Patterico's Pontifications

9/23/2007

A Toobin Assertion I’m Not Buying

Filed under: General,Judiciary,Law — Patterico @ 1:10 pm

From page 103 of Jeff Toobin’s book “The Nine”:

At an appearance at a New York synagogue in 2005, Scalia was asked to compare his own judicial philosophy with that of Thomas. “I am an originalist,” Scalia said, “but I am not a nut.”

The implication here is that Scalia asserted, seriously, that Thomas is a “nut” when it comes to his jurisprudence.

I’m not buying it. Not for a second.

I strongly suspect that in the coming days or weeks, we will learn that this is a misquotation — or at the very least, that critical context is missing.

When the proof comes, I’ll remind you that you heard it here first.

UPDATE: Via ItsMe, this post has a pretty good explanation of what probably happened. It’s not conclusive, but it makes a lot more sense than Toobin’s implication.

7 Responses to “A Toobin Assertion I’m Not Buying”

  1. Good catch, Patterico.

    Of course, it’s possible that Scalia said, “I am not a nut” on more than one occasion but he did say it in November 2004, according to this AP report archived by Zogby:

    “Scalia was named to the Supreme Court in 1986 by President Reagan. Since then, Scalia _ a Catholic raised in Queens and father of nine children, one a priest _ has become an anti-abortion hero to many in the American political right and a leading conservative voice on the court.

    An “originalist,” Scalia believes in following the Constitution as written by the Founding Fathers, rather than interpreting it to reflect the changing times.

    “Our Constitution does not morph,” he said Monday, deadpanning, “As I’ve often said, I am an originalist, I am a textualist, but I am not a nut.”

    On this occasion, Scalia’s statement apparently had nothing to do with Thomas.

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  2. A little googling shows that he’s said it multiple times. I’d expect what we’ll see is that Scalia was comparing himself to the constitution in exile movement. So the accuracy hangs on the the extent to which Thomas himself hews to that position (no idea, personally).

    jpe (bd88bc)

  3. Of course, the Left can say anything about Justice Thomas, and it would never be considered racist, would it?
    It must be so comfortable to be as a God!

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  4. AD – Justice Thomas, Dr. Rice, et al. are considered to be inauthentic, race traitors, or self-loathing, and therefore, the Left can vilify them in whatever way they choose. Change that R to a D, and their positions would be racist, sexist, etc … Nice control of the language, in which the media is a willing conspirator.

    JD (c3bb88)

  5. jpe #2:

    A little googling shows that he’s said it multiple times. I’d expect what we’ll see is that Scalia was comparing himself to the constitution in exile movement. So the accuracy hangs on the the extent to which Thomas himself hews to that position (no idea, personally).

    Good point. Here’s a little more:

    Dorf on Law

    Itsme (6c8eb9)

  6. Notice here that your first assumption is that this leftist law journalist is essentially dishonest. And why are you so confident of your prediction — BECAUSE IT’S ALMOST ALWAYS TRUE.

    The big question — why is there such consistent overlap between being leftist and being dishonest?

    PrestoPundit (a2369b)

  7. Not to diminish all of our anticipation for Patterico’s review, but David Garrow comes off as rather unimpressed with Toobin’s book in the LA Times.

    JVW (6a3590)


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