Antonin Scalia’s Less Controversial Quotes

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U.S Supreme Court Antonin Scalia left a legacy that’s full of controversy. Born on March 11, 1936, he was appointed to the court in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan. He served the court for about 30 years where he showed his strong support to the powers of the government’s executive branch. He believed in death penalty and repeatedly objected abortion decisions. Because of his positions, he was considered as a conservative judge on the Supreme Court.

Scalia died at the age of 79 in his sleep. Prior to his death, he was reported having a history of heart trouble and hypertension.

As a way to look back at his controversial career, here are some of Antonin Scalia’s quotes.

The main business of a lawyer is to take the romance, the mystery, the irony, the ambiguity out of everything he touches.

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If you condemn someone who has committed a crime to be tortured, that would be unconstitutional.

Being a good person begins with being a wise person. Then, when you follow your conscience, will you be headed in the right direction.

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A man who has made no enemies is probably not a very good man.

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Society’s mores have changed, and what used to be thought not to be cruel and unusual now is thought to be cruel and unusual.

Power tends to corrupt. But the power in Washington resides in Congress, if it wants to use it. It can do anything – it can stop the Vietnam War, it can make its will felt, if it can ever get its act together to do anything.

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Indeed, follow your star if you want to head north and it’s the North Star. But if you want to head north and it’s Mars, you had better follow somebody else’s star.

Words do have a limited range of meaning, and no interpretation that goes beyond that range is permissible.

antonin scalia words quotes

Bear in mind that brains and learning, like muscle and physical skill, are articles of commerce. They are bought and sold. You can hire them by the year or by the hour. The only thing in the world not for sale is character.

I’m an originalist and a textualist, not a nut.

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What is a moderate interpretation of the text? Halfway between what it really means and what you’d like it to mean?

If I have brought any message today, it is this: Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity.

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In a big family the first child is kind of like the first pancake. If it’s not perfect, that’s okay, there are a lot more coming along.

I love to argue. I’ve always loved to argue. And I love to point out the weaknesses of the opposing arguments. It may well be that I’m something of a shin kicker. It may well be that I’m something of a contrarian.

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More important than your obligation to follow your conscience, or at least prior to it, is your obligation to form your conscience correctly.

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Persuade your fellow citizens it’s a good idea and pass a law. That’s what democracy is all about. It’s not about nine superannuated judges who have been there too long, imposing these demands on society.

I don’t worry about my legacy. Just do your job right, and who cares?

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