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A few years ago, Scalia spent an evening with our local chapter of the Federalist Society, giving a talk loosely based on his latest book, Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts, with lively Q&A to follow.
I was in graduate school at the time – not law school – and I remember my first thought being, “Dress up. You know how lawyers are, and it’s not every day you meet a Supreme Court justice.” So wearing my best blouse and skirt, I arrived at the posh library hosting the event – and immediately proceeded to feel like a dirty hippie: Lawyers dress sharp. Conservative lawyers even more so – and even sharper for an occasion like this one. Though out of my element, and handicapped somewhat by lack of shorthand skills, I did manage to scribble down several notes and quotes, and I thought I’d share some of the more legible ones with you. As the course of the evening made clear, Scalia is an eminently quotable guy, so let’s start with his own words: