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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Too Bad More People Can't Be Like Antonin Scalia

If only more people could be like Antonin Scalia. "What!", you're saying (well, at least my politically liberal friends are). I'm serious, though. It's well known that two of Scalia's best friends on the Supreme Court were Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Elena Kagan, two of the court's most liberal members. In fact, when Justice Souter announced his retirement from the bench, Scalia lobbied for Kagan. Talking wth David Axelrod, who at the time was a senior advisor to President Obama, Scalia remarked ("Scalia once lobbied Obama adviser to get Kagan on Supreme Court"):
I have no illusions that your man will nominate someone who shares my orientation. But I hope he sends us someone smart... Let me put a finer point on it. I hope he sends us Elena Kagan.
In a time when most of us tend to paint our political opponents as immoral, stupid, or both, Scalia was a breath of fresh air. He didn't let his ideology get in the way of friendship or civil discourse. He also apparently had the ability to laugh at himself. As Stephen Colbert recently noted ("The Late Show - Stephen's Tribute to Antonin Scalia"), when Colbert spoke at the White House Correspondents' Dinner in 2006 (the Bush Administration was still in "power"), Scalia was the only conservative to speak with Colbert, saying that he was "Great! Great!" (and this was after Colbert had made fun of Scalia in his monologue).

We need more people like Antonin Scalia (and fewer people like Donald Trump) who take their beliefs and positions seriously but not so seriously that they can't relate to others with whom they disagree.

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