Birth of Antonin Scalia, Supreme Court Justice

Birth of Antonin Scalia, Supreme Court Justice

Antonin Scalia in 2010
Source: Stephen Masker

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American Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is born in Trenton, New Jersey. Antonin Scalia will be the first Italian-American on the Supreme Court and the first Roman Catholic on the nation's highest court since William J. Brennan. Scalia will play a crucial role in the increasing conservatism of the Court in the latter half of the 20th and early 21 centuries.

It isn't unusual for Antonin Scalia to write strident dissenting and concurring opinions, engaging in scathing attacks on the reasoning of other justices — even those justices whose conclusions he agrees with. Scalia has called the reasoning of other justices "silly," "nonsense," and even "incomprehensible," language that is otherwise very much out of place for Supreme Court rulings.

Scalia's methodology of interpreting the Constitution is called Textualism: the "plain and ordinary meaning" of the text must guide any interpretation. This means that he reads the text in as literal a manner as is possible and as closely as possible to whatever the words meant when first written.

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