Justice Scalia on "60 Minutes"

"60 Minutes" featured Justice Anton Scalia tonight.

He's a very personable fellow. Among the highlights and lowlights so far:

  • torture is not punishment when you are trying to get information out of someone
  • Fetuses are not persons within the meaning of the Equal Protection Clause. Persons means people who can walk around. Pregnant women shouldn't be counted twice.
  • He has 9 kids and 28 grandkids. He was an only child. Why? They practiced their version of "Vatican Roulette."

If you saw it, let us know what you thought.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Couldn't bear to watch Bulldog, Scalia...sorry (none / 0) (#1)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 08:16:47 PM EST

    I attended a law class with him (none / 0) (#2)
    by angie on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 08:17:40 PM EST
    he was a guest lecturer in a summer session in Greece (I know, hard times in law school, huh?) Because we were on a small island at the time, we also got to socialize with him outside of the classroom. He is very personable and amazingly smart.  Too bad he uses his powers for evil, imo.

    Remember Volokh's enthusiastic (none / 0) (#4)
    by MarkL on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 08:19:41 PM EST
    endorsement of torturing rapists a couple of years ago?
    There's something different in the conservative mindset, even among some very bright people: they seem to lack ordinary empathy.

    It is rumored that at 12AM (none / 0) (#5)
    by jerry on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 08:22:42 PM EST
    in the cemetery, he visits the graves of the newly dead and kicks away the wreaths of garlic that concerned relatives have placed on the tomb....

    Scalia (none / 0) (#3)
    by judyo on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 08:17:47 PM EST
    Is Cheney in black relief

    He's scary.. (none / 0) (#14)
    by mrjerbub on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 08:53:04 PM EST
    I think of Al Pacino (sp) in Scent of a
    woman.. "I'll take a flamethrower to this place".

    More Like Pacino In The Devil's Advocate! (none / 0) (#24)
    by PssttCmere08 on Mon Apr 28, 2008 at 12:44:19 AM EST
    I briefly saw the part when he was talking about (none / 0) (#6)
    by ruffian on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 08:26:51 PM EST
    pregnant women.  Does this mean he thinks the laws that allow murder charges for the fetuses of murdered women are unconstitutional?  

    This really is bizarro year if I'm agreeing with Scalia and Pat Buchanan occasionally.

    Surpriusing, coming from Scalia (none / 0) (#17)
    by felizarte on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 09:15:15 PM EST
    Fetuses are not persons within the meaning of the Equal Protection Clause. Persons means people who can walk around. Pregnant women shouldn't be counted twice.

    It would be most interesting to see what the pro-lifers' reaction to this statement is.  This is reassuring.


    Of course, he's a conservative (none / 0) (#26)
    by daryl herbert on Mon Apr 28, 2008 at 01:44:34 AM EST
    So he thinks laws designed to protect fetuses are Constitutional, even if fetuses aren't persons.

    Scalia was dead-on about the hypocrisy of the liberal members of the Court in Casey.  They threw out the clean, simple Roe test in favor of a ridiculous new construct with no precedent whatsoever.

    And then they claimed that it was the only possible result that the Constitution would allow them to reach.  Ha!  At least Scalia knows where he stands.


    an originalist... (none / 0) (#7)
    by white n az on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 08:27:52 PM EST
    how could the Senate have approved this guy?

    Does Larry King know that Leslie Stahl has been raiding his closet? (softball questions)

    remember Bork? (none / 0) (#15)
    by angie on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 08:56:00 PM EST
    Scalia got in because the Senate shot down Raygun's original nominee -- Robert "king tut" Bork.  After that they totally let Scalia slide in -- a big mistake imo because although Bork has his problems, I doubt he would be as mean-spirited as Scalia (in his opinions).  Of course, Bork didn't come across at all as likable as Scalia did at the hearings -- another case of style of substance.  

    Not Sure About That (none / 0) (#18)
    by squeaky on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 09:15:24 PM EST
    You're right about the charm factor but I think Bork would be at least as bad.
    Bork became acting head of the United States Department of Justice, and Nixon reiterated his order to fire Cox. Bork complied with Nixon's order and fired Cox. He subsequently resumed his duties as Solicitor General.



    we'll never know (none / 0) (#22)
    by angie on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 11:47:31 PM EST
    but some of the opinions (especially dissents & especially ones connected to homosexual issues) I've read from Scalia come off as downright mean-spirited IMO, which is something I don't think we would have seen from Bork -- I think the Senate went from the frying pan into the fire on this one.

    OK (none / 0) (#23)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 28, 2008 at 12:32:55 AM EST
    I think that the Senate dems caved to GOP bullying and should have kept up a boycott until Bush nominated someone more mainstream.

    I have no affection for Bork. For me arguing that BOrk may have been better than Scalia, is like splitting hairs between different fascist dictators.


    I didn't think I could stomach him (none / 0) (#8)
    by americanincanada on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 08:28:17 PM EST
    I watched Wright live on CNN instead. it wasn't much better.

