reaction may have been over-the-top, but his analysis was accurate. The questioner could have easily rephrased it: "isn't there a tension between your stance on cameras and the court's policy on oral transcripts? What's the rationale for the difference?" Easy to be nice.

John Galt

Justice Scalia was incorrect, the question was not nasty or impolite, it could be more correctly characterized as 'stupid' since Ms Jeck was implying that Federal judges are always working, even when they are miles from a courtroom wearing regular clothes.


His anger was probably because he couldn't relate her questions back to the actual text of the Constitution...which is his go to when he doesn't feel like answering a question.


It seems some of these Justices had or have developed, while on the bench, a huge ego. I watched Scalia on a documentary and he came across as such as well a suppressed comedian. He is trying to make a quick buck with his book as do others who write books. If the privacy of Justices is hallowed, he should not be selling books at book singings.

Thomas Mc

Scalia is a disgrace to the Court.


As you know, there were two decisions in BvG. the 7-2 merely remanded the case back to the Fla Supreme Court to craft a remedy. the crucial decision, which stopped the recount, was 5-4. So not only was it close, but Breyer and Souter voted against it. Not so silly.


An undergrad poli sci major asks a question and a supreme court justice, a man at the pinnacle of his profession loses his cool. I don't know whether she's brave or not. I don't think the question is the least rude, even if it is implicitly critical. I do think that Scalia clearly has an overblown sense of entitlement to deference. No one is above questioning. And, for the record, it is rude to point out so directly to someone else that they are being rude. I find his response a total overreaction. She was obviously trying to get a rise out of him, but he's the one who took the bait.


I was appointed by the Missouri Supreme Court as part of an experiment of cameras in the courtrooms. It was very successful and proved that Scalia's criticism is a specious one.

Why? Because cameras are no different than words at the end of the day. Make sure the whole trial is available to anyone in the public through streaming, and then there's no way a twisting of the facts could get traction. And who's to say that allowing anyone in the courtroom won't lead to a twisting of the facts? With cameras, they are impassive observers. They don't make a prejudicial judgement of the facts in front of them. So cameras can only make the courts more open, but that's not what attorneys and judges want. The truth is not the goal of the courts. It's winning the argument you want to make.

Scalia is typical of the blue-nosed upper class in this country who believe themselves to be above the common chattel in this nation. They mouth the words of freedom and equality, but their own attitudes show when someone from the "common" people asks them the least uncomfortable question. I thought attorneys thrived on a lively exchange of ideas.

As she said, he can dish it out, but he cannot take it. He's a coward who can't face the truth. If he wasn't, he would have explained the reasonableness of those books being for sale.


The obvious rejoinder could easily have been--"And you are a nasty impolite man--Answer the question!

Patrick Drazen

You want to talk about miseducating the American people? Have you ever read Scalia's lone dissent in Edwards v Aguillard? It flew in the face of the evidence and tried to attribute benign motives to the Creationists who lost the case 8 to 1 (and guess who the one was?). He's one of the corrupt gang who have tried to politicize justice in this country. Ms. Jeck's question was nowhere near as disrespectful as Scalia's whole life has been.

D.Gordon Franks

The emperor has not clothes and he gets mad because someone points it out? Scalia is the poster child for not having lifetime appointments.


All of you who are posting abusive, nasty comments, insulting language, and namecalling, and then complaining that Scalia is a meanie, might want to reflect on the irony...


Someone asserted that Scalia has moral canons. How was that consclusion reached? By Scalia's previous reactions to criticism? By his writing a decision with the tag line that said decision can never be used as a precedent in the future, it being his appointing GW Bush president of the United States while his son was working for Bush?

Scalia has the morals of an alley cat in heat. His ideology trumps logic and good sense consistently. He imagines that he knows what the founders would say about situations no had ever been dreamed of in the 18th century.

To paraphrase something that was said in a play once, The more Scalia talks to god the more he realizes he is talking to himself.

Nancy Irving

Scalia lacks judicial temperament. With every word that comes out of his mouth, he confirms it.


The Bush vs. Gore decision to stop the recount was 5-4, not 7-2.

