The Corner

Law & the Courts

Justice Scalia Cannot Be Replaced

It is impossible to overstate the love that conservative lawyers for over a generation have felt for Antonin Scalia. When he was nominated by President Reagan to the Supreme Court in 1986, he and Robert Bork were not just the two people quickly left on the list being considered by administration officials at the Justice Department — there was no third place on that list. As a justice, he transformed the importance given to constitutional and statutory texts, over not only over a judge’s selfish policy preferences but also over other nontextual sources like legislative history.  And not only his intelligence, but his wit and faith were legendary.  He cannot be replaced. 

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