HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » My wife's encounter with ...

Sat May 1, 2021, 08:24 PM

My wife's encounter with Justice Scalia

This goes back a decade or so. My wife is the classics translator Sarah Ruden. You can google her. In her world she is famous. (I guess for the sake of the story it is worth knowing that she is a Quaker pacifist.) At this time she was a visiting scholar at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. It had been announced that Justice Antonin Scalia would be visiting the university to give an endowed lecture before a crowd of several hundred people at the university chapel. One day she got an email inquiring if she wanted to attend a small luncheon the university would be throwing to welcome Scalia in the afternoon. Sarah immediately replied that she wanted to go, only to be told that the invite had been sent in error to way too many people. Sarah wrote back saying that they really should invite her. She and Scalia did the same thing. They interpreted ancient texts. Well, her pitch worked (Probably along with the fact that she was the only Guggenheim Fellowship winner on campus). She got the invitation to the lunch.
At this time I was working as a public defender. ņlthough I'm sure Scalia rightly has a terrible reputation as a jurist among most readers of this site, it was a bit different for criminal lawyers. Scalia had authored some seminal opinions vindicating the rights of defendants, particularly in the area of search and seizure law. I gave Sarah a copy of a case of his called Crawford v. Washington. Simply put, it raised an objection based on hearsay to the level of a constitutional violation of the right to confront witnesses. It changed what lawyers do in the court room. Instead of saying "Objection, hearsay", you say "This evidence violates the Confrontation Clause of the US Constitution (and it's hearsay).
The day came for the lunch. There were maybe 35 people attending. First there was a reception. Sarah remembers several people inviting Scalia to a concert where someone had written a new piece of music celebrating the Bill of Rights. Scalia politely indicated he would rather be water boarded.
Anyway, it came time to sit down for lunch. Through clever maneuvering Sarah was seated on the corner, one place away from Scalia. The lunch proceeded about halfway through with a variety of conversational gambits, none really catching fire. Then there was a pause and Sarah took her chance:"My husband is a public defender. He wanted me to thank you for Crawford v. Washington". Well, that got his attention. They talked about the case a little bit. Sarah said how impressed she was by a reference he made in the text to Star Chamber Assemblies. Scalia told her "My clerks put in a lot of that stuff". Then he added: It's true, I really should be a centerfold pinup for the criminal bar. His final word on the subject was: The worst part of my job is that I have to do favors for groups of people I can't stand, like criminal defense lawyers!
Sarah then went to the real reason for attending the lunch. She proceeded to explain what she did for a living and proceeded to tell him about a theory popular in the world of bible translation called Dynamic Equivalence. The essence of the theory, as I understand it, is that you can not just translate a text word for word. You have to translate it in a way that will have meaning for its readers. The original intent of an author is difficult to know. The important thing is the effect the text has on its audience. Of course Scalia, the original Originalist, would have none of it. The conversation went back and forth, Sarah citing examples of how you would translate bible stories for an African villager, Scalia saying she was all wrong. You could explain things in the footnotes. He didn't agree, but he did find the subject interesting, particularly since it touched on religion. By now everyone else in the room was just listening. The argument ended in a friendly draw and the conversation moved on to a number of other subjects, in particular, there was a discussion of a mutual love of vacationing at the South Carolina shore. He knew Pawleys Island well.
When it came time for the lunch to end Scalia invited Sarah to walk out with him to his waiting limo. When they reached the car he threw his arms around her and gave her an enormous hug.
The other night when I was going over the story with Sarah so I could tell it here, she suddenly paused and asked me "Why aren't they like that anymore?"
I really don't know.