While seven justices agreed that the court-ordered, statewide recount violated the Equal Protection Clause, only five justices agreed on the remedy. Chief Justice william rehnquist and Associate Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and anthony kennedy noted that Florida law required the state to select its electors for the electoral college by December 12, which was the day the Court announced its decision in Bush v. Gore. Rehnquist, O'Connor, Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy concluded that it was thus impossible to complete a statewide recount by day's end. For all intents and purposes, then, a majority of the Court ruled that the 2000 U.S. presidential election was over and George W. Bush had won.

Justices John Paul Stevens, david souter, stephen breyer, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented, with Stevens, Breyer, and Ginsburg each writing their own dissenting opinion. The December 12 deadline chosen by the majority was misleading, the dissenting justices asserted, since under federal law the electors had until December 18 to deliver their votes to Congress and until December 28 before Congress could request the electors to deliver their votes had they not already done so. "By halting the Florida recount in the interest of finality," Justice Stevens wrote, "the majority effectively orders the disenfranchisement of an unknown number of voters whose ballots reveal their intent—and are therefore legal votes under state law—but were for some reason rejected by ballot-counting machines." In addition, Breyer stated: "An appropriate remedy would be to remand this case with instructions that, even at this late date, would permit the Florida Supreme Court to require recounting all undercounted votes in Florida … and to do so in accordance with a single uniform standard."


What truely concerns me and what this young lady highlighted is that Scalia is a supreme court justice who let's his emotions dictate his decisions.

Dave T

I am apalled by Justice Scalia's response. It shows the arrogance and condescension that can evolve over time when a Supreme Court Justice believes he is more important than the laws he is sworn to protect and strives to make his views the law of the land despite espousing the view that his view is the view of the framers of the constitution. (Strict Constructionist) Justice Scalia is no doubt brilliant - I've read his cases both during and after law school. But he is not infallible and he is NOT always right. As he has grown older his views have become more and more mean-spirited. (Despite his touted long-term relationship with Justice Ginsburg - her civility is not rubbing off on him.) One can only hope that he will decide that it is time for him to move on with his life in another venue. Ms. Jeck's question is and was reasonable. She is a student researching the exact issue she posed to Justice Scalia. She intends to be a lawyer someday. It is time for Justice to show some dignity, compassion and frankly, grow up.


"A not so thinly veiled assault on the judge’s moral canons?"

Hah! This particular judge has no moral canons.

He gets a fat paycheck and a lifetime appointment to undermine our Constitution. He should be willing to give up the book tours for that unearned privilege. And, by the way, he should be willing to recuse himself in a proper fashion in important cases in which he has a clear conflict of interest. See, e.g., Bush v. Gore.

To call this man a judge is to twist the word beyond all meaning.

bob h

"He can dish it out, but he can't take it, I guess,"

Which is another way of saying that he is a good Republican.

Forest Sprague

Scalia will go down in history as one of the characters who stoled the election and gave Bush the opportunity to screw our nation. They are both traitors to the original intent of our founding fathers.
They come from a mind set that this is their America


The "where others fear to tread" locution, implying that the questioner exhibited courage, is false and the author knows it. In asking a stupid and rude question, the questioner knew to a certainty not only that would there be no negative consequences to her conduct, but that that she would instantly be praised for her worthless self-expression, as she was by her professor, by Mauro, and by other non-thinkers.

Bob Werner

How dare anyone question his Supremeness...appointed for life, like a King...the annointed one can do and say what ever the hell he wants!

Don Ross

Justice Scalia is correct in his rejection of TV in the courtroom. A court of law is a hallowed place in the United States, and should remain so. I agree with Scalia's position 100%. Any neophyte attorney can merely look to the O.J. trial for proof of television poisoning the judicial process.

However, as posted in a prior note, Scalia was off the mark in criticizing the question – although the young woman who asked the question was intemperate in using the word “vitiate.” That was, a not so thinly veiled assault on the judge’s moral canons.


ten steps that "fascist, totalitarian, and other repressive leaders [employ to] seize and maintain power, especially in what were once democracies.” The ten steps are:
1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy
2. Create a gulag
3. Develop a thug caste
4. Set up an internal surveillance system
5. Harass citizens' groups
6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release
7. Target key individuals
8. Control the press
9. Dissent equals treason
10. Suspend the rule of law
naomi wolfe

Jim Putney

Even if Ms. Jeck's reference to book tours was a "zing" with little relevance to the main issue of her question (and I'm not saying it was - just assuming so for argument's sake), I do not see the Justice's response as responsive, appropriate or proportionate. Judicial temperament? He's the poster boy for how a justice should NOT behave.
Sarah, here's hoping you face the old man some day in oral argument - or replace him.

