The Heart of a Justice

It’s interesting that, regardless of his conservative bona fides, Justice Scalia’s “best friend” on the court was Justice Ginsburg, one of the more liberal Justices.  The two, and their spouses, apparently socialized regularly.   As a law professor who works with students on a daily basis, I hope this aspect of Justice Scalia can provide a lesson to students and us all. This friendship of opposites demonstrates that a person’s humanity is measured by far more than the sum of one’s political views.

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2 Responses

  1. I agree with Irene’s sentiments about the challenges and the honorable behavior which our profession calls us to demonstrate , model, and live. I appreciate that some of our professional sisters and brothers are in shock and mourn a hero and I want to respect their grief. However, I also understand the feelings of great relief that Justice Scalia is off the court. I do not condemn those – myself included -who resent the fact that he never appeared to understand his own privilege while he made life difficult for so many good people by his decisions and influence.

    I do not think it is right to celebrate the death of anyone and thank Irene for reminding us of our higher calling. It is part of why I oppose the death penalty, after all. I also think it is fair to provide a balanced and fair critique of the negative consequences of a public figure’s political power and influence while ackowledging the very human characteristics that made him likeable to his most ardent intellectual opponents.

  2. Great post, and great comment by Mary Lynch. As someone who did not like the bitterness and sharpness with which Justice Scalia sometimes wrote, I appreciated his writing style immensely otherwise. He penned some of the most memorable lines I have read (I still like his characterization of the Lemon v. Kurtzman test as a zombie). It is a marvel that he had such a great friendship with Justice Ginsburg. That speaks volumes to both of their abilities to look beyond disagreement and see instead a friend.

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