Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Dean Kenneth Starr (formerly Solicitor General) was the host when Justice Antonin Scalia visited Pepperdine Law School earlier this week. This detailed report of their "conversation" comes from the Los Angeles County Bar Association Blog. We will share a few tidbits.
Who, in Justice Scalia's opinion, was the Court's best writer? Justice Jackson, whom Scalia described as his hero. And as for the Justice's own opinions? When asked which he is most proud of, he answered, "Well, I haven't had that many triumphs."
When asked his opinion of the exchanges between Court and counsel at oral argument, the Justice stated that Clarence Thomas would benefit from talking more at argument. As the Justice observed, "the purpose of argument is to probe weaknesses in the lawyers' briefs." Answering questions from the bench is the only way for lawyers to know they not wasting everyone's time. Sometimes at oral argument the justices "use counsel as a shuttlecock" to try to persuade each other.
hat tip: The California Blog of Appeal