Scalia Speaks: Reflections on Law, new arrival Faith, and wholesale Life Well Lived online

Scalia Speaks: Reflections on Law, new arrival Faith, and wholesale Life Well Lived online

Scalia Speaks: Reflections on Law, new arrival Faith, and wholesale Life Well Lived online

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This definitive collection of beloved Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia''s finest speeches covers topics as varied as the law, faith, virtue, pastimes, and his heroes and friends. Featuring a foreword by longtime friend Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and an intimate introduction by his youngest son, this volume includes dozens of speeches, some deeply personal, that have never before been published. Christopher J. Scalia and the Justice''s former law clerk Edward Whelan selected the speeches.

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.

Review

"Reading Scalia Speaks — the marvelous collection of his speeches, lovingly compiled by his son and a former law clerk — brought Nino back to life for me."
-Alan M. Dershowitz, The New York Times Book Review

"This marvelous book surely will be required reading for anyone seeking to understand the mind of this great jurist and conservative thinker. But I would go further and say that it should be required reading for  anyone who wishes to understand the mind of a great American, a figure so important to our history that his passing influenced the presidential election held months later. If “Scalia Speaks” can be said to have one fundamental flaw—one shared with the man’s life—it is that it ends too soon."
- Wall Street Journal

“A treasure that captures Justice Antonin Scalia’s brilliance, wit, faith, humility and wide range of knowledge...Scalia speaks in his own words in this magnificent volume that should be on the bookshelf of every educated American.”
- Washington Post

"In decades of public speeches at home and abroad, Scalia educated, challenged, and entertained countless audiences. Now anyone who wants to benefit from the late justice’s wit and wisdom can do so with  Scalia Speaks.…[An] indispensable book." 
- Weekly Standard

Scalia Speaks is engrossing and invaluable, a treasure for lawyers and non-lawyers alike, a milestone in the literature of this profoundly influential American and in the annals of the Supreme Court.”
-James Rosen

“An almost intimate picture of one of the giants of our age…Scalia’s mind sparkled like a gem, but perhaps, in our turbulent time, the most important takeaway from this collection is the lesson it teaches about civility.”
-Mona Charen
 
“An extraordinary portrait of a great public figure and thinker. The book is an intellectual feast and at the same time great fun to read. It displays an exceptionally coherent worldview articulated with great force and wit. It''s enormously enlightening.
-Yuval Levin

About the Author

Christopher J. Scalia, the eighth of Justice Scalia''s nine children and a former professor of English, works at a public relations firm near Washington, D.C. His book reviews and political commentary have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The  Weekly Standard, and elsewhere. He lives in Virginia with his wife and three children.

Edward Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, is a former law clerk to Justice Scalia. He is a leading commentator on the Supreme Court and on issues of constitutional law. A father of four, he lives with his family in the D.C. area.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

What Makes an American

In October 1986—­one month after he became the first Italian American to sit on the Supreme Court—­Justice Scalia received the National Italian American Foundation’s award for public service. In the course of explaining why he was proud of his Italian heritage, he drew a broader lesson about what makes an American.

My fellow Italian Americans:

I am happy to provide the occasion for this celebration of our common Italian ancestry. You do me great honor this evening—­and it is an honor that by all rights I must share with many others. My parents and relatives, of course—­my teachers (some of whom are here this evening)—­all of those who have had an influence on my life. One debt I would like particularly to acknowledge is to the many Italian Americans in many fields of endeavor, but particularly in politics, who by their example of ability and integrity made it easy for someone with an Italian name to be considered for high office. Even the most successful of us are midgets standing on the shoulders of others—­and I want to acknowledge my special indebtedness to the Peter Rodinos and Frank Annunzios and John Volpes who made my path an easy one. It is a great responsibility to be readily identifiable with a particular ethnic group. I am where I am in part because my predecessors bore that responsibility well. I hope to do the same.

I want to say a few words this evening about why we are proud of our Italian heritage—­and about why that pride makes us no less than 100 percent Americans.