Peter Larkin

Let's also remember that Scalia is a public servant, whose salary
is paid by the citizens of this county, like Sarah Jeck.

He has an OBLIGATION to answer questions that are not abusive or


How about a middle ground-- live audio feed of Supreme Court arguments on CSPAN radio and via internet? After all, that is essence of the argument, not a visual (although that would help identify who is asking the question). The Court has a live audio feed into the lawyers' lounge, so why not extend it a few feet more to outdoor speakers on the plaza where major arguments can be heard by those who waited hours but could not get into the courtroom? Live audio broadcasts (and an archived version) can be heard (and replayed) by the public, lawyers, and law students nationwide and would be very educational. There have been delayed audio broadcast in a few cases (Grutter), so what possible argument could there be against live audio? This would also be of service to the visually impaired who cannot read the transcript of the argument. After the Justices get comfortable with this electronic format, they may be more amenable to having a controlled, unobtrusive, fixed camera, at least on a "trial" basis for an argument or two.


"Why should I be a party to the miseducation of the American people?" - Scalia

Is the misjustice of Bush v. Gore so much worse than the miseducation?

You misdecide!

Hooooo Aggghhh! Now that was funny!

Jose Pro Se

Why taint a valid question with a disrespectful and incongruous jab? When asked of someone not known to mince words, seems to me she got the response she was looking for.

Camera's are better left out of the high court's chambers. The oral arguments are available for listening via audio posted on the web, and of course, the arguments are open to public viewing. Oral argument is simply that a presentation by a couple of lawyers to several justices. There is no witness testimony or evidence presented where visual perception would meaningfully enhance the public's experience over and above that available with an audio recording. That is unless watching Justice Ginsburg copping Z's during oral arguments adds value to "open gov't."

BTW, Bush v. Gore was decided 7-2 on the issue that the FL Supreme Court's decision violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Both Breyer and Souter joined Scalia on this point. Seems silly to hate Scalia over an issue that wasn't even close.


Time to step down, Justice Scalia. You've done enough damage.

Chuck Butcher

While the SC may have gotten Heller V DC correct, Scalia's opinion was about as lame an excuse I've seen in a long time for judicial reasoning.


It seems that the transparency of justice comes with a price tag, and the proceeds of those sales go into the personal pockets of justices, like Justice Scalia, not back in the system to make justice more accessible (less spendy) for all who seek the blind wisdom of the courts. Bravo Ms. Jeck's question. If anything was wrong it's that more questions like her's were not asked.

Sean Anomie

I think everyone knows Scalia can be fairly abrupt; there's no surprise there. I think the question was a good one, but in Scalia's own inimitable style, the answer was good too.


Scalia demonstrates an emotional and irrational imbalance. A balanced person recognizes the venue, the presence of students and their level of questions. His reaction to what he terms "impolite" is that of a closet demagogue with a fine trigger irrational mentality causing imbalanced responses and potential legal opinions. Good job Sarah! You were able to get to the witness and show his real persona.


Scalia's overreaction to what might have been a subtle dig speaks volumes for his character and legal mind: instead of havingsome fun with it, he reacted in a way that brings to mind Shakespeare's quote that speaks to dishonest intent: "Methinks she (or he) doth protest too much!" If anything he should have been embarrassed by his foolish outburst. He and Rush: twins separated at birth in SO many ways.

B. S. Sridhar

Some have suggested that the question was constructed poorly because the issue of televising the proceedings was not related to pedaling books. I disagree.

Supreme Court justices have for long held that the prestige of the institution as so important that such exposure as TV will demean it. They have claimed certain exclusivity that borders on royal privilege. If TV exposure cheapens, so does the pedaling of books.

Scalia for all his brilliance is an arrogant, rude and unprincipled (yes, Gore versus Bush) linesman. I would not call him a justice for the word conjures up higher levels of probity.


