Nina Totenberg '62 Interviews Judge Scalia

 

Interviewing Scalia: Verbal Wrestling Match With A Master

 

 

I've gotten a lot of email about my interview with Justice Antonin Scalia on Tuesday. People seem to have liked the story because they could see the justice as a human being — combative, funny, engaging and charming.

That's why I and so many other folks always enjoy spending time with him.

So, take this exchange from our interview. Only part of it was in my piece on air, or even the longer piece on the Web.

I was asking him about the court's tradition of stare decisis, which means following precedent. Scalia readily conceded that he abides by decisions he disagrees with:

Totenberg: So you would let stand many decisions that you would not have reached?

Scalia: Many many, many. ... alas [chuckles].

Totenberg: One person, one vote, you wouldn't have reached that decision? Right?
 
Scalia: Certainly not.

Totenberg: And the wiretapping decision [requiring warrants to wiretap]?

Scalia: Right

Totenberg: Covering women under the 14th Amendment?

Scalia: Well, come on. Covering women under the 14th Amendment [laughs]. Women were always covered under the 14th Amendment. What are you talking about? Were they entitled to due process of law? Could you send them to jail without a trial? Without a jury? Come on, women were always covered by the 14th. ...


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