Scalia Speaks: Reflections on Law, Faith, and Life Well Lived

Scalia Speaks: Reflections on Law, Faith, and Life Well Lived

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Overview

Scalia Speaks: Reflections on Law, Faith, and Life Well Lived by Antonin Scalia

This definitive collection of beloved Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's finest speeches covers topics as varied as the law, faith, virtue, pastimes, and his heroes and friends. Featuring a foreword by longtime friend Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and an intimate introduction by his youngest son, this volume includes dozens of speeches, some deeply personal, that have never before been published. Christopher J. Scalia and the Justice's former law clerk Edward Whelan selected the speeches.

   Americans have long been inspired by Justice Scalia’s ideas, delighted by his wit, and instructed by his intelligence. He was a sought-after speaker at commencements, convocations, and events across the country. Scalia Speaks will give readers the opportunity to encounter the legendary man more fully, helping them better understand the jurisprudence that made him one of the most important justices in the Court's history and introducing them to his broader insights on faith and life.

Original Photograph: Kainaz Amaria/NPR
Cover Design: Darren Haggar

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525573326
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/03/2017
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 28,224
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Christopher J. Scalia, the eighth of Justice Scalia's nine children and a former professor of English, works at a public relations firm near Washington, D.C. His book reviews and political commentary have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Weekly Standard, and elsewhere. He lives in Virginia with his wife and three children.

Edward Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, is a former law clerk to Justice Scalia. He is a leading commentator on the Supreme Court and on issues of constitutional law. A father of four, he lives with his family in the D.C. area.

Read an Excerpt

What Makes an American

In October 1986—­one month after he became the first Italian American to sit on the Supreme Court—­Justice Scalia received the National Italian American Foundation’s award for public service. In the course of explaining why he was proud of his Italian heritage, he drew a broader lesson about what makes an American.

My fellow Italian Americans:

I am happy to provide the occasion for this celebration of our common Italian ancestry. You do me great honor this evening—­and it is an honor that by all rights I must share with many others. My parents and relatives, of course—­my teachers (some of whom are here this evening)—­all of those who have had an influence on my life. One debt I would like particularly to acknowledge is to the many Italian Americans in many fields of endeavor, but particularly in politics, who by their example of ability and integrity made it easy for someone with an Italian name to be considered for high office. Even the most successful of us are midgets standing on the shoulders of others—­and I want to acknowledge my special indebtedness to the Peter Rodinos and Frank Annunzios and John Volpes who made my path an easy one. It is a great responsibility to be readily identifiable with a particular ethnic group. I am where I am in part because my predecessors bore that responsibility well. I hope to do the same.

I want to say a few words this evening about why we are proud of our Italian heritage—­and about why that pride makes us no less than 100 percent Americans.

Three of the world’s great civilizations flourished in the lands you and I came from. The southern part of Italy, Magna Grecia, was one of the most important parts of ancient Greece—­and Syracuse was the largest city of that civilization. The Roman Empire began on the Italian peninsula and spread its influence throughout the Western world. And the Italian city-­states of the Renaissance were the beginning of the modern world. We are also a race that has lived under many foreign rulers—­the Normans, the Saracens, the French, the Spanish, and the Austrians. So we bear with us the knowledge, learned the hard way, how difficult it is to create a great society, and how easy it is, through foolish discord at home or failure to confront threats from abroad, to lose it.

The Italian immigrants who came to this country possessed, it seems to me, four characteristics in a particularly high degree—­characteristics that continue to be displayed, by and large, by their descendants. First, a capacity for hard work—­whether on the lines of the railroads whose construction brought many of them here, or in the machine shops and garment factories of the industrial East, or in the fisheries and vineyards of California. They were successful in that work, as is evident from the fact that the last time I looked at the figures their descendants have the highest per capita income of any ethnic group (including Anglo-­Saxons) except the Chinese and Japanese. Second, a love of family. The closeness of the Italian family is legendary—­it is one of our great inheritances. Third, a love of the church. Italian American priests and Italian American parishioners have—­with a good deal of help, it must be acknowledged, from our Irish co-­religionists in the East and Hispanic Americans in the West—­made Roman Catholicism one of the major religions in a country where it began as a tiny minority. And fourth, perhaps arising from the first three—­the product of hard work, a secure family environment, and a confident knowledge of one’s place within God’s scheme of things—­a love of the simple physical pleasures of human existence: good music, good food, and good—­or even pretty good—­wine.