America will never forgive this Scalia for Bush vs Gore. What did he say to American people ? "Get over it" ....


We know where that kind of thinking comes from... As Gore Vidal recently said, "I know that type; I lived in Naples for years."


Scalia also said that "actual innocence" of a murder is insufficient to halt the execution of a wrongly convicted prisoner.

The guy is beyond dispicable.

Oval Nowhere

Perhaps Mr. Scalia should sign up for an anger management course?

Dave Whitefield

To OdinofAzgard: If not "living document, how else would you define a document that has been amended as much as our Constitution? I think many constitutional scholars believe the Constitution was designed by the framers to be exactly that... a living document.



Miseducated? And this imbecile is a judge on the supreme court?


I'm so glad we can't watch 15 second sound bites (Scalia is so out of touch he doesn't know that 15 seconds is a long clip on TV) of the Supreme Court on the News. It would just be redundant after listening to the audio clips I hear, and the 3-line synopses provided by the minimum wage local reporters. What a relief.


On the one hand, judges are - perhaps unfairly - expected to behave in an essentially emotionless fashion when dealing with anyone publicly. Always been another of those odd parallels observed between the black robed judiciary and the similarly clad Catholic clergy. At least for this Catholic lawyer, that is.

On the other hand, Scalia has, on more than a handful of occasions, behaved like the hotheaded retired guy at the trailer park owners association meeting - bull headed, extraordinarily opinionated, and unafraid to let anyone disagreeing with him how wrong he/she is. Shouldn't we expect much more from a member of the highest court in the nation?

Stephen Kwan

Scalia does a good "job" on his role as well as his "mission" to run a so-called American conservative agenda in court. That was what he was chosing for in the first place. The contradiction built up by "30-seconds takeouts" hanging with "a party to the miseducation of the American people" was witty but also removable.
Removable is the key word for Scalia.

Michael Slater

As Scalia famously remarked on 60 Minutes, "Bush v Gore? Get over it."

As for this quote taken from the piece above by OdinofAzgard "Anyone with a modicum of intelligence (conservative or liberal alike) should immediately recognize how dangerous to personal freedom the “living document” approach is.".

African-Americans, and in fact our President and his family may not like your willingness to have them returned to the legal status that existed in 1776. Perhaps you ought to consider that anything that isn't busy living, is busy dying.

Lisa G

Evidently as long as it's HIS "30-second takeouts" .... :rolleyes:


It's only self styled "tough guys" that can't answer simple questions.


I agree Scalia greatly overreacted to the question, but on the substance of it he's not particularly unusual among the current justices, nor does it seem to be a partisan issue. David Souter, usually on the opposite side from Scalia on split decisions, is even more famous for his strong aversion to cameras in the court, declaring that "the day you see a camera come into our courtroom, it's going to roll over my dead body".

John fay

Of course there is a connection between cameras in the courtroom and Scalia's books. Cameras reveal all, everything that goes on in the courtroom, the good, the bad, and the ugly. The whole truth, including everything a Justice says and does, as well as his demeanor and body language, which can seriously influence a proceeding. Scalia's books give only his selective biased self-serving view of what goes on in the court room. He is a hypocrit because he doesn't allow cameras to record what actually goes on. Plus, to make it worse, his books abotu what goes at the Supreme Court are in much greater demand, adn therefore more profitable, because he prohibits the undeniably best source of information about what really goes on at Supreme COurt hearings--cameras. I have heard this primadona clown interviewed many times, and read serious academic critiques of his opinions. He is an egomaniacal, ideological lightweight.


This young lady, and apparently most everyone else commenting here, is offended because Justice Scalia saw through the thin veil of curiosity she draped over her question. She obviously had conspired with her professor to not just ask this question but to also take an unprovoked jab at the Justice, and then acted surprised when he jabbed back. Apparently it is her, and not the Justice who can dish it out but can't take it.


Scalia is a walking, talking, bellowing advertisement for term limits on judges.

He stands at the head of a long line of right wing jurists who go on gamely protecting the interests of the moneyed few.

Thank the Lord for Ruth Bader Ginsberg.


