November 23, 2005

Scalia's kids tell him to get out more because "it makes it harder to demonize you."

So he's out and about, even taking a question from Al Franken, whom he apparently doesn't recognize.

UPDATE: Oh, it is so obvious: Scalia should blog!

ANOTHER UPDATE: Here's a more detailed report of the encounter with Franken:
Page Six said Franken ... "found out the hard way not to mess with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who chided Franken as if he were a delinquent schoolboy … ."

Franken asked "hypothetically" whether a judge should recuse himself if he had gone duck-hunting or flown in a private jet with a party in a case before his court, the Post reported....

Scalia lectured Franken, "Demeanor is the wrong word. You mean ethics."
I'm sure Franken felt cut to the core. And, by the way, "delinquent" isn't really the right adjective for a schoolkid who uses the wrong word. Now doesn't that make Page Six look... whatever.
The justice explained a judge does not have to recuse himself from a case if his friend, in an official capacity, was a nominal party in the dispute, according to Opinion Journal Editor James Taranto, who witnessed the exchange.
Sounds like a very ordinary question and answer session. If Franken didn't try to argue back or say something usual, it's hardly a story at all, is it?


jeff said...

I'm still trying to figure out if that was a hypothetical interview or what... too many "he might have said"'s for me.

Ann Althouse said...

Jeff: Yeah, I had some trouble with that too, but I blogged about another press report of this talk, so I'm pretty sure it was a real talk.

tefta said...

Why should Scalia care what "they" say about him?

reader_iam said...

Because his kids do?

Simon said...

How very postmodern. An article which attempts to demonize Scalia quotes him as saying the reason he did the event which the article reports is that it makes him hardre to demonize.

Look, if he's going to start making more frequent on-the-record speeches, I'm going to have to change formats! I'm running out of menu space! ;)

I think it'd be great if he'd lose his seeming antipathy to CSPAN, but since it's harder (albeit not much) to take comments out of context wih cunning use of ellipses when the whole thing's on tape.

reader_iam said...

Because some people seem to move in their older days toward an opposite of the mood and tone of their younger days?

You know what a I mean ... ever meet someone who seemed so laid back earlier, but became quite curmudgeonly in later life?

I have.

In contrast, I've also met people who were more rigid etc. earlier on who wanted to go out in a more mellow tone.

Who knows? I don't ... but assuming this is "real," this might be why he cares.

'Course, if he reads stuff like this, he might very well backtrack. I'll bet he's relatively allergic to absolutely obvious pandering (of the social, what-do-they-think-of-me sort).

Just off the top of my head (and not caring too much, anyway) ...

Simon said...

Incidentally, James Taranto at OpinionJournal has smoe thoughts he can't but share about the Post story.

Ann Althouse said...

Tefta: I love that he cares.

XWL said...

Could you imagine the comment section of a Scalia Blog


(only thing possibly worse would be a Justice Thomas blog comment section)

Unknown Pundit said...

How could Justice Scalia not know Al Franken? Wasn't there a decade or something named after Al Franken?

37383938393839383938383 said...

Oh, I so would read that blog. I would be all up in that sh*t. The problem is that too many people would just sling ad hominems. I doubt it would be as civil as the Posner-Becker-Blog. Uh, not that I, like, "hang out" there.

Simon said...

There are a profusion of blogs - members of Congress, for example - which solve the insulting comments problem by simply not permitting comments. Now, I have to admit that I don't really think that's a blog, as such; to my mind, the single most salient feature of blogging is the ability to interact with the blogger and comment on their opinions. A blog without a comments section is no better than a series of press releases. But I'd take a Scalia blog on any terms he wanted to offer it.

I suppose the big question would be, what happens if a judge blogs about a topic that later comes before the court? Still, Judge Posner seems to manage, although I suspect that the people who would give Scalia a hard time if he even mentioned a topic he then declined to recuse himself from have a much more favorable opinion of Judge Posner.

Becker-Posner Blog? Love it, but I think a Scalia-Breyer blog would whip it for traffic and content.

Icepick said...

Reader_Iam, have you considered that older people who change their approach to life may have done so simply out of boredom?

Simon, I read 'smoe' as 'some more' instead of the misspelling of 'some'. A useful contraction has been born!

RandMan, the 1980s were indeed the Decade of Al Franken. And the 1990s were The Decade of Al Franken, Jr. But that was all back when Franken was still kind of funny.

Simon said...

"Simon, I read 'smoe' as 'some more' instead of the misspelling of 'some'. A useful contraction has been born!"

To make it appropriately "street", we would have to go a step further and render it smo'!

tefta said...


The article didn't say Scalia cares, only that his kids don't seem to be satisfied that their father is one of the most respected and brilliant men of his time, they'd rather he play the saxophone or discuss his underwear preferences on the Letterman show.