Antonin Scalia (1936--)

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Antonin Scalia was born in Trenton N.J. on March 11, 1936. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1960 and later taught law at the University of Virginia from 1967 to 1971. He also taught at the University of Chicago from 1977 to 1982. He was named to the federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 1982 by President Ronald Reagan. Four years later he was nominated to the United States Supreme Court by Reagan, taking the seat previously held by William Rehnquist ascended to the position of chief justice.

Antonin Scalia is sometimes referred to as the first chief justice of Italian-American descent, but he is also known as the first Roman Catholic to be appointed to the nation's highest court since William J. Brennan. Scalia, an outspoken conservative, showed himself eager to overrturn recent liberal precedents, and with Rehnquist along with Clarence Thomas, elected in 1991, formed the Court's right wing.

A usual thing for Scalia is to write harsh dissenting and concurring opinions, where he engages in scathing attacks on the reasoning of other justices, even when he agrees with the conclusions of the judges he attacks. He sometimes calls the reasoning of other justices "silly," "nonsense," and "incomprehensible." Scalia, known for his strict conservatism, rejects the Original Intent Doctrine, the basis for court rulings of most conservative judges, stating that the best way to interpret a law or the Constitution is to find out how the original authors intended it to mean and do. Instead, he focuses on what he calls original meaning where he looks at what the authors of the Constitution meant at the time because it creates a "rock-solid" foundation upon which he can objectively base correct decisions. Scalia's judicial conservatism may not be based on the doctrine of Origina...