Bench Memos

Reports on Scalia’s Event with Congressional Tea Party Caucus

As I discussed yesterday, law professor Jonathan Turley’s vigorous objection to Justice Scalia’s decision to speak on separation of powers at an event organized by the Tea Party Caucus of the House of Representatives rested on Turley’s peculiar judgment that Scalia’s speech would “[a]t best … be viewed as a pep talk.” Alas for Turley, reports from liberal Democratic members of Congress who attended the event show how ill-based his judgment was. According to this AP story:

“He said we should all get a copy of the Federalist Papers and read it, underline it and dog-ear it,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., who attended the event.…

Members of both parties … described Monday’s lecture as a fairly bland affair, one heavy on legal and Constitutional banter and virtually devoid of discussion on the hot button issues of the day.

“I didn’t get the sense that this was skewed at all,” said Schakowsky, an outspoken liberal. She deadpanned: “This was a discussion at a very high level. There were lots of Latin phrases being used.”…

Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said Scalia repeated and amplified legal views he had heard from the associate justice before.

“It was Justice Scalia’s explication of his views,” said Nadler. “They are well established.”

(This LA Times account is similar.)


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