June 6, 2006

Alito is not Scalito.

Linda Greenhouse also writes about Zedner v. United States, a case the Court issued yesterday, dealing with the right to a speedy trial:
Justice Antonin Scalia refused to sign the paragraph of the opinion in which Justice Alito cited the legislative history of the Speedy Trial Act as further evidence for his interpretation of the statute.

"The use of legislative history is illegitimate and ill advised in the interpretation of any statute," Justice Scalia's concurring opinion declared in what has become a familiar theme from him.
Just one more reason not to call him Scalito.

UPDATE: WaPo echo.

6 comments:

downtownlad said...

I agree. In the end, I think it will be Roberts who turns out to be Scalito.

Joe said...

Scalia has issued opinions, especially in criminal cases, which would be considered liberal if written by anyone else. It is inaccurate to categorize him as an ideological conservative with some kind of agenda where he is actually a strict textualist.

David said...

I am waiting for the apologies from all the moonbats who claimed that Alito was going to destroy individual rights and pave the way for complete govermental rule of our lives.

My fav qoute from the PFAW

......Judge Alito’s troubling, evasive and misleading answers on questions vital to Americans’ rights and interests: unchecked presidential and executive branch power, congressional authority to protect Americans, privacy and reproductive rights, and his long record of favoring powerful institutions over individuals in civil rights and other cases.....

but it was never about his legal ability

Too Many Jims said...

I am not a big fan of Saclia but I agree with him that using legislative history is not a good approach. His concurrence here is one of the best explanations of why that approach is problematic. I suppose it helps that he does it in a concurrence (rather than in a dissent or majority opinion) and that he refrains from treating the author of the other opinion with complete contempt/disdain.

altoids1306 said...

*shrug* The media can say one thing today, say its exact opposite tomorrow, and few people would notice. Ten of thousands died in Katrina, so I hear.

Brian, to Peter Griffin (Family Guy): "Are you sure you read it in a book? Are you sure it wasn't...nothing?"

Newspapers have about the same information content as nothing these days.

Marghlar said...

Scalia has issued opinions, especially in criminal cases, which would be considered liberal if written by anyone else. It is inaccurate to categorize him as an ideological conservative with some kind of agenda where he is actually a strict textualist.

A strict textualist? Yeah, except when he isn't. See, e.g., Alden v. Maine; Semtek v. Lockheed Martin; FDA v. Brown & Williamson. He's admitted as much himself, saying that he'll sometimes back off from formalism when it has unpleasant outcomes.

Which doesn't make him evil, or anything, just a human judge like all the rest. I'd even say that I like most of his truly formalist opinions, for the most part. But one shouldn't overstate the claim -- it's a bad meme that tends to exaggerate the differences between Justices more than is warranted.

I'll buy that he's a true formalist when he applies such an approach to free speech (as no one but Justice Black has ever done) or to sovereign immunity.