With respect to Scalia's subsequent response about the 30 second spots distorting the proceeding - this is easily solved by requiring the proceedings to be shown in their entirety. If commercial spots are introduced - the program just won't be live - it will be pre-recorded (or time delayed) and shown in its entirety with inserted commercials. Problem solved. Your rock Sarah (I am a lawyer and have been practicing for 26 years - glad to know that someone like you with moxy will be picking up the reins.)


Her question was a good one. Apparently, his aversion to publicity does not extend beyond the courtroom. In other words, when he's after our money he's happy to let us line up and buy his book. I know that sounds nasty and rude, but hey, it's a jungle out there. No, I don't feel the least bit sorry for Justice Scalia.


Scalia = coward + hypocrite.

Sarah Jeck = real citizen.


Justice Scalia should have shown a better example to a young student by controlling his (legendary) temper. There was absolutely nothing wrong or imprudent with the question. We should expect more from a "high court justice."



If, as you claim, Scalia's agenda is to adhere to the original intent of the Constitution, please explain why he has been a part of the effort to limit our personal freedoms? Why does he interpret the Constitution in favor of some Americans and not Americans in general? He has been among those who denied the full accounting of actual votes cast in Bush v Gore and, as Jeck pointed out, he takes a hypocritical stance on privacy and the SCOTUS public dealings.

As others have mentioned, he is no more than an ideologue with friends in high places. He is certainly not a good jurist; and by hawking such a book, he's no more than a late night TV commercial in a good suit.


There is a relevance to the book reference as pointed out in several comments posted. Our government was intended to be conducted in public with as much transparency as is possible with few and limited exceptions. Technology has offered new possibilities for transparency and video broadcasts and records are among these new possibilities. Congress has accepted this and allows the American public to view open congressional proceedings on C-Span. Justice Scalia does not feel that the American public is worthy of the same level of transparency for Supreme Court proceedings. We must accept limited public viewing and an abridged accounting of what occurred as documented in the "official" transcripts and the editorial records that are pandered by the justices themselves for their own profit and vindication on public book tours. This is the relevance of the book aspect of the question. Justice Scalia has no justifiable reason for taking offense to the question and should answer the question intelligently and respectfully. I don't believe that he has done that yet. I am not holding my breath for that answer either.

Not important

I was actually there when this little 'incident' occured. I can tell you that a written synopsis cannot do it justice. I'm hoping to track down the news footage of it as there was certainly a camera in the room, and they showed footage from the event on the 5:00 news, but none of the question.
Jeck was the second FAU student to ask a question. The first was a relatively mild and very well worded question about judicial activism. He certainly could have taken offense to that one as well.
Sarah's question was delivered in a calm, non confrontational manner with maybe a hint of jest (Scalia himself had been making jabs at many others). The audience tittered a little bit but it was SCALIA who blew the issue out of proportion. His response was not angry per se, but it was more as if he could not believe he was being asked such a question. His response, "thats a nasty, impolite question" was what made the room go silent. His response was the reason this made the news. He could have brushed it off or perhaps said a little in his defense, but in this case his response was what made this an issue. If I track down the footage, i'll provide a link. It really must be seen to be appreciated.

I heard that the organizers of the event made many apologies to the Justice after the event, but honestly, I have a really hard time seeing WHAT needed an apology. She asked a question. Maybe a little too pointed of a question, but the intent was not to offend. She could not have predicted Scalia's reaction. Even if she did a Supreme Court Justice is not immune to criticism. Why would we apologize? At worst its a misunderstanding at best its an honest question that Scalia blew off in the most arrogant of ways.

Giff Beaton

Made my law filled day.

Harry R. Sohl

"Why should I be a party to the miseducation of the American people?" - Scalia

Is the misjustice of Bush v. Gore so much worse than the miseducation?

You misdecide!

Jeff Spangler

Nino and his Federalist originalism is a cruel intellectual joke.


Proceedings before the Supreme Court of Canada have been regularly recorded since 1995. The first hearing that was televised was in 1981. Hearings are shown, on a delayed basis, on CPAC, the Canadian equivalent to CSPAN. Access is restricted, as the court holds a copyright on the video recording.

Due to the copyright restrictions, and the limited access, the mainstream media has not televised excerpts of hearings on the same day. For the most part, appellete hearings are mundane, without colour or drama; not the fare for newsworthy watching. As the proceedings are not immediately broadcast, and probably due to the nature of legal counsel in Canada, no one plays to a camera when before the court.