Three of the world’s great civilizations flourished in the lands you and I came from. The southern part of Italy, Magna Grecia, was one of the most important parts of ancient Greece—­and Syracuse was the largest city of that civilization. The Roman Empire began on the Italian peninsula and spread its influence throughout the Western world. And the Italian city-­states of the Renaissance were the beginning of the modern world. We are also a race that has lived under many foreign rulers—­the Normans, the Saracens, the French, the Spanish, and the Austrians. So we bear with us the knowledge, learned the hard way, how difficult it is to create a great society, and how easy it is, through foolish discord at home or failure to confront threats from abroad, to lose it.

The Italian immigrants who came to this country possessed, it seems to me, four characteristics in a particularly high degree—­characteristics that continue to be displayed, by and large, by their descendants. First, a capacity for hard work—­whether on the lines of the railroads whose construction brought many of them here, or in the machine shops and garment factories of the industrial East, or in the fisheries and vineyards of California. They were successful in that work, as is evident from the fact that the last time I looked at the figures their descendants have the highest per capita income of any ethnic group (including Anglo-­Saxons) except the Chinese and Japanese. Second, a love of family. The closeness of the Italian family is legendary—­it is one of our great inheritances. Third, a love of the church. Italian American priests and Italian American parishioners have—­with a good deal of help, it must be acknowledged, from our Irish co-­religionists in the East and Hispanic Americans in the West—­made Roman Catholicism one of the major religions in a country where it began as a tiny minority. And fourth, perhaps arising from the first three—­the product of hard work, a secure family environment, and a confident knowledge of one’s place within God’s scheme of things—­a love of the simple physical pleasures of human existence: good music, good food, and good—­or even pretty good—­wine.

We have shared those qualities with our fellow Americans—­as they have shared the particular strengths of their heritages with us. And the product is the diverse and yet strangely cohesive society called America. It is a remarkable but I think demonstrable phenomenon that our attachment to and affection for our particular heritage does not drive our society apart, but helps to bind it together. Like an intricate tapestry, the fabric of our society is made up of many different threads that run in different directions, but all meet one another to form the whole. The common bond I have with those who share my Italian ancestry prevents me from readily being drawn into enmity with those people on the basis of, for example, politics. If I were, for example, a Republican, I could not think too ill of Democrats—­because, after all, Pete Rodino is a Democrat and he’s a paisan. And of course we all have loyalties based on factors other than our ethnic heritage that bind us together with other Americans—­we go to the same church as they, or belong to the same union, or went to the same college. It is these intersecting loyalties to small segments of the society that bind the society together.

So I say you can be proud of your Italian heritage—­as the Irish can of theirs, and the Jews of theirs—­without feeling any less than 100 percent American because of that.

While taking pride in what we have brought to America, we should not fail to be grateful for what America has given to us. It has given us, first and foremost, a toleration of how different we were when we first came to these shores. What makes an American, it has told us, is not the name or the blood or even the place of birth, but the belief in the principles of freedom and equality that this country stands for.

There have, to be sure, been instances and periods of discrimination against Italian Americans, just as there have been against all other new arrivals. But that was the aberration, the departure from the norm, the failure to live up to the principles on which this Republic was founded. If you do not believe that, you need look no further than the actions of the greatest American of them all, the Father of our Country, George Washington. During his first term in office as president, Washington wrote a letter that is a model of Americanism, addressed to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island. This blue-­blooded, aristocratic Virginian assured that small community that his administration, his country, would brook no discrimination against that small and politically impotent community. And that the children of Abraham, as he put it, were welcome in this country, to live in peace and never to have fear.

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Top reviews from the United States

