Thursday, April 10, 2008

Justice Antonin Scalia was the sixth Supreme Court justice to participate in C-SPAN's "Students and Leaders" series, taking questions from a class from Thomas Jefferson high school.

· Asked whether the courts have a responsibility to act on moral issues when Congress moves slowly, Scalia said it makes no sense that moral issues would not be decided by the people and their representatives, just as other issues are. Why in the world, Scalia asked, would anyone think: "Oh, this is a moral issue. It ought to be decided by lawyers"?

· Scalia said he never dreamed of being a Supreme Court justice and that it would be a hard aspiration to make happen. "Just between you and me, there's a whole lot of luck involved."

· He was something of a "grind" in high school, although he was president of the drama club and had the lead in "Macbeth." The hunting buddy of Vice President Cheney said his only organized sport was membership on the junior varsity rifle team.

· In response to a question about whether the court has traditions like "movie night," he said no. But the justices have dinner together in September before their term begins the next month, and they all shake hands before oral arguments, he said, after putting on their "Superman suits."

-- Robert Barnes

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