Brilliant does not mean just, that is his job as a JUSTICE right?

Kevin Summers

I am so thankful of this student. The intellectual bantering about this does not matter to me, but please do. This student, dilligent in her studies, educated herself and many others simultaneously. Her professor will be beaming for an eon. I love America..much more that Scalia. Ditka versus Scalia...Scalia. Ditka versus Jett...Jett.


I have to say that I am smiling after reading the first batch of comments to this article. I have not seen so many well written, intelligent, insightful remarks in a very long time. This site is a pleasure to read. I finally found the elite's hiding place and couldn't be more pleased.
You go people. You are probably much younger than I am (57) and it does a heart good to know that many of our leaders of tomorrow will be a huge improvement over the old guard that refused to relinquish control over American's lives for way too long. Thank you for using your brains for good.
peacenic from deep in the heart of Texas!
P.S. We have liberals too America.


When Scalia responsed to a reasonable question by criticizing the question itself, I think he revealed quite a bit. The book tour part of the question was perhaps a little pointed, but seems to have rattled him enough that he could not articulate an actual answer to the question until later. And why would a mention of the book tour be considered "nasty" and "impolite" unless Scalia feels there might be something wrong with it? Scalia could have used wit in this situation if he was actually offended, but instead may have given us a small glimpse into his real character.


Scalia came to my law school in 2006 and yelled at a student for asking "do you read the newspaper, does it influence you?"


Justice Scalia apparently does not have a "judicial temperament", which is the balanced, calm attitude in which justice can be discerned.

George Widman

Fron the Sun-Sentinel story, "'I don't think that it should be up to him what parts the American people can and can't see of the judicial process,'she (Jeck)said."
The central issue is in the interpretation of the First Amendment. While it IS true that the First Amendment is what the SCOTUS says it is, it is NOT true that the First Amendment is what one ill-tempered and impolite justice says it is. What a concept: The First Amendment applying to all three branches of federal government.


I don't respect rude/arrogant/arbitrary Scalia, but the question WAS rude and impertinent. There is no connection between the various rationale for no cameras (whether I agree or not) and writing books or promoting them. She added that "zinger" to zing, not to form an intelligent query.


This girl rocks. Justice Scalia is a a paranoid hypocrite.

Dan K

Scalia has a big temper and a condescending, arrogant attitude on the bench. He is a bully and an ideologue, not a great jurist, and will go down in history as one of the least appropriate justices in history.

I have no impulse to defend Scalia, who has always struck me as a first class *@#!, and I don't think the question was particularly aggressive -- but it was gratuitous. I see no connection between tv cameras in a courtroom proceeding and a justice going on a book tour.


"Why should I be a party to the miseducation of the American people?" - Scalia

This is the same numbnuts who said government derives its authority from God.


Steve Silver

To Method Actor (6:35 p.m.) and everyone else attacking Justice Scalia for his “originalist” viewpoint: Yes, Justice Scalia has an agenda – to interpret the language of the Constitution according to its plain, obvious and original meaning. The opposite approach allows the meaning of the language to change based upon the whim of nine unelected justices. Anyone with a modicum of intelligence (conservative or liberal alike) should immediately recognize how dangerous to personal freedom the “living document” approach is.

Dolores Cordell

The "book tour" part of the question was relevant because if you are going to talk out of class about issues concerning the Supreme Court, why not let the public see for themselves what goes on there?

I do understand Scalia's point about "sound bites" - the modern bane of American politics.

But the real issue here is Scalia's over-reaction to the question. Anyone who has read his vitriolic and hypocritical opinions (Bush v. Gore falls into the latter) can get that the man is about as stable as the world economy. He has just proved once again that "judicial temperment" is not in his repetiore.


Scalia deserves to be asked "impolite" questions whereever he shows his face. He is a national embarassment. History will not forget Bush v. Gore. What a disgrace.


Mt guess as to why there aren't cammeras in the court room is so you can't see which justices are sleeping during oral arguments.


