Bench Memos

Bruce Allen Murphy’s Scalia: A Court of One—Part 1

National Review has invited me to review Lafayette College professor Bruce Allen Murphy’s forthcoming biography of Justice Scalia, titled Scalia: A Court of One. (The book’s release date is June 10.) As time permits, I’m going to blog about the book in a series of posts, in part as an exercise in developing and refining my thoughts for the magazine review, in part as a vehicle for comments and elaboration that I won’t have space for in the review.

As I highlighted when National Review asked me to review the book, I certainly don’t claim to be a neutral observer on matters relating to Justice Scalia. Among other things, I’m a former law clerk of his, an enthusiastic admirer of his work, and a frequent defender of his in the blogosphere.

That said, I’m going to do my best in this series to pass over those points that I think that Murphy gets wrong but that fall within the broad range of fair and intelligent commentary. I instead intend to highlight various (but certainly not all) matters that fall outside that broad range.

Hint: Do not waste your time or money on this book.

(The version of the book that I’ve read is the “uncorrected proof,” so it’s conceivable—but, in most instances, I think highly unlikely—that the errors I identify will have been corrected in the final book.)

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