    I'm watching my lawyers on 'The Tudors' (none / 0) (#10)
    by ruffian on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 08:33:26 PM EST
    tonight.  Thomas More is about to lose his head.

    I'm waiting for (none / 0) (#11)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 08:35:26 PM EST
    Desperate Housewives to start, and then Brothers and Sisters.

    Enjoy the break!!! (none / 0) (#13)
    by ruffian on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 08:50:39 PM EST
    I thought he came across (none / 0) (#9)
    by kenosharick on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 08:28:52 PM EST
    as very likeable, and was surprised that he is good frinds with Ruth Ginserg. Too bad he is WRONG 99% of the time.

    didn't he say something like... (none / 0) (#12)
    by white n az on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 08:47:50 PM EST
    just because you don't like their ideas doesn't mean you can't like the person.

    Does Ruth Know.... :) (none / 0) (#25)
    by PssttCmere08 on Mon Apr 28, 2008 at 12:46:37 AM EST
    Yes, he's personable (none / 0) (#16)
    by bruhrabbit3 on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 08:56:57 PM EST
    I've met him and OConnor- she's nice and personal too. Why do people think bad ideas from people with bad motives will be packaged in the carricature of the evil villian who laughs after he tells you his evil plans? As I said over at Ezra Klein- most bad people are more like the villians on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. They are very sweet , nice and personable, some of them have spouses and families- they seem okay, until they snap your neck.

    well... (none / 0) (#19)
    by white n az on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 09:16:16 PM EST
    the idea of having a beer with Bush never did appeal to me

    His comments on torture were appalling (none / 0) (#20)
    by shoephone on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 10:15:21 PM EST
    Not only did he say it isn't a form of punishment, he said there's no way to define it.

    Excuse me???

    It has been defined ad nauseum, both by those who have fought against it and by those who have used it. That's why we have documentation in print and in drawings of the torture methods employed during the Spanish Inquisition. Oh, and then there's the U.N., that object of ongoing derision by the conservative movement. Does Scalia really take us all for fools who have never heard of the Geneva Conventions? How the hell were we able to prosecute German and Japanese torturers after WWII if we didn't know the definition of it?

    Telford Taylor is turning in his grave.

    Does that mean (none / 0) (#21)
    by DJ on Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 10:46:36 PM EST
    if you cannot walk around you are not a person?

    No (none / 0) (#28)
    by BernieO on Mon Apr 28, 2008 at 08:19:09 AM EST
    It usually implies a certain level of brain development - the ability to be aware of pain, etc. There is no clear definition, but walking around is not a criterion.

    Why Did the Senate Democrats (none / 0) (#27)
    by bob h on Mon Apr 28, 2008 at 05:13:48 AM EST
    ever let Archie Bunker onto the Supreme Court?

    His comments on Catholics on the court (none / 0) (#29)
    by BernieO on Mon Apr 28, 2008 at 08:39:25 AM EST
    was interesting. He says he was surprised it was not more of an issue. I think this is because - at least in part - because most people do not realize that the 5 justices that form the majority are all conservative Catholics.
    I am from a large Irish Catholic family but this really bothered me when I realized it - which I did not until recently. I think it is very strange for our court to be under the control of members any one religious group no matter how much they may say that they are able to separate their religious worldview from their rulings.
    Bob Somerby of dailyhowler.com frequently points out that NBC's news shows are disproportionately populated by Irish Catholics e.g.,Russert, Matthews, Williams, Barnicle, Buchanan. Mika Brzezinkski is also Catholic, though obviously not Irish. Most of the others, Andrea Mitchell, David Gregory, David Shuster, are Jewish. Somerby  traces this curious pattern to the fact that NBC was under the control of Jack Welch, himself a conservative Irish Catholic and he was the one who influenced the hirinh. Whatever the reason, it is no wonder MSNBC seems out of touch with our society. Being raised Irish Catholic carries a distinct religious and cultural world view which carries over, at least in part, even if you are no longer a believer. That NBC chooses such a narrow cross section of America in its hiring is bad for their business.

    i understand that hitler was (none / 0) (#30)
    by cpinva on Mon Apr 28, 2008 at 09:16:53 AM EST
    a very charming fellow in person, and loved his dog goldie, until he poisoned her.

    Scalia / Ginsburg Friendship (none / 0) (#31)
    by STLDeb on Mon Apr 28, 2008 at 11:04:55 AM EST
    What I loved about the interview was his deep friendship he has for Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  

    I was surprised to hear about how the other justices like him, even though who vehemently disagree with him -- like Ginsburg.  They even
    take vacations together?  That is just so sweet.

    Personally, that's what I love ... people who can put aside their MAJOR political differences & just have an enduring friendship with each other along with mutual respect.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#32)
    by cmugirl on Mon Apr 28, 2008 at 12:09:38 PM EST
    I read Jeffrey Toobin's bookdThe Nine where I found out that Nino and Ruth and their families spend every New Year's Eve together and have for years - it's a huge tradition with them.

    Strange bedfellows.....