Christopher Scalia

Newsmaker Interviews
Thursday, October 19th

Christopher Scalia, son of the late Supreme Court Justice, joins WILK's Sue Henry  to reflect on his father's legacy

00:13:43

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Christopher Scalia. The editor of scalia's speaks reflections on laugh feet. I'm doing well thank you it is so good to hear your voice and we want to talk about the book the you've edited called Scalia speaks reflections on loft faced. And a life well lived about say your dad. And out and Christopher I think didn't you know nine kids and a house and some of the things I've ever read about your family. That money is such a throwback and I'm not saying that a bad way but what was it like to sit around the dinner table and and argue. Salient points with your parents. Yeah it was fun. We didn't always argued salient point. I think a lot of people are under the impression that every day and I was like so long conversation where we were. You know we're disputing the finer points of of one debater another but you know we did we get talked politics and religion a little bit. I'm mostly to just one we talked about all sorts of things we talked about television or you know of course there's you know Howard gays were and what each of his stated. Told jokes and told stories and respond and I I really miss I enjoyed growing up my father always made the point of being home for dinner which is which was hard for him. You know either spend we have a job like that spent all day at the office but he made a point of being home without sin not. Think grace for every dinner in. Al kind of really left an impression on me about about the importance of spending that kind of time. Did you have to give any kind of a persuasive presentation. To your parents about something that you really wanted in life whether it be would be do. I know break curfew or or take the car whatever that is in turn into. Very good discussion for you and your parents. I can beat a couple instances what is when I tried to commit my dad that he would. That he would like com. Up and I like that it was a radio had a time and agencies he would he'd like opera and classical there was no actually gonna persuade him to listen to them but. But. I know some arguments appealing to his interest in nom. Not sophisticated musicianship and finally here could think of like packed up its target eventually listen to Radiohead but it was a fun argument to make. And then I tell of course like any I would try to talk my talk my way out of having to do to do work and usually with my dad would be work around the yard and calm and content to let me why are rarely commit and the let me off the hook there the only time I've finally. Made my case was what nom. We discovered I was very allergic to bees and ants and the only time I ever got started when I was doing yard work so that that got me off the hook finally. Yeah I'm rested. Some in the Euro about. You didn't Chile had time to mobile line and he wanted him to do it needs including the effect of don't think a Supreme Court justice and thank stud apple and. Cross country meet and anyway I mean I'm all about the yard so he. He gets it and he made me feel guilty by reminding me that. You know you had other things to do to. When you whereas setting out to put together this work which has Sao all kinds of the memories that youth. Assembled speeches that he gave her reflections they have how how. Difficult was it to live meant a book I'm sure publishers only won a book of X amount of Esiason. How did you manage she'd get that put together. But how would that really what the hardest part we read closed at 200 speeches on Michael Underwood and when he went who clerk for my father and job. We are so many great speeches and how about. So many Serb something different topics including a few surprising ones the hard part was treating which to include. Week we wanted to just select speeches we got that. General reader is not not legal specialists. What it now or should they not only legal specialists would enjoy it. At that was kind of like big big guiding framework and for how to go about. Deciding which ones not to include. Oh including. Of four dozen speeches so there's there's plenty of variety in here and I think got. To get interest everybody but I think a lot of people be extra by all the speeches there's really high quality throughout. We know that the the court sometimes seems very very. Polarized divide and what every last say but. I think is really something in this cord that Camille lessons to other people in the country who often feel. Divided and polarized and that is the relationship. Between your dad. And Ruth Bader Ginsburg had two bad I don't like. Paired us Italy's strained. Yeah that's right and they didn't agree much up politically or or illegal leak. But they'd had been friends since really the early eighties when their work first on a court together. And they. They do that for chip up it to the end of his life she wrote the foreword to this book. Really grateful she did that and my father. Delivered a roast for her wins when he was on the Supreme Court and used on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals and it was. The very very funny wrote but also very moving because. He he tells her how much he misses working with her what a great country great colleague she was not knowing that. A couple of years you'd be back on the court with him. I think you're right there in their friendship is a testament and and our minor all of us that that there's more to life and politics and it's possible. To. I have very great friendships with with people you disagree with. Focused on what they had in common than they have done. More than enough and comment have a a very long and enduring friendship. What did you ever do you spend much time with her any of the other justices I mean it's a strange situation because there's so. High profile but here you are is I younger guy and hang your dad's on the court did you manage to. Have any inner action with salmon and is or somebody just stands out to you as. A wonderful person are great influence in your own life. Well I did spend some time with them. Just you know it had. Usually formal social occasions in the immediate and for the courts there or weddings. On justice and we invited justice Ginsburg says. I invite her to my wedding she wasn't able to make it but