Friday, October 06, 2006

Not usually a fan of Supreme Court justices, but...

The more I read Antonin Scalia, the more impressed I am with his wit and intelligence.

Interestingly enough, he's frequently painted as a troll-like autocrat in black robes by the Left. However, if you understand his judicial philosophy, he's nothing of the sort. He refuses to engage power that is not appropriate for the judiciary (that is, imposing his opinion of what the law should mean instead of what the text of the law clearly states and meant in its original context), unlike those justices who insist that laws be reinterpreted within an ever changing contemporary context.

What I particularly enjoyed in his review of Steven Smith's book was his appreciation for its merits while being able to cut through and affectively critque its assumptions. I also find it humorous that he deconstructs Smith's own insistence on the inaaprorpiateness of religion in an academic discussion, revealing that the very influence Smith seeks to ban from jurisprudence is the one he acknowledges is critically necessary for clarity.

Anyway, I'm sure others will have a better understanding of such matters than I, but I hope we get more like Scalia. Three years ago, I never would've considered such a thing.
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