It is difficult to exaggerate Justice Antonin Scalia’s outsized impact on American constitutional law. Originalism and textualism, the interpretive methods he championed throughout his career, are key themes in today’s legal landscape thanks in large part to his elegant and witty defense of their merits.

In this episode of Unprecedential, two former Scalia clerks, Sixth Circuit Judge Jeffrey Sutton and the Ethics and Public Policy Center’s president Ed Whelan, join Adam to talk about the recent compilation of Scalia’s writings they edited, The Essential Scalia: On the Constitution, the Courts, and the Rule of Law.

Judge Sutton and Ed note that equally significant to Justice Scalia’s legal acumen was his amiable character. They discuss with Adam their memories of his generous mentorship of them as clerks, and his affable spirit even to those with whom he dissented vehemently. Justice Scalia’s playful disposition leaps out of his writings, providing his ideas with clarity, vividness, and pleasure uncommon in the legal profession. His faithfulness to originalism, as Judge Sutton and Ed point out, brought him both critics and admirers. But such principled jurisprudence is a sparkling example to all of judging at its very finest.

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