Robert Bolton
4.0 out of 5 stars
The Guiding Light of Originalism
Reviewed in the United States on November 14, 2017
When I was in law school, from time to time I would have a little intellectual banter with my classmates. We would quiz each other on the composition of our ideal United States Supreme Court if we could draft justices from any era (very exciting group of people, we... See more
When I was in law school, from time to time I would have a little intellectual banter with my classmates. We would quiz each other on the composition of our ideal United States Supreme Court if we could draft justices from any era (very exciting group of people, we lawyers). My own went something like Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Hugo Black, John Marshall, Joseph Story, James Wilson, John Marshall Harlan, Charles Evans Hughes, Louis Brandeis, and Lewis Powell. If I could pick judges who never made it to the highest level, I might substitute one out for Henry Friendly, Learned Hand, or Chancellor Kent. What was notable about our game, however, is almost no one picked justices from the current Supreme Court. This is in no small part because every one of them is a bland, unoriginal writer. The only near-contemporary I might name is the recently deceased Antonin Scalia. In his later years on the bench, he became the most prominent member of the federal judiciary as he published law review articles, granted television interviews, and gave talks across the country. A collection of his speeches, Scalia Speaks: Reflections on Law, Faith, and Life Well Lived, has been edited and recently published by Edward Whelan and the justice’s son Christopher Scalia. It performs expertly its task of showing a more personal side of the most important justice of the last thirty years.

The central theme of this book is Justice Scalia’s ardent defense of originalism. There are two closely related but distinct theories of originalism: original intent and original meaning. Original intent looks at the text of a legal document and attempts to discern what the drafters intended for it to mean; original meaning, on the other hand, takes the text and interprets it using the understanding of the words as was common to the time of the law’s creation. Justice Scalia believed in the latter. The corollary to original meaning is textualism, the idea for modern statutes that words plainly mean what they say unless a different definition is provided.

Another important theme of Justice Scalia’s work was the need for judicial humility and avoidance of reading one’s own views into a statute. In a speech to the Dominican Order, the justice explained Thomas Aquinas believed any written code opposed to natural law was immoral and invalid. Natural law is the idea that there are certain moral truths discernible by anyone using right reason. Justice Scalia’s argument against this position was twofold. First, it is impossible for any one individual to always correctly discern the moral arc of the universe. Even if particular issues seem to have a clear-cut answer, this type of judging will ultimately descend into choosing one’s own personal policy preferences. Second, as a practical matter, attempting to implement an equitable interpretation of the law, rather than what the words say, leads to unpredictable results.
One of the most famous examples where Justice Scalia applied this argument was abortion. For him, Roe v. Wade and its case law progeny were a tragedy, not just as a member of the Catholic faith, but also for reading into the United States Constitution a right to abortion contained nowhere in the text. Justice Scalia argued that it should be left to the legislature, as the democratically elected branch, to determine whether or not to allow abortion; if the legislature chose to permit it, Justice Scalia would apply the law despite his personal disagreement with it as a policy.

Justice Scalia faced a few major criticisms while alive. One was that he allegedly applied his own judicial philosophy of originalism inconsistently. Another was the concern of many that the Constitution is a relatively bare-bones text and legislatures are often lethargic or unresponsive in crafting laws supported by broad swaths of the public, so Justice Scalia’s philosophy did not account for the challenges of the modern era. Whether those criticisms have merit is left to each individual reader, but undoubtedly Justice Scalia’s views continue to have an outsized influence on legal interpretation.

Justice Scalia covered a wide range of other issues, including his general hostility to using foreign law to interpret American rights outside rare circumstances, eulogies lamenting the passage of time and friends, his pride in being a Catholic and Italian-American (emphasis on American), the value of a college education for newly-minted graduates, and an encomium on turkey hunting that may be the best defense of sportsmanship by a federal official since Herbert Hoover’s advocacy of fly fishing. One section praising his personal heroes included a piece on William Howard Taft. Taft is a footnote in presidential history always coupled with Theodore Roosevelt, but Justice Scalia pointed out his pivotal role as chief justice in lobbying for the Supreme Court to receive their own building in Washington, D.C. and supporting the passage of a bill giving the court discretionary review over its appellate docket. This was always part of my esteem for the rotund man, and I am glad Justice Scalia concurred.

My favorite speech in the collection, however, may be his defense of dissenting opinions. In his later years, Justice Scalia became increasingly stinging in his critiques of the direction the Supreme Court was headed. Sometimes a dissent is a cry from the wilderness unheeded at the time and later viewed as prophetic, other times it is an expression of individual quirkiness, and in some instances it represents the position of a substantial chunk of public opinion. In each case, it is an attempt by the dissenting judge to stake out his own intellectual domain and provoke the reader into considering a new view. Few performed this job better than Justice Scalia.

