Bench Memos

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More on ABC’s Breathtaking Scoop


From a reader who took part in the seminar that Justice Scalia led:

“I was fortunate enough to have a first-seat view of the famous Beaver Creek conference that ABC is making much about. . . . As I recall, the timing of Roberts’s confirmation vote and swearing in were up in the air to the last minute. . . . As I recall, he was sworn in within 3 hours of the vote, and it was announced as a surprise at the conference. Scalia even mildly chuckled from the podium something to the effect that ‘Uh, oh, now there going to say I wasn’t at the swearing-in because of sour grapes.’ At which everyone chuckled, seeing that as fairly absurd.

“At the seminar, Scalia worked his ass off. He stood and did a tag-team lecture for some 10 hours over two days. The other lecturer actually got ill toward the end because it was heavy-duty stuff. I was tired at the end, and I was just sitting taking notes.

“The tennis came during the break on the first day, and Scalia gracefully allowed anyone who wanted to to play him in a couple rounds of tennis, then afterwards it was back to the podium. . . .

“Far from the rich and powerful, the attendees (I met probably a third who were there) were typically law students, law professors, small-time lawyers like me (with a non-professional interest in constitutional law). I didn’t meet any high-powered constitutional lawyers, though there may have been some there. All I know is that Scalia graciously made himself available to all comers.

“I and most of the participants I met were there just to hear a great man speak on important legal issues of constitutional law.”


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