This week on Q&A, our guest is Justice Antonin Scalia. He discusses his newly released book called “Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts.” The book is co-authored by Bryan Garner, Distinguished Research Professor of Law at Southern Methodist University. Scalia presents a case for a return to a more scrupulous and attentive approach to the words of legal texts. He defines the meaning of textualism as it relates to interpreting laws. He also spells out what is meant by the words originalism and strict constructionism as they apply to Constitutional law. Justice Scalia cautions individuals to read entire judicial opinions before reaching any conclusion about a particular judge’s fairness. He further asserts that good judges should not be involved in policy description or formulation, only a fair legal reading of what Congress has enacted. He discusses his opposition to cameras in the Supreme Court chamber. Scalia talks about criticism from the press and how he responds by not commenting or writing letters to the editor and throwing them away. He describes his job as one in which people can argue vehemently on the law without hating the person on the other side.
Antonin Scalia was nominated by President Reagan as Associate Justice and approved in the Senate by a vote of 98-0 in September, 1986. Prior to that, he was a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. This is the second book he has co-authored with Bryan Garner. He has been married to his wife Maureen for fifty-two years, has nine children and thirty-three grandchildren.