Legacy of Scalia

Consider what fans and critics alike have said about Antonin Scalia:

“He was a towering figure who will be remembered as one of the most important figures in the history of the Supreme Court and a scholar who deeply influenced our legal culture” (Samuel Alito, Supreme Court Justice).[i]

“No one had more influence on the direction of a Supreme Court, maybe other than Chief Justice Marshall, than Justice Scalia had” (Randy Barnett).[ii]

“We were good friends. Like the rest of my colleagues, I shall miss him enormously. I shall miss his love of life, his infectious humor, his memorable phrases, his definite opinions, and his dedication to the Court and to the law” (Stephen Breyer, Supreme Court Justice).[iii]

“For in all cases great and small, what distinguished Justice Scalia — what made him a truly great judge — was neither his impressive intellect nor his incisive writing, exceptional as those were. His most admirable feature was his love for the law as law. It was that reverence for law — for its intricacies, its traditions, and its restraints — that made Justice Scalia remarkable, not as an aspiring philosopher-king but as a wise judge content to do his part in maintaining the rule of law. He was faithful in the small things, and thus too in the great. He will be missed” (John F. Duffy).[iv]

“Nino Scalia will go down in history as one of the most transformational Supreme Court Justices of our nation” (Elena Kagan, Supreme Court Justice).[v]

“He had the gift of vision, and the gift of words to explain it. Witnessing Scalia edit a draft was like seeing Michelangelo paint a house or Mozart compose a class ditty. He brought truth and beauty to the mundane. We shall not soon see his equal” (Christopher Landau).[vi]

“Antonin Scalia was a hero to me, as he was to thousands, perhaps millions of conservative Americans. He was brilliant. He was morally engaged. His prose sparkled. He was the great champion of the Right, and he could not be silenced or voted out, no matter how much the press despised him” (Elliot Milco).[vii]

“Indeed, Antonin Scalia is almost surely the most influential justice to sit on the Supreme Court in many decades. The loss of his influence, as well as his crucial vote, is monumental” (Albert Mohler).[viii]

“Whether or not you agreed with the man, there is no question that Justice Antonin Scalia changed the United States Supreme Court” (Bruce Allen Murphy).[ix]

“Whether or not one always (or even often) agreed with him, Antonin Scalia was the Colossus of the Constitution” (Michael Stokes Paulsen).[x]

“He was, indisputably, the greatest justice of the past fifty years” (Michael Stokes Paulsen).[xi]

“I have little doubt that Scalia will be remembered as one of the truly great justices on the United States Supreme Court. . . . [He was] “a titan of constitutional law, a deeply principled, sincerely dedicated man who devoted his life to the court he loved” (Mark Joseph Stern).[xii]

“Justice Scalia was a good man; a wonderful husband who loved his wife and his family; a man of strong faith; a towering intellect; a legal giant; and a dear, dear friend” (Clarence Thomas, Supreme Court Justice).[xiii]

For more about Scalia, see Scalia: Man of the Law, and Scalia: Man of Faith.


[i] Samuel Alito; quoted in “Supreme Court Justices Weigh in on Antonin Scalia’s Death,” USA Today, February 15, 2016, accessed April 5, 2016, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2016/02/14/statements-supreme-court-death-justice-scalia/80375976/.

[ii] Randy Barnett; quoted in “Remembering Justice Scalia with Randy Barnett,” The Federalist, February 22, 2016, April 8, 2016, http://thefederalist.com/2016/02/22/remembering-justice-scalia-with-randy-barnett/.

[iii] Stephen Breyer; quoted in “Antonin Scalia—A Justice in Full.”

[iv] John F. Duffy; quoted in “Antonin Scalia—A Justice in Full.”

[v] Elena Kagan; quoted in “Supreme Court Justices Weigh in on Antonin Scalia’s Death.”

[vi] Christopher Landau; quoted in “Antonin Scalia—A Justice in Full.”

[vii] Elliot Milco, “Our Mighty Rearguard,” First Things, February 14, 2016, accessed April 5, 2016, http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2016/02/our-mighty-rearguard.

[viii] Albert Mohler, “A Giant has Fallen — The Death of Justice Antonin Scalia and the Future of Constitutional Government,” February 14, 2016, accessed April 5, 2016, http://www.albertmohler.com/2016/02/14/a-giant-has-fallen-the-death-of-justice-antonin-scalia-and-the-future-of-constitutional-government/.

[ix] Bruce Allen Murphy, “Justice Antonin Scalia and the ‘Dead’ Constitution,” The New York Times, February 14, 2016, accessed April 5, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/15/opinion/justice-antonin-scalia-and-the-dead-constitution.html?_r=1.

[x]  Michael Stokes Paulsen, “Scalia at St. Thomas: Closing Arguments,” Public Discourse, February 18, 2016, accessed April 5, 2016, http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2016/02/16501/?utm_source=The+Witherspoon+Institute&utm_campaign=89f2f182c7-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_15ce6af37b-89f2f182c7-84171605.

[xi] Michael Stokes Paulsen, “The Supreme Greatness of Justice Antonin Scalia,” Public Discourse, March 15, 2016, accessed April 5, 2016, http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2016/03/16612/.

[xii] Mark Joseph Stern, “Antonin Scalia Will Be Remembered as One of the Greats,” Slate, February 13, 2016, accessed April 5, 2016, http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2016/02/antonin_scalia_was_a_truly_great_supreme_court_justice.html.

[xiii] Clarence Thomas; quoted in “Supreme Court Justices Weigh in on Antonin Scalia’s Death.”

Author: Matthew Steven Bracey

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  1. Scalia: Man of Faith (Part II of II) | Helwys Society Forum - […] Scalia offers to teach us much. He reminds us to stand firmly in our faith, even in the face…

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