In Scalia Speaks, the writing dazzles and the character shines through, reminders of a more civil time.
I knew the late Justice Antonin Scalia a little, and, like millions of others, I was an avid fan of his jurisprudence, the great bulk of which he produced after I was no longer a law student — so much the worse for me.
What do I have to do with it? Nothing, except that reading opinions as a law student was often like trying to swallow great bowls of sawdust — without milk. Very few judges can write well. On the rare occasions when I came across a decision by Learned Hand, I would practically weep with gratitude for his clear, forceful prose.
Antonin Scalia was not just a great stylist for a jurist, he was a great writer for a writer. Most of his work, though, obviously, was in the form of opinions and dissents, and even the best Supreme Court opinions are required to include copious citations in the text, which, for the general reader, can be distracting speed bumps. That’s one of the many reasons to rejoice at a new collection of Scalia’s speeches.
Scalia Speaks is a joint effort by Ethics and Public Policy Center president Ed Whelan (a former Scalia law clerk) and Christopher Scalia, one of the justice’s nine children and a former English professor. It offers even the non-specialist an almost intimate picture of one of the giants of our age. Here, in vivid prose, without textual clutter, is his case for originalism, against the “living constitution,” and for judicial modesty.
Read more at National Review – http://www.nationalreview.com/article/452568/scalia-legacy-constitutional-originalism-personal-ethics-civility