Argle-bargle and Words of Wisdom from Justice Scalia

Speaking of the f bomb (“including, you know, ladies using it;” see Sinead O’Connor’s admittedly hope-inducing words in Greg’s post below), Justice Scalia has a few choice words about the coarseness of public life he has seen during his tenure in Washington, as well as duck hunting, Seinfeld and, in my favorite section, the reality of the devil. His recent interview with New York Magazine is so very much worth the read. A few highlights:
1) On the State of the Union:

“…it is a childish spectacle. And we are trucked in just to give some dignity to the occasion. I mean, there are all these punch lines, and one side jumps up—­Hooray! And they all cheer, and then another punch line, and the others stand up, Hooray! It is juvenile! And we have to sit there like bumps on a log. We can clap if somebody says, “The United States is the greatest country in the world.” Yay! But anything else, we have to look to the chief justice. Gee, is the chief gonna clap? It didn’t used to be that bad.”

2) How to answer a question that shouldn’t have been asked:

“Yeah. Sure, I use the Internet.”

3) How to respond to an insult in an interview:

“Shame on you! I’m a damn good poker player.”

4) How to respond to a compliment:

Interviewer: “It [Community Nutrition Institute v. Block] was a really good opinion.”

Scalia: “Isn’t that good?”

5) How to become a Scalia clerk:

Interviewer: “How do you choose your clerks?

Scalia: “Very carefully. What I’m looking for is…”

6) How to preach and insult journalistic elites in one fell swoop:

Interviewer: “Isn’t it terribly frightening to believe in the Devil?”

Scalia: “You’re looking at me as though I’m weird. My God! Are you so out of touch with most of America, most of which believes in the Devil? I mean, Jesus Christ believed in the Devil! It’s in the Gospels! You travel in circles that are so, so removed from mainstream America that you are appalled that anybody would believe in the Devil! Most of mankind has believed in the Devil, for all of history. Many more intelligent people than you or me have believed in the Devil.”

7) How to totally get confused about proper versus common nouns:

New York Magazine editors/Interviewer: “Yet today, you’re a conservative icon, and federalist societies abound on ­university campuses…”

(You mean these Federalist Societies?)

8) How to be humble and a Supreme Court Justice

“You know, for all I know, 50 years from now I may be the Justice Sutherland of the late-twentieth and early-21st century, who’s regarded as: “He was on the losing side of everything, an old fogey, the old view.” And I don’t care.”


Leave a Reply