Justice Antonin Scalia has been called home by his Creator. All men are mortal and Antonin Scalia knew that well.
When I was in law school, Scalia spoke to my class. He understood the nature of mankind. Men are sinful creatures who are covetous, licentious, greedy, louts who covet power. The genius of our founders, according to Scalia, was to be very mindful of the nature of man and construct a political system to play the sinful desires of men off each other and, through division, restrain their powers.
Consequently, Scalia recognized that to interpret the constitution as he wished would just be making a power play against a system. The founders intentions had to override. Their view was that the constitution was not a document to dictate the morals of man, but a document of moral men aware of humanity’s failings that sought to design a government of men, for men, and by men. That document necessarily required a list of powers reserved and powers not granted, it required a separation of powers between executive, judicial, and legislative. It required that the sovereign states only cede certain powers to a national government, reserving all other powers for themselves or their citizens.
Scalia approached his jurisprudence this way. Attacked often for his views, Scalia would no doubt have said that they were not his views, but the views of those who wrote the document he was interpreting.
Justice Antonin Scalia was good friends with Ruth Bader Ginsburg. His views on the constitution did not impede his ability to make friends with people across all walks of life. He was readily approachable and could not care less if a person was liberal or conservative when it came to developing a relationship. Scalia, after all, believed we were all created in our Creator’s image and one of the key aspects of that creation was that we are relational creatures all of worthy life.
A number of Scalia’s positions were positions taken against eight others. In multiple cases, Scalia lived long enough to see his warnings in 8-1 dissents come to pass and in several cases saw himself go from being a sole dissenter to being in the majority years later.
His jurisprudence will be missed — more so because his death comes at an unstable time and will cause even more instability.
Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, ascends now to the throne his Creator having run the race and persevered, his body mortal, but his soul endures.
Requiescat in pace.