Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson: Associate Justice Antonin Scalia

This week on Uncommon Knowledge, a wide-ranging interview with Associate Supreme Court Justice of The United States Antonin Scalia on the occasion of the publication of his new book, Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts (co-written with Bryan A. Garner). Our thanks to the Federalist Society of Silicon Valley for allowing us to record this show at their event.

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/DaoLMW5AF4Y?rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

P.S. Spot the Ricochet members in the audience.

  1. Israel P.

    Mr. Justice Scalia says (in this interview) “Do good and avoid evil.”

    Psalm 34 does it the other way around. “Depart from evil and do good.” (Also “avoid” is not the  same as “depart from.”) There is a reason for that.

  2. outstripp

    the audio-only feed seems not to  be downloading (where I am).

  3. cdor
    outstripp: the audio-only feed seems not to  be downloading (where I am). · 3 hours ago

    same here

  4. Owl of Minerva
    Israel P.: Mr. Justice Scalia says (in this interview) “Do good and avoid evil.”

    Psalm 34 does it the other way around. “Depart from evil and do good.” (Also “avoid” is not the  same as “depart from.”) There is a reason for that. · 4 hours ago

    So much for his textualism! :)

  5. Trace

    We had our own table (thanks Yeti!) and Ricochet members contributed two of four audience questions! Self-aggrandizement notwithstanding, it was an excellent event. Peter is masterful on the fly and Justice Scalia clear-headed (as the Webcast makes clear) but also personable and gracious signing books and posing for pictures. 

    RicochetReserved.jpg

  6. raycon and lindacon

    Might I disagree with the esteemed Justice regarding stare decisis.  I am not a lawyer, merely a citizen.  Perhaps, as Justice Scalia seems to state, there is a reason to allow misinterpretations to stand in order to maintain the order of the law.  That is perhaps understandable for minor issues.  But in what way is the fabric of our Constitution rent by these small tears?  If they are minor misinterpretations, then to repair the small tear is also a minor action.

    Then there are the truly egregious rulings.  Both Dred Scott and Roe v. Wade come to mind.  For stare decisis to apply here is to join in rending the fabric much the same way as ripping the mainsail on a ship.  To fail to fight against such interpretations is to make ones self complicit..

    No doubt Antonin Scalia is one of the great jurists of our times, but his affection for stare decisis weakens his positions and, sadly, also his stature.

  7. outstripp: the audio-only feed seems not to  be downloading (where I am). · 6 hours ago

    The company that hosts the audio version of UK is located in lower Manhattan and is offline due to the storm. If they are not back up by mid-day, I’ll post a different link to the audio file in this thread. 

  8. DN Gic
    Blue Yeti

    outstripp: the audio-only feed seems not to  be downloading (where I am). · 6 hours ago

    The company that hosts the audio version of UK is located in lower Manhattan and is offline due to the storm. If they are not back up by mid-day, I’ll post a different link to the audio file in this thread.  · 1 hour ago

    I couldn’t download the podcast from iTunes on my PC, but I could request it directly on my iPhone through the podcasts app.

  9. ShellGamer

    I tend to side with raycon on the proffered criteria for stare decisis. Is an honest mistake less in need of correction than a malicious one? In terms of reliance, had not the entire Southern community relied on Plessy for over a half-century?

    Critics of stare decisis must come to grips, however, with Scalia’s practical point. (Is there anyone better at deflating theory with practical questions?) No system of justice can operate in which every case must be argued from first principles (“I’m not sure that Marbury was correctly decided.”). Some matters must be treated has having been decided, so what practical criteria can anyone devise for when such matters should be reexamined?

    I would be satisfied if the canons were applied only to legislation. Holding legislators accountable for their acts (literally) would improve the quality and administration of law, which would lessen the case load.  From such good habits, greater virtues may spring.

  10. Crow

    Can we get a Justice Scalia as Frodo .gif?

    Peter: Splendid interview. Thanks for all the work you’ve done over the years on Uncommon Knowledge.

  11. Peter Robinson
    C
    Crow’s Nest: Can we get a Justice Scalia as Frodo .gif?

    Peter: Splendid interview. Thanks for all the work you’ve done over the years on Uncommon Knowledge. · 1 hour ago

    You made my day!

  12. mattman

    One of the most telling, and depressing parts for me, was near the end when they were discussing the current confirmation process.  Sad that it has come to this.

    “…all this stuff really begins with the Warren court.  Or, at least, that’s when this “living constitution” philosophy sort of takes over. And, I think it took the American people awhile to figure out what was going on – maybe 30 years.  But once they have figured out that the Supreme Court is essentially rewriting the Constitution, term by term, the old criteria for appointing and confirming judges no longer apply. ……. The most important thing is “What kind of a new Constitution will this person write?”  Will he put in the things that I like and take out the things I don’t like.”

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