55 replies, 4200 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 55 replies Author Time Post
Reply My wife's encounter with Justice Scalia (Original post)
Tomconroy May 1 OP
Skittles May 1 #1
blm May 1 #6
yardwork May 1 #21
pnwmom May 1 #24
Skittles May 1 #31
smirkymonkey Sunday #44
LakeArenal May 1 #2
Mr.Bill May 1 #10
LakeArenal May 1 #18
Skittles May 1 #33
OhioChick May 1 #34
Treefrog Sunday #48
Javaman May 1 #40
LisaM May 1 #3
jaxexpat May 1 #14
zaj May 1 #15
ShazzieB May 1 #22
Salviati May 1 #38
dansolo Monday #55
I_UndergroundPanther May 1 #30
blm May 1 #4
elleng May 1 #5
magicarpet May 1 #7
elleng May 1 #8
ShazzieB May 1 #26
pnwmom May 1 #27
FakeNoose May 1 #9
Girard442 May 1 #11
Mysterian May 1 #12
Joinfortmill May 1 #13
Pepsidog May 1 #16
Hortensis May 1 #17
iluvtennis May 1 #19
Liberal In Texas May 1 #20
calimary May 1 #29
yardwork May 1 #23
reACTIONary May 1 #25
pnwmom May 1 #28
Ponietz May 1 #32
zentrum May 1 #35
GulfCoast66 May 1 #36
Skittles May 1 #37
JudyM Sunday #53
Skittles Monday #54
Warpy May 1 #39
1cheapbeemr May 1 #41
JHB May 1 #42
UTUSN Sunday #43
burrowowl Sunday #45
alphafemale Sunday #46
MustLoveBeagles Sunday #47
nuxvomica Sunday #49
dlk Sunday #50
Retired Engineer Bob Sunday #51
Pepsidog Sunday #52

Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sat May 1, 2021, 08:26 PM

1. the idea of getting a hug from Scalia makes me feel sick

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Skittles (Reply #1)

Sat May 1, 2021, 08:38 PM

6. ✔️

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Skittles (Reply #1)

Sat May 1, 2021, 10:31 PM

21. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was good friends with Scalia.

It's a mystery to me, but there it is.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Skittles (Reply #1)

Sat May 1, 2021, 10:37 PM

24. And yet, it was well known that he and Ruth Bader Ginsburg were good friends.

This story helps explain that.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to pnwmom (Reply #24)

Sat May 1, 2021, 10:54 PM

31. I honestly don't care

that man was fucking VILE

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to pnwmom (Reply #24)

Sun May 2, 2021, 12:39 AM

44. They bonded on the subject of opera.

Other than that, they had very little in common.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sat May 1, 2021, 08:33 PM

2. Different time different context.

I watched Kimmelís interview with W and Bushiest was funny and warm. Self-deprecating. Fun even. 🤷🏼‍♀️

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LakeArenal (Reply #2)

Sat May 1, 2021, 09:15 PM

10. So he's drinking again? n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Mr.Bill (Reply #10)

Sat May 1, 2021, 09:59 PM

18. Thought he was sharp as a tack.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LakeArenal (Reply #18)

Sat May 1, 2021, 11:10 PM

33. the man is and always will be a warmongering piece of SHIT

people still die every day because of him

FUCK his "wit"

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Skittles (Reply #33)

Sat May 1, 2021, 11:14 PM

34. I agree completely....

He took us into two wars, is responsible for many deaths and I find nothing warm or witty about the man.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Skittles (Reply #33)

Sun May 2, 2021, 02:42 AM

48. This.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LakeArenal (Reply #2)

Sat May 1, 2021, 11:33 PM

40. Just a jolly ol' war criminal. Fuck that piece of shit

And his 6th grade level art

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sat May 1, 2021, 08:37 PM

3. The larger question is, why do they turn it on and off?

How can someone who can seem so genial and nuanced in private life write such life-changing and cruel opinions from the bench?

This new iteration of George Bush is striking me in the same way. I don't personally think the Bush family are racist or anti-gay, yet they were willing to suppress the Black vote in Florida in 2000 and use gay marriage bas a wedge issue in Ohio in 2004 in order to win.

It's hypocritical to let your public role override your moral compass.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LisaM (Reply #3)

Sat May 1, 2021, 09:37 PM

14. The answer to any question about "conservative" motives is expedience.

The shortest distance between two points, or two hiding places. It's always a straight line. Right through whatever's in the way.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LisaM (Reply #3)

Sat May 1, 2021, 09:42 PM

15. Watch this short video...

&feature=emb_title

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to zaj (Reply #15)

Sat May 1, 2021, 10:34 PM

22. That was fascinating!

This is very consistent wih my personal observations. It also explains a lot about libertarians, and where their "every person for him/her/their self" comes from.

