The San Francisco Review of Book’s Joseph Cotto interviewed me about my book on Justice Scalia’s jurisprudence and legacy. Watch:
And in very fine company. Thank you!
You can find the 23-page review of my book, The Justice of Contradictions: Antonin Scalia and the Politics of Disruption, at this link. Although Samuel has much to disagree with, the former Scalia clerk says this: “Hasen’s book ought to be read by everyone with a strong opinion about Justice Scalia, in either direction. Skeptics of Scalia, of course, will find much to nod at. But actually, my recommendation is especially true for the justice’s admirers—who will find much to disagree with in the book, but who nonetheless ought to read it to understand what is likely to be the party line of sophisticated Scalia skeptics in the years to come. And although neither virtue counts for much in the academic press, for what it is worth, the book is very readable and (a virtue Scalia himself would have appreciated) admirably free of filler—Hasen gets to the point.”
THE JUSTICE OF CONTRADICTIONS: ANTONIN SCALIA AND THE POLITICS OF DISRUPTION, by Richard L. Hasen.
Reviewed by Christopher N. Krewson, Claremont Graduate University.
Here are the collected posts for our Balkinization symposium on Neal Devins and Lawrence Baum’s new book, The Company They Keep: How Partisan Divisions Came to the Supreme Court (Oxford University Press, 2019).
2. Richard L. Hasen, Siloed Justices and the Law/Politics Divide
3. Jack Balkin, All Hail Ed Meese!
4. John O. McGinnis, The Supreme Court as the Aristocratic Element of a Mixed Regime
5. Linda Greenhouse, The Company We No Longer Keep
6. Frank Pasquale, The Political Theory of a Balanced Bench
8. Mark Graber, Newtonian and Anti-Newtonian Political and Judicial Polarization
9. Rick Pildes, What is Judicial Courage?
10. Neal Devins and Larry Baum, Justices and Their Audiences
New book is “First” by Evan Thomas and here’s the excerpt, courtesy of Mike Sacks:
I have written this piece for Slate. It begins:
It’s a great time for liberals to brush up on their knowledge of originalism and textualism. These judicial theories, which say that judges should interpret constitutional provisions or statutes by looking solely at their “original public meaning,” are embraced by many of the conservative judges and justices appointed by President Donald Trump who have begun to build a stranglehold on the federal judiciary. Despite recent work demonstrating the bankruptcy of these approaches, liberal lawyers trying to get progressive results at the Supreme Court have already begun trying to pick off conservative justices through a calculated embrace of the theories…..
In a terrific new book, Originalism as Faith, Georgia State University law professor Eric Segall demolishes the case for originalist constitutional interpretation. Segall traces the long history of originalist thought in American legal circles from the 19th century to the present time. The heart of the book demonstrates the bankruptcy of the originalist approach.
Segall’s key thesis is that originalism does not constrain in the hands of judges purporting to use it. …
n a recent podcast conversation, Indiana University Maurer School of Law professor Ian Samuel made the point that a deeply conservative justice believing he or she is constrained by originalism or textualism is better than a justice like Samuel Alito, who is also deeply conservative but not similarly constrained. I continue to believe that in the core cases of greatest importance to conservatives, originalism and textualism are hardly constraining. But Samuel is right about that subset of second-tier cases.
And so it’s time for liberals to dust off the old dictionaries and put on their hard hats for work in the construction zone, despite Segall’s and others’ trenchant critiques. The work won’t be pretty, but it may sometimes get the job done.
The Justice of Contradictions: Antonin Scalia and the Politics of Disruption
Rick Hasen, University of California, Irvine School of Law
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Please join us for a lunchtime book talk with Rick Hasen, to discuss The Justice of Contradictions: Antonin Scalia and the Politics of Disruption.
From Yale University Press: “Engaging but caustic and openly ideological, Antonin Scalia was among the most influential justices ever to serve on the United States Supreme Court. In this fascinating new book, legal scholar Richard L. Hasen assesses Scalia’s complex legacy as a conservative legal thinker and disruptive public intellectual. The left saw Scalia as an unscrupulous foe who amplified his judicial role with scathing dissents and outrageous public comments. The right viewed him as a rare principled justice committed to neutral tools of constitutional and statutory interpretation. Hasen provides a more nuanced perspective, demonstrating how Scalia was crucial to reshaping jurisprudence on issues from abortion to gun rights to separation of powers. A jumble of contradictions, Scalia promised neutral tools to legitimize the Supreme Court, but his jurisprudence and confrontational style moved the Court to the right, alienated potential allies, and helped to delegitimize the institution he was trying to save.”
Here‘s Bob Egelko’s review “Originalism on Trial,” in the LA Review of Books, reviewing my book, The Justice of Contradictions: Antonin Scalia and the Politics of Disruption.
Manu Raju and Joan Biskupic report for CNN.
A few of my earlier Slate pieces:
(Link to buy the book, The Justice of Contradictions: Antonin Scalia and the Politics of Disruption.)
I sat down with Dahlia Lithwick for Slate’s Amicus Podcast. Listen:
In the first of a series of deep dives into great legal reads this summer, Dahlia Lithwick talks with Rick Hasen, author of The Justice of Contradictions: Antonin Scalia and the Politics of Disruption, about civil discourse, rock star justices, and what Justice Scalia would have thought of President Trump.
I have written this piece for Slate. It begins:
Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced his retirement from the Supreme Court last week, was certainly the “swing justice” in key cases on major issues from abortion to gay rights. But when it came to election law, Justice Kennedy didn’t swing: He consistently sided with conservatives and the Republican Party on the most important cases of the day. Still, I fully expect issues from voting rights to campaign finance to get far worse when President Trump appoints Kennedy’s successor in the mold of Justice Antonin Scalia.
Kennedy was the author or in the majority in three of the worst election law cases the court decided in the last two generations: Bush v. Gore (2000), Citizens United v. FEC (2010), and Shelby County v. Holder (2013). It’s worth looking back at Kennedy’s bad voting rights decisions—and how much worse they could have been—when thinking about his replacement….
In sum, Anthony Kennedy was not a friend of strong voting rights, but he was not a harsh conservative in the mold of Antonin Scalia. As I explained in my recent book on Scalia’s legacy, The Justice of Contradictions: Antonin Scalia and the Politics of Disruption, a court filled with Scalia acolytes—such as President Trump has promised the nation—is going to be a disaster for the cause of voting and democracy.