Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Judge William Pryor on The Essential Scalia

Eleventh Circuit chief judge William Pryor has an excellent review of The Essential Scalia in the new issue of National Review—and available online to NR-Plus members here. An excerpt:

As with the earlier collections [Scalia Speaks: Reflections on Law, Faith, and Life Well Lived and On Faith: Lessons from an American Believer], what makes this book so valuable and entertaining is the writer’s skill. Scalia’s rhetoric was so powerful because it was accessible and jargon-free. Consider an example from his dissenting opinion in a case about the arcane field of campaign-finance regulation, McConnell v. Federal Election Commission, in which he described the controversy this way: “Who could have imagined that the same Court which, within the past four years, has sternly disapproved of restrictions upon such inconsequential forms of expression as virtual child pornography, tobacco advertising, dissemination of illegally intercepted communications, and sexually explicit cable programming would smile with favor upon a law that cuts to the heart of what the First Amendment is meant to protect: the right to criticize the government.” Or consider his classic dissent from the decision in Morrison v. Olson, upholding the now-discarded law creating an independent counsel: “This wolf comes as a wolf,” he warned.

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