Saturday, February 13, 2016
Antonin Scalia died today. He was one of the longest serving justices in American history. I have written here often about his drawbacks, and the damage his increasingly lawless decisions were causing to the structure of constitutional law. I won't link the posts; I stand by them, but his better side deserves mention too.
I also have noted that he was a firm believer in the Sixth Amendment--the only one on the Court, currently. In early years on the Court, he joined in Texas v. Johnson, defending speech he hated. Even recently, he could surprise, rising to the defense of an increasingly tattered Fourth Amendment. His off the bench writings could be engaging, and in A Matter of Interpretation, he engaged constructively with his critics, exhibiting less pugnacity and more perspicacity.
I think he enjoyed being Antonin Scalia; he was one of three justices (that I can think of) who were the subject of a play. (Scalia, depicted in The Originalist, O.W. Holmes in The Magnificent Yankee and W.O. Douglas (sorta) in First Monday in October).
May he rest in peace.