The Right Coast

May 02, 2004
Justice Scalia
By Mike Rappaport

The New York Times does a piece on Justice Scalia. Nothing too unusual in the article. As I was reading the article, I was thinking that historians will devote the most attention to Justice Scalia when they review the period of time after Justice Brennan's retirement (apart perhaps from the Chief Justice who, as a Chief, in some sense stands apart). Justice O'Connor is in the short run the most important Justice, but I find it hard to believe that her opinions will wear well over time.

Update: Professor Smith states that I am, "as usual . . . too charitable." May I quote that? I guess I just did. Tom is, of course, right that the Times is out to attack Scalia, but how is that "unusual?" (Indeed, my guess is that if one ran a Nexis search on Times articles on Scalia, an extremely high number -- 100%?-- would be negative.) As long as Tom brings up the attack, though, let me add my two cents. It seems to me that Scalia is becoming more and more a public figure. For example, over the weekend, CSpan played the tape from the recent argument concerning Cheney's Energy Task Force and Scalia was all over the oral argument. Impartial observers might find him to be smart and entertaining. If I were cynical -- and of course I am -- I would speculate that the Times is trying to propagate the meme that Scalia is inappropriately in the public spotlight so that the public, when they see him, will view him negatively.