Antonin Scalia

Scalia, Antonin, 1936–, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1986–), b. Trenton, N.J. He graduated from Harvard Law School (1960) and subsequently taught law at the Univ. of Virginia (1967–71) and the Univ. of Chicago (1977–82). In 1982 President Reagan named him to the federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and four years later he was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, taking the seat vacated when William Rehnquist ascended to the position of chief justice. An outspoken conservative, Scalia is a prominent proponent of "textualism," the idea that one should focus on the text of the U.S. constitution or a law and its original meaning when seeking to interpret it, and that decisions of judges should be based on that original meaning, a position enunciated in A Matter of Interpretation (1997). Though he has been willing to overturn (often liberal) precedents and has been one of the most conservative members of the Court's right wing, Scalia has sometimes taken more libertarian positions, for example, protecting flag burning as a form of free speech.

See biography by J. Biskupic (2009).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Antonin Scalia from Fact Monster:

  • Antonin Scalia - Biography of Antonin Scalia, U.S. Supreme Court judge since 1986
  • Stephen Breyer - Stephen Breyer United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Born: 8/15/1938 Birthplace: San ...
  • Samuel A. Alito, Jr. - Samuel A. Alito, Jr. Federal Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit Born: April 1, 1950 ...
  • Current U.S. Supreme Court Members - Find information on the current Chief and Associate Justices of the United States Supreme Court, including dates of service and religious affiliation.
  • Clarence Thomas - Thomas, Clarence Thomas, Clarence, 1948–, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Supreme Court: Biographies