The premise for Jeck's question was the "rationale for Scalia's well-known opposition." Perhaps Scalia's previously stated rationale is directly connected to Justice's "public appearances." Maybe Jeck made this possible dissonance plain with her question. No one has addressed that; just conjecture and anecdote.

frank regan

Nice, that a supreme court justice assumes that the media will use 30 second sound bites to give inaccurate information to the citizens.
He's paranoid and has a skewed idea of what the purpose of free access is.
Also its nutty that he insists on polite questions when he's not willing to give polite answers.

More importantly, How concerned should we be when a supposedly unbiased SUPREME COURT JUSTICE has authored & is peddling a book about how to "Persuade Judges" Is there a Legal Method available to remove a Supreme Court Justice from the bench? He clearly has shunned his responsibility as a Supreme Court Justice

Zonana Pew

It was so mild a question. Entire libraries of books on the issue of technology and society are being published, it is a completely relevant question to pose to a SC justice. It's not like she defecated on his shoes.


Justice Scalia is a supreme court justice he is not a supreme person.


Those wondering the relevance of book tours to the question of cameras in the courtroom might consider one of the frequent reasons for keeping those cameras out: that they would threaten the "dignity" of the Court. Jeck's book tour comment was a tad snide, but it is perfectly relevant. The justices operate with diminished public visibility when it suits them to maintain the mystique of the Court and increased public visibility when it suits them - such as when benefiting financially from that same mystique.

The only justice who has taken an especially hard line against cameras in the Court and who cannot be accused of any degree of hypocrisy on this is David Souter - who truly does value both his own privacy and the dignity of the Court.


Typical bullying behavior I saw during law school. They can always dish it out, but can't take it.

Tim Kane

I would like to see someone ask Scalia how he would distinguish his "originalist" philosophy from the "originalist" philosophy that Taney used while writing his decision in the Dredd Scott case.

Scalia likes to brag, with arrogance mind you, that he's an originalist. That's exactly the philosophy Taney use. Not only does he go for the text but what was in the mind of the text writer at the time he wrote the text. Taney said that since the writers of the constitution believed all men were equal, but did not extend the rights enjoyed by the writers of the constitution to black slaves, that they did not consider blacks "men" when they said "all men are equal" - therefore no black man was entitled to any rights guaranteed by the constitution.

I'm thinking that would make him a bit testy.

Method Actor

Is Scalia puffing up or what? Windbag. This is what happens when you appoint them for life. They think they can make money of the proceedings of the court and believe its not a conflict of interest? And someone asks a question and he gets tweaked. What a wimp.


I think the average American has an incomplete view of the function of the Supreme Court.

The role of the Court is to decide the case before it. The process and the effect is secondary. (by effect I mean the precedence value of a decision)

Deciding as case requires the interpretation of law.

This is the crux and why a Justice like Scalia is so dangerous.

Simply put, Scalia has an agenda. He knows how he wants to rule on a case before he hears argument.


He sounds like Bill-O with only a few more brains.


One hallmark of a mature adult as well as of a real professional is that he knows the extent of his own power: he is therefore careful to be dignified, calm, polite, and gentle with those younger or more inexperienced that he.

Scalia is obviously fairly immature.


I have no respect for Scalia's Supreme Court decisions. His "original intent" argument is poor rationale that serves a cover for his extreme conservative viewpoints. And then, when this originalist perspective clashes with his personal opinions, he chucks it out the window. A bad, but unfortunately influential, justice.

Scalia was invited to the opening of the Drexel law school library and most of the law students chose not to attend because of his reputation not to mention his court cases. not surprised at his lack of respect for the questioner.


I saw Scalia get petty with a lawyer who gently asked a simple question at a conference, and Scalia got all over him as "arrogant." Scalia is the personification of arrogant. The poor lawyer was not, by anybody's account, except Scalia. Too thinskinned and bound to be trying to intimidate other questioners.

Republican Demographic

Scalia is a national embarrassment. The only good thing is that he exposes the big lie. I've been practicing law for almost 30 years and most judges are arrogant ill-tempered egomaniacs. The unfortunate thing is that unless they lose it and blow up in front of the general public, nobody ever knows it because they are also vindictive and no lawyer will speak up against them.


Scalia should consider doing a joint book tour with Ann Coulter. I hold anyone scolded by this most lowly of lows in high esteem and I'm sure the young student has a bright future. I hope she continues to hound those that want to drag America back into the Dark Ages...

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