Jeffrey Toobin, whose “The Nine” was a definitive work on the modern Supreme Court, feels that enough time has passed since the death of Antonin Scalia to write about how much harm he did to our country…
Antonin Scalia, who died this month, after nearly three decades on the Supreme Court, devoted his professional life to making the United States a less fair, less tolerant, and less admirable democracy. Fortunately, he mostly failed. Belligerent with his colleagues, dismissive of his critics, nostalgic for a world where outsiders knew their place and stayed there, Scalia represents a perfect model for everything that President Obama should avoid in a successor. The great Justices of the Supreme Court have always looked forward; their words both anticipated and helped shape the nation that the United States was becoming. Chief Justice John Marshall read the new Constitution to allow for a vibrant and progressive federal government. Louis Brandeis understood the need for that government to regulate an industrializing economy. Earl Warren saw that segregation was poison in the modern world. Scalia, in contrast, looked backward.
Read Toobin’s full piece here.
Previously on Harris Online…
- My conversation with Jeffrey Toobin about “The Nine: Inside The Secret World of the Supreme Court” (10/19/07)
- My conversation with Kate Shaw about the impact of Scalia’s death on the Supreme Court. (2/17/16)
- My conversation with Ian Millhiser, author of “Injustices: The Supreme Court’s History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting The Afflicted” (3/24/15)