she got some very nice gift and justice. Byron white lived in my neighborhood and he was he was a great neighbor. I delivered his newspapers and never complained when we got there late and he gave me a nice graduation present for high school and. I'm they were just all. They were all very nice and to our in my family would whenever I encounter than an especially after my father's death they were. Extraordinarily supportive of you carry need concerned an and really had great help to and in particular to my mother. Windows we think about the working your dad dead at it obviously is so important because these decisions are watched. Very closely. By a lot of people in the country can you recall a time. When a year your dad was in his study at night may be struggling over something did you ever. Talked to you about this work are in the aftermath of a particular decision and where he was may be trying to explain you why he came to a certain conclusion. Yeah well. I would I would ask him questions about cases so Thomas after they were. Tom after the opinions were delivered. I just it if I didn't understand what he wrote or like whatever whoever wrote that opinion he sided with I didn't understand a point I would ask for clarification. You would never. Give me any new went right back. People who are certain reading opinion would have gotten but I had to talk about things like patents occasionally he would really only a couple of times he would ask me questions about. Not really what I was certainly not what I would decide but what I thought of a particular point. But you know he he would ever be he couldn't tell us how he was gonna vote. Comment certainly if I don't think I ever had any influence and in how he voted but he was just kind of it might occasionally try to pick our brain a little bit. But not for the most part I tried not. It's a bag and try to. Not and I avoided talking to him about the court and I'd certainly did talk about its work a little bit but we get so many other things to talk about Tom. Apart from him you know it was very nice about as nine children and my mom there are plenty of other topics of conversation. So it I would say you know. That was one of the things we just talked about the least. Did you ever have been to have that a conversation with him wary EU. Disagreed with one of these decisions and and said you know who can you explain to me why I mean it is is that a fair question. You know I honestly don't remember a conversation like that I've found myself. Even. They're deciding with my father and his reasoning and in every instance I can think out. It's been an instance where he was wrong but. I was certainly wouldn't think that I knew better than them ER I mean himself. Yet but none no examples of that comes to mind. When you look back and that the lot senior debt which was so sudden to people I mean he knew he was. He he was older I mean he was 79 and that's older but still at the same time he's he seems so vital and does some of these individuals working on the courts. Justice seem like you know there's no end in sight for them. And then of course it its force this very public. Searching for his. Replacement and of course there was a lot of rank her on that because of the nomination under President Obama that that was not acted upon. What was it like it in the aftermath. Your dad's death in these regards. And obviously they're the biggest effect bad but I'm aware that there were huge political. Repercussions but. For me and for my family says it was. Is that the personal consequences and then and the big pain in that regard it was. It was very powerful and then obviously what concerned us the most. He wasn't he led a young but he was vital but he wasn't perfect held. So it was it was shocking. To us and it's I think the hardest thing was just not. Not seeing them last time not not being able or not knowing when not if the last how much time would be the last time and not not really. Teacher say goodbye to him not that was painful and obviously not the only child is had to go through that. But now the most painful part of it for me and and so at this stage where it needed and I'm told us that early stop. I think I wanted to Pelham public something happens in my day or read something and I think of that would love this and I want to. Tellem and I. There's a split second word forget that that won't be able to anymore. The little little things like that are still pretty difficult. You decide to put this worked together or what was the driving force train. Well I'd I'd. It was really important for. And many people as possible. To encounter in my father's idea and person's ideas and personalities. So. The legal that legal ideas and who were obviously the most important and this collection. Is a great opportunity for. General readers not just legal scholars. Understand my father's. Appointed you wouldn't and reasoning for. Being the kind of judge that he was. And beyond that I thought it was I thought people would just like to be like to know more about Jimenez is views on religion and and get it. Is understanding of the American founding of what makes America great country. And the things he enjoyed that is this the collection give a lot of insight into that childhood like big games and sports he played when he was growing up in Queens. And it's pastimes like Turkey hunting important things like that so I thought just as an important way. Kind of established his legacy and and to help him help and ideas. Endure. I'm doing and she liked the book. Job and my mom is is doing well she's a very strong woman comment you had a lot of support from from her friend. And and curb curb any children and grandchildren and so it's one of the advantages over the handling it thank. And yeah you like to book cheat sheet. I think it I think you like it parole what are you writing a lot of people like it is that my father's voice comes through very clearly in the speeches and it's it's as if. It is that people speaking out as a powerful experience. Christopher Scalia. The editor of scalia's speaks reflections on lofty. And a life well lived in that that last line I think ten strikes with us because so whenever somebody has a fantastic legacy. It is always great to honor so our thanks to do in the shouted it's great to hear from me. Thank you very much so I appreciate your time.
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