U.S. Supreme Court

Scalia Tells of His Live-or-Die-For Cases and a Pet Peeve


If you want to get Justice Antonin Scalia’s attention, bring him a case involving the structure of government, or use incorrect grammar on an airplane.

Scalia told of his favorite cases and his airline pet peeve in a speech to the Federalist Society on Saturday, report The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times and the Wall Street Journal Law Blog.

Scalia said Bill of Rights cases are important, but they aren’t the ones “I live or die for,” according to The BLT. Instead, he said, he reserves that distinction for cases involving the structure of the U.S. government. Scalia said even dictatorships have bills of rights, but government structure ensures that laws are “not just words on paper.”

Scalia also condemned the “illiterates who communicate with the public” on airlines, according to the Law Blog. His beef is with this sentence: It is “required that your luggage is under the seat in front of you.” Scalia says “is” in the quote should be replaced by “be.”

Turning to another topic, Scalia criticized legal education, according to The BLT and the FedSoc Blog. Schools focus too much on antiquated common law jurisprudence and not enough time on reading and interpreting laws, he said.

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