And the bit about liberals basing their morals on fairness and whether something harms others? That's me, all right.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ShazzieB (Reply #22)

Sat May 1, 2021, 11:21 PM

38. Sounds like a good framework...

... except in the modern era I do not believe that so called conservatives, at least ones that identify as republicans, care about either harm to others or fairness. They may have in the past, but no longer. The ones that do care about those facets at all have been driven out of the party.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Salviati (Reply #38)

Mon May 3, 2021, 06:52 AM

55. Republicans in the past cared about fairness only for people like them

Republicans today only care about themselves, or other people who may be able to help them.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LisaM (Reply #3)

Sat May 1, 2021, 10:51 PM

30. Sociopaths

Can turn thier empathy off and on. They might choose to have empathy for thier mother but for the rest of the world..seething hate for example.

They turn empathy on and off like a faucet.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sat May 1, 2021, 08:37 PM

4. Nice story.

BTW.....Vacationed many times at Pawleys Island.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sat May 1, 2021, 08:38 PM

5. Thanks!

I met him to, returning into Chicago from O'Hare, looking for taxi, this many years ago, I was not a public defender (yet,) so we chatted in cab where 1 or 2 others joined us.

Chatted about ??? and he asked for my resume; I sent it, and never heard back.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sat May 1, 2021, 08:48 PM

7. I threw up in my lap,... At the thought of a bear hug from black robe white hood big phoney bologna

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sat May 1, 2021, 08:57 PM

8. Thanks again, and it might be a good idea of folks would recall the lengthy and warm relationship

between Justice Scalia and Justice Ginsburg.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to elleng (Reply #8)

Sat May 1, 2021, 10:38 PM

26. Right. As much as I hate, loathe, and deplore some of his SCOTUS decisions

I know he MUST have had some good in him. RBG obviously knew something the rest of us didn't.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to elleng (Reply #8)

Sat May 1, 2021, 10:38 PM

27. That was my immediate thought, too. Now I can better understand their friendship. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sat May 1, 2021, 09:00 PM

9. Scalia was also on friendliest terms with RBG

Go figure! Scalia and RBG were political opposites for most of their professional lives. And yet they were friendly and cordial to the point that occasionally the families vacationed together.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sat May 1, 2021, 09:19 PM

11. I think it's a manifestation of sociopathy.

If I can get what I want by being warm and charming on Tuesday and then tossing kittens into a woodchipper on Thursday -- why not?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sat May 1, 2021, 09:20 PM

12. Scalia was a piece of human garbage

If there's a hell, he's burning in it. An intelligent person who chose the path of service to fascism. Scalia hated democracy and did his utmost to destroy it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sat May 1, 2021, 09:37 PM

13. Thank you, a fascinating story.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sat May 1, 2021, 09:47 PM

16. She trapped the asshole. Good story.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sat May 1, 2021, 09:50 PM

17. Thanks for the story, and what a great event. The subject discussed

is interesting. I hadn't heard of dynamic equivalence, but it seems obvious that it should be considered regardless of what else is.

We all contain multitudes, though often very different ones for sure. Scalia had many admirers who saw things to admire, and certainly there was much to admire, and even like. I'm also hoping that what he was up to in his later years, as seditionist plotting hardened among many he associated with, comes out before I die.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sat May 1, 2021, 10:15 PM

19. Thanks for your post - love this sotry. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sat May 1, 2021, 10:20 PM

20. A very interesting tale.

There are many people on this site I would love to sit down and have a few cocktails with.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Liberal In Texas (Reply #20)

Sat May 1, 2021, 10:40 PM

29. Welcome to DU, Tomconroy!

Agreed on Liberal In Texas's point (up to a point, of course). If I'd sat down for cocktails with the likes of Scalia I'd have been sorely tempted to throw my drink in his face. Always struck me as a pompous ass.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sat May 1, 2021, 10:34 PM

23. My family vacationed at Pawleys Island when I was a child.

Wonderful memories. And thanks for this post!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sat May 1, 2021, 10:37 PM

25. +100 k&r

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sat May 1, 2021, 10:39 PM

28. What a story. Welcome to DU, Tomconroