Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-684899dbb8-gblv7 Total loading time: 0.488 Render date: 2022-05-23T09:18:33.861Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true }

14 - Antonin Scalia: Devout Christian; Worldly Judge?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 June 2019

Daniel L. Dreisbach
Affiliation:
American University, Washington DC
Mark David Hall
Affiliation:
George Fox University
Get access

Summary

Justice Antonin Scalia was a towering figure in jurisprudence and legal culture. Among other things, he was the most eloquent and prominent proponent of the idea that the Constitution should be interpreted according to its “original meaning.” Scalia was also a devout Christian: a traditional Catholic who set forth his Christian beliefs with honesty, pungency, and wit. He frequently told the story how during his college oral examinations, he was asked the most significant event in history; he answered, the Battle of Waterloo, whereupon the professor “shook his head sadly and said, ‘No, Mr. Scalia. The Incarnation.’” The lesson for the young Scalia: “[Never] separate your religious life from your intellectual life.” Yet this most publicly devout justice also frequently made clear that his beliefs had nothing to do with his judicial role. His job, he emphasized, was merely to apply the meaning of the text without regard to policy considerations or moral values, including religious values. “I’m a worldly judge,” he often said. This presents a puzzle: did Scalia end up separating his religious life from his jurisprudence, the core of his intellectual life? Or was he still somehow a distinctively Christian judge? The solution, I suggest, lies in distinguishing his first-order legal conclusions, which were driven largely (although not solely) by his positivist judicial method, from his second-order choice of that method, which may well have reflected aspects of his personal outlook on the world, including his faith.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×