We have shared those qualities with our fellow Americans—­as they have shared the particular strengths of their heritages with us. And the product is the diverse and yet strangely cohesive society called America. It is a remarkable but I think demonstrable phenomenon that our attachment to and affection for our particular heritage does not drive our society apart, but helps to bind it together. Like an intricate tapestry, the fabric of our society is made up of many different threads that run in different directions, but all meet one another to form the whole. The common bond I have with those who share my Italian ancestry prevents me from readily being drawn into enmity with those people on the basis of, for example, politics. If I were, for example, a Republican, I could not think too ill of Democrats—­because, after all, Pete Rodino is a Democrat and he’s a paisan. And of course we all have loyalties based on factors other than our ethnic heritage that bind us together with other Americans—­we go to the same church as they, or belong to the same union, or went to the same college. It is these intersecting loyalties to small segments of the society that bind the society together.

So I say you can be proud of your Italian heritage—­as the Irish can of theirs, and the Jews of theirs—­without feeling any less than 100 percent American because of that.

While taking pride in what we have brought to America, we should not fail to be grateful for what America has given to us. It has given us, first and foremost, a toleration of how different we were when we first came to these shores. What makes an American, it has told us, is not the name or the blood or even the place of birth, but the belief in the principles of freedom and equality that this country stands for.

There have, to be sure, been instances and periods of discrimination against Italian Americans, just as there have been against all other new arrivals. But that was the aberration, the departure from the norm, the failure to live up to the principles on which this Republic was founded. If you do not believe that, you need look no further than the actions of the greatest American of them all, the Father of our Country, George Washington. During his first term in office as president, Washington wrote a letter that is a model of Americanism, addressed to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island. This blue-­blooded, aristocratic Virginian assured that small community that his administration, his country, would brook no discrimination against that small and politically impotent community. And that the children of Abraham, as he put it, were welcome in this country, to live in peace and never to have fear.

Table of Contents

Foreword Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ix

Introduction Christopher J. Scalia 1

On the American People And Ethnicity 13

What Makes an American 15

Italian View of the Irish 19

Only in America 25

American Values and European Values 29

On Living And Learning 41

The Arts 43

Games and Sports 52

Writing Well 57

Turkey Hunting 61

Civic Education 64

College Education 76

Legal Education 84

The Legal Profession 89

Platitudes and Wisdom 97

On Faith 105

The Christian as Cretin 107

Being Different 117

Catholic Higher Education 124

Church and State 134

Religious Retreats 144

Faith and Judging 148

On Law 155

The Idea of the Constitution 157

The Vocation of a Judge 169

Original Meaning 180

Interpreting the Constitution 188

The Freedom of Speech 201

Congressional Power 213

The Crisis in Judicial Appointments 223

Legislative History 234

Natural Law 243

Foreign Law 250

Judges as Mullahs 260

Dissents 271

Legal Canards 291

On Virtue And The Public Good 305

Courage 307

Tradition 318

Character 326

Right and Left 333

The Holocaust 342

On Heroes And Friends 347

George Washington 349

Abraham Lincoln 358

William Howard Taft 370

Ruth Bader Ginsburg 376

Farewells 379

Italo H. Ablondi 379

Richard Conway Casey 382

Martin Feinstein 385

Robert H. Joost 387

Mary C. Lawton 389

Morris I. Leibman 393

Emerson G. Spies 397

Acknowledgments 401

Index of Speeches 403

Index 406

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Scalia Speaks: Reflections on Law, Faith, and Life Well Lived 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Today is the date it was supposed to be released. Why can I not get it?