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College of Law Scholars Weigh in on the Passing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

Posted on Saturday 2/13/2016

"A larger-than-life figure who brought an energetic and acerbic writing style to judicial opinions, and who upended conventional expectations of sedate judicial speech. Justice Scalia's passing injects the Supreme Court into the presidential election in a whole new way and raises the prospect of an intense confirmation battle over his successor."

Keith J. Bybee

Paul E. and the Hon. Joanne F. Alper ’72 Judiciary Studies Professor, College of Law | Professor of Political Science, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs | Director, Institute for the Study of the Judiciary, Politics, and the Media

"The nation has lost a great jurist.  Justice Scalia was committed to the Framers' view that the judiciary must be "the least dangerous branch" of government.  He believed that activism belonged in the political branches, which are representative of the people, and not in the judiciary, which is not subject to electoral recall.  He was a champion of the originalist approach to constitutional interpretation, which seeks to recover the original meaning of the text.  Whether or not one agrees with Justice's Scalia's views on constitutional interpretation, one would be hard pressed to challenge his intellectual integrity."

Tara Helfman

Associate Professor of Law

"With the force of his powerful intellect and sharp wit, Justice Scalia was the dominant figure on the Supreme Court for a generation.  His advocacy of originalism -- the notion that the Constitution should be interpreted according to its meaning when it was adopted -- was so influential that even jurists who disagreed with him felt compelled to argue on his own terms."

Nathan Sales

Associate Professor of Law