Sometimes he would save those criticisms of colleague’s opinions for private discussion, rather than score easy political points with public criticism. As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted in her touching foreword, “Now and then he would call me, or stop by my chambers, to point out a slip I had made in an opinion draft. He did this, resisting circulation of a memorandum, copes to other justices, that might embarrass me. When we disagreed, my final opinion was always clearer and more convincing than my initial circulation. Justice Scalia homed in on all the soft spots, energizing me to strengthen my presentation.” With the bitter partisan bickering that plagues both the Republican and Democratic parties, it is nice to know that tucked away in the far corners of government some people still have the capacity for personal respect during instances of professional disagreement.

Justice Scalia’s absence from the Supreme Court leaves it poorer. Even on occasions when one disagreed with him, the force of his character and intellectual acumen challenged his opponent’s preconceived notions and pushed them to make their own arguments sharper. This collection shows the gifted mind and warm personality that defended American law for decades.
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char
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Beautifully written.
Reviewed in the United States on October 7, 2017
Beautifully written....Judge Scalia is a legend and, I believe, history will show him to be one of the most honorable judges to sit onthe bench... a man of great wisdom In reading this book, the reader is quick to relate to this great man and his great compassion for... See more
Beautifully written....Judge Scalia is a legend and, I believe, history will show him to be one of the most honorable judges to sit onthe bench... a man of great wisdom
In reading this book, the reader is quick to relate to this great man and his great compassion for those he serves...ALL the people. This bookhas given me the desire to look for those things which I can do to become more active in everyday life to seek opporunities to serve my fellowman and woman in quiet acts of random kindness and love''
46 people found this helpful
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Jess W. Dixon
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
but love it already
Reviewed in the United States on December 14, 2017
I''m just barely into this book; but love it already! My limited impression so far is that this is REAL "stuff." Real LIFE "stuff." Wisdom flowing our of the Justice''s mind and lips, with personal experience, humor, .... and this great "life... See more
I''m just barely into this book; but love it already! My limited impression so far is that this is REAL "stuff." Real LIFE "stuff." Wisdom flowing our of the Justice''s mind and lips, with personal experience, humor, .... and this great "life stuff" that I can relate to. For me, it is a book for quiet, in-interrupted (fingers crossed! :) ) time; perhaps sipping hot coffee or tea, puffing on a pipe, or sipping slowly, on a Cordial or wine. Think. Listen intently; Don''t read this book with the TV blaring! Be QUIET and listen to a voice - so far, mind you, I''ve just read a few chapters, - a voice of wisdom! I have communicate with one Justice of our Supreme Court; but how I regret never having written to Justice Antonin Scalia! I know I would cherish his reply. And I believe I would always receive a reply from him.
14 people found this helpful
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Frederick H. Graefe
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Grazie, Nino, we love and miss you!
Reviewed in the United States on January 13, 2018
Chris Scalia has made his Dad, my dear friend Nino, a very proud Papa indeed. This collection of Nino’s speeches and writings, as his good friend and colleague Justice Ginsburg writes in her Foreword, confirms Nino’s indelible stamp on Supreme Court jurisprudence, indeed... See more
Chris Scalia has made his Dad, my dear friend Nino, a very proud Papa indeed. This collection of Nino’s speeches and writings, as his good friend and colleague Justice Ginsburg writes in her Foreword, confirms Nino’s indelible stamp on Supreme Court jurisprudence, indeed one of the best if not the best Justice in our Nation’s history.
Chris reveals the good man his Dad was, a remarkable family, Nino’s loving wife Maureen McCarthy, who made Nino, the proud Italian American, eligible to become a member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick!
Reading this wonderful book is bittersweet for those of us lucky to be in his company and to have him as a very dear friend. It is a book for all, irrespective of whether one is a lawyer. To understand our Nation and the rule of law, this is a must read, for Nino was truly a man for all seasons.
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J. Rodeck
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Constitutional originalism.
Reviewed in the United States on July 31, 2020
Mucho respect for the compilers of this collection of speeches. Scalia represents Constitutional originalism; that is, advocacy of the exact intentions of its framers. Positives: 1) the speeches are mostly short and sweet. 2) Lots of wit. 3) I''d challenge... See more
Mucho respect for the compilers of this collection of speeches. Scalia represents Constitutional originalism; that is, advocacy of the exact intentions of its framers.

Positives: 1) the speeches are mostly short and sweet. 2) Lots of wit. 3) I''d challenge anybody who couldn''t say they gained a better understanding of American government and the Constitution.

The religious stuff would be mainly for Catholics. Although Sir Thomas More (A Man for All Seasons) going to his execution on principle is an absorbing tale.

SAMPLES:

"One of the strengths of this great country, one of the reasons we really are a symbol of light and of hope for the world, is the way in which people of different faiths, different races, different national origins, have come together and learned—not merely to tolerate one another, because I think that is too stingy a word for what we have achieved—but to respect and love one another."

"A recent survey found that only about half of the American people could name the first book of the Old Testament; only about a third could say who gave the Sermon on the Mount; and only about a fifth could name a single Old Testament prophet. A nation that used to abound with names like Ezekiel and Zebadiah now presumably thinks that the Beatitudes are a female singing group. "

In England a toast is customarily presented: “Ladies and gentlemen, the Queen." It is the custom to reply to that toast with a toast “To the president of the United States.” But if one wishes to evoke the deep and enduring symbol of our nationhood and our unity as a people, it seems to me the toast ought to be “Ladies and gentlemen, the Constitution of the United States.”

"Societies always mature; they never rot. This despite the twentieth century’s evidence of concentration camps and gas ovens in one of the most advanced and civilized nations of the world."

It is quite impossible to forgive the line “To be great is to be misunderstood,” which has been cribbed from the same book of banalities as “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

"The cardinal sin of capitalism is greed; but the cardinal sin of socialism is power."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Reading level: College. Many 50 cent legal words and latin phrases.
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Just sayin'
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I aspired to be a lawyer in my youth because it seemed like a good way to afford a Ferrari
Reviewed in the United States on November 23, 2017
Buy it. I aspired to be a lawyer in my youth because it seemed like a good way to afford a Ferrari. That didn''t work out, but my affinity for good legal logic always lingered. Reading this book enhanced the respect for the great minds of our jurisprudence. The mind of... See more
Buy it. I aspired to be a lawyer in my youth because it seemed like a good way to afford a Ferrari. That didn''t work out, but my affinity for good legal logic always lingered. Reading this book enhanced the respect for the great minds of our jurisprudence. The mind of Justice Scalia, coupled with the moral compass that directed him, is so impressive, makes one cry out in agony for his loss to our highest court.
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Pseudo D
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Viva
Reviewed in the United States on May 31, 2019
Nino, who once said he didn''t even know how his name is supposed to be pronounced, has been a larger than life figure from the late 80''s until his death three years ago. Perhaps the first thing to note is the respect and devotion of his colleagues who most often... See more
Nino, who once said he didn''t even know how his name is supposed to be pronounced, has been a larger than
life figure from the late 80''s until his death three years ago. Perhaps the first thing to note is the respect and
devotion of his colleagues who most often disagreed with him. The foreword is by Justice Ginsburg, who also
worked closely with Robert Bork, and Justice Elena Kagan added that Scalia changed the way we all think
about the law. While Bork and Clarence Thomas caused highly heated debates in the Senate, Scalia got
through easily in 1986 and was Italian-American.

The collection begins with a reflection on the Irish-Americans, such as his wife Maureen, from the Italian
point of view. There''s the obligatory reference to Daniel Moynihan, and a reflection on the relationship
between Americans and the various places to which they trace their heritage.

The area of most interest, of course, is Scalia''s area of expertise, the law. Even for those who usually agree
with him, his is not the only approach. For me, it would seem that if a judge believes there is a natural law,
then it must weigh quite heavily on the conscience, regarding what is just. This was once not just a Catholic
doctrine but a major factor for Martin Luther King''s action. Scalia''s approach emphasizes more the positive
law and its historical context. For instance, he says that Alexander Hamilton''s interpretation is weighed heavily,
not because wrote the Constitution (Madison), but because "...who for Pete''s sake must have understood what the thing meant". While Bork''s philosophy is complex (as noted by Joe Biden in Promises to Keep), the similar Scalia tends to be more accessible. He is a religious
person but makes his explanations in secular terms. One may think that he is opposed to abortion, or homosexual
sodomy, but his analysis sticks to what the law means. His favorite example is flag burning, which is a terrible
thing that he opposes but is allowed under his understanding of the Constitution.

Faith is obviously another area of interest to Scalia. The Catholic journalist Rocco Palmo noted that he was the
most revered figure, ordained or lay, in the diocese of Arlington. He was an intelligent layman, who asked the
questions that prompt the ordained (such as his son Paul) to look at the mysteries from another perspective.

Scalia had an exuberance and joy of life. Perhaps this was captured by Stephen Colbert at the infamous White
House Correspondents'' dinner with George W. Bush. Scalia had given someone the Sicilian chin. So Colbert bit
his thumb at Scalia, who almost fell over in belly laughter.

His mind seemed to work almost effortlessly, giving lessons in history and American civics. His devotion to
Washington showed that character is more important than the brains of Jefferson, Hamilton or Madison.

Scalia was widely known for his dissents. One interesting one was on the independent counsel, before
the investigations of Bill Clinton and now Donald Trump. When Obergefell came out, you just knew that
he would have something to say-among other things, "I would hide my head in a bag". Stanley Fish
used him as an example of how to learn to write a sentence. "Interior decorating is a rock-hard science
compared to psychology practiced by amateurs". This book abounds with such one-liners. There was
a time before they discovered the commandment to keep holy the weekend. (Referring to Mass on
Saturday afternoon or evening). Baseball is a bunch of guys standing around while nothing happens,
while soccer, which we didn''t have back then, has them running around back and forth while nothing
happens.
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LakeMead Jim
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great Format To Get To Know the Real Scalia
Reviewed in the United States on January 11, 2018
Love the style of this book from actual speeches and public engagements. While not a wild fan of some of his ideas and positions, Scalia certainly was the type of person almost anyone would have liked and this book makes you understand why. His commitment to communicating... See more
Love the style of this book from actual speeches and public engagements. While not a wild fan of some of his ideas and positions, Scalia certainly was the type of person almost anyone would have liked and this book makes you understand why. His commitment to communicating well and with anyone willing underlies his almost fanatical curiosity about people and wanting to understand them. This book does such great justice to a Justice who, while built from the upper echelons of the best institutions, was a commoner at heart. The higher and more prestigious he got, the more emphatic he was to champion the idea of the American Dream and the idea of the level playing field. There should be more books like this about people taken from their verbal interactions in which there is little place to hide, shade or misinterpret - and no commentary telling you what they just said.
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Top reviews from other countries

GrahamB
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A fine collection of essays
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 14, 2018
Not being an American, nor a lawyer, my standing in reviewing this book might be brought into question. I do not share some of the leanings that Justice Scalia exhibited; but having noted elsewhere that he had been misquoted by an opponent I wanted to see what he had...See more
Not being an American, nor a lawyer, my standing in reviewing this book might be brought into question. I do not share some of the leanings that Justice Scalia exhibited; but having noted elsewhere that he had been misquoted by an opponent I wanted to see what he had actually said, and came to realise that he was a superb writer and a gifted speaker. It is curious - perhaps even a little perverse - that the allegation is made that he was a conservative driving his own agenda. Repeatedly he made the point that he would uphold whatever laws Congress passed, whatever his personal feelings, provided those laws conformed to the Constitution. The book paints a picture of a considerable intellect, a devoted family man, and a writer of some style. I especially enjoyed the pieces about his early life which vibrate with colour. Well worth reading even if you disagreed with him - and, in fact, you may find as I did that you agreed with him more than you expected.
Not being an American, nor a lawyer, my standing in reviewing this book might be brought into question. I do not share some of the leanings that Justice Scalia exhibited; but having noted elsewhere that he had been misquoted by an opponent I wanted to see what he had actually said, and came to realise that he was a superb writer and a gifted speaker. It is curious - perhaps even a little perverse - that the allegation is made that he was a conservative driving his own agenda. Repeatedly he made the point that he would uphold whatever laws Congress passed, whatever his personal feelings, provided those laws conformed to the Constitution.

The book paints a picture of a considerable intellect, a devoted family man, and a writer of some style. I especially enjoyed the pieces about his early life which vibrate with colour. Well worth reading even if you disagreed with him - and, in fact, you may find as I did that you agreed with him more than you expected.
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Prandi Fabrizio Maria
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Interessante
Reviewed in Italy on February 8, 2021
Il testo è un''antologia di discorsi resi, nell''arco di diversi decenni, da Scalia. I temi si ripetono, nel senso che si parla quasi sempre della teoria dell''originalismo (interpretazione del testo di legge secondo il pensiero di chi lo scrisse, a prescindere dall''evoluzione...See more
Il testo è un''antologia di discorsi resi, nell''arco di diversi decenni, da Scalia. I temi si ripetono, nel senso che si parla quasi sempre della teoria dell''originalismo (interpretazione del testo di legge secondo il pensiero di chi lo scrisse, a prescindere dall''evoluzione delle convinzioni della società) a cui Scalia aderiva, e di cui era divenuto tra i più autorevoli sostenitori. E'' comunque un testo interessante, di agevole lettura. Consigliato a chi abbia interesse per il diritto costituzionale, pur senza essere necessariamente un "addetto ai lavori". Il linguaggio è infatti discorsivo (si tratta sovente di interventi ad eventi di non giuristi) ed il testo è privo di riferimenti specifici ai testi di legge (eccezione fatta per qualche articolo della costituzione americana).
Il testo è un''antologia di discorsi resi, nell''arco di diversi decenni, da Scalia. I temi si ripetono, nel senso che si parla quasi sempre della teoria dell''originalismo (interpretazione del testo di legge secondo il pensiero di chi lo scrisse, a prescindere dall''evoluzione delle convinzioni della società) a cui Scalia aderiva, e di cui era divenuto tra i più autorevoli sostenitori. E'' comunque un testo interessante, di agevole lettura. Consigliato a chi abbia interesse per il diritto costituzionale, pur senza essere necessariamente un "addetto ai lavori". Il linguaggio è infatti discorsivo (si tratta sovente di interventi ad eventi di non giuristi) ed il testo è privo di riferimenti specifici ai testi di legge (eccezione fatta per qualche articolo della costituzione americana).
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Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The originalist !
Reviewed in India on October 15, 2020
I’m definitely a person who believed in a living constitution and justice Scalia definitely wasn’t. Reading this book, I definitely understand his side of the argument. I don’t think he has managed to convert me, but I have no doubt of I had ever had the chance of meeting...See more
I’m definitely a person who believed in a living constitution and justice Scalia definitely wasn’t. Reading this book, I definitely understand his side of the argument. I don’t think he has managed to convert me, but I have no doubt of I had ever had the chance of meeting him in person, his oration and grasp of history would change my mind. You may definitely dispute what the man says, but he comes across as a man who is honest to his belief and sticks to it.
I’m definitely a person who believed in a living constitution and justice Scalia definitely wasn’t. Reading this book, I definitely understand his side of the argument. I don’t think he has managed to convert me, but I have no doubt of I had ever had the chance of meeting him in person, his oration and grasp of history would change my mind.

You may definitely dispute what the man says, but he comes across as a man who is honest to his belief and sticks to it.
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Bruce M. Clark
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I miss him greatly.
Reviewed in Canada on November 16, 2017
A wonderful book. I could hear him speaking as I read his words. Funny and inciteful. I learned about notable cases and loved the way he viewed the constitution. I will read it again.
A wonderful book. I could hear him speaking as I read his words. Funny and inciteful. I learned about notable cases and loved the way he viewed the constitution. I will read it again.
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Celso Silva Filho
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Leitura fundamental.
Reviewed in Brazil on January 10, 2018
Excelente livro, em especial para os profissionais do direito, com destaque para as opiniões do autor acerca dos limites da interpretação constititicional, que, para ele, devem ser restritos.
Excelente livro, em especial para os profissionais do direito, com destaque para as opiniões do autor acerca dos limites da interpretação constititicional, que, para ele, devem ser restritos.
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