This coming Sunday, September 25, marks the 25th anniversary of Justice Scalia’s taking office as a Supreme Court justice. Fittingly, the Senate unanimously confirmed Scalia’s nomination on Constitution Day—September 17, 1986.
I’m pleased to report that Senator Orrin Hatch (for whom I had the privilege of working from 1992 to 1995, immediately following my clerkship with Scalia) yesterday celebrated Scalia’s 25th anniversary by offering an excellent tribute on the floor of the Senate. Here’s a brief excerpt:
September 17 was an anniversary with double significance for our country. On September 17, 1787, delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia held their final meeting and signed the Constitution they had crafted. And on September 17, 1986, this body voted unanimously to confirm Justice Antonin Scalia’s appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States. Today, 25 years later, he is the senior member of the Court.
These two events are profoundly related because Justice Scalia is literally helping us rediscover the real Constitution. His approach to doing the work of judges is helping us to rediscover the Constitution that America’s Founders gave us–the Constitution that is powerful and solid; the Constitution that belongs to the people, protects our rights, limits government, and makes liberty possible.
Here is Senator Hatch’s full speech, along with the congratulatory letters from several of his former law clerks (including yours truly) that Senator Hatch placed in the Congressional Record.