Each Supreme Court Justice hires several law clerks (the creme de la creme of recent law school graduates) to help them with their workload.

Scalia always hires a contrarian--someone who is diametrically opposed to his own very conservative viewpoint--to be one of his clerks. I respect a justice who is willing to challenge himself.

Antonin Scalia was born on March 11, 1936, in Trenton, New Jersey, and raised in Queens, Long Island. He graduated from Georgetown University in 1957, spending his junior year at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1960.

Scalia moved to Cleveland, Ohio, and practiced law there until 1967, when he joined the faculty of the University of Virginia Law School. In 1971, Scalia became General Counsel of the White House Office of Telecommunications Policy. He was chairman of the Administrative Conference of the United States from 1972 to 1974.

Scalia was appointed Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice in 1974. After one half year as Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., Scalia returned in 1977 to teaching at the University of Chicago Law School. He was also visiting professor at the Law Schools of Georgetown and Stanford Universities.

President Ronald Reagan appointed Scalia to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1982. Four years later, on June 24, 1986, President Reagan nominated Scalia to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment on September 17, 1986.

An outspoken conservative, he has shown himself eager to overturn recent liberal precedents. His legal opinions are often forceful expressions of his differences with his colleagues.

Scalia is a Roman Catholic. He is, in my opinion, the most intelligent member of the current Supreme Court. His recent opinion on the partial birth abortion issue is one for the ages.

You see, Ronald Reagan might have seemed quite the fool to some of you folks, but he had people around him who knew how to pick a Supreme. Unlike, I might say, George H. Bush, who made the fatal error of trying to appease liberals by choosing David H. Souter. A mistake we lived with for way too long.

Editors Note: Scalia died in his sleep at age 79 on the night of February 12 or the morning of February 13, 2016 of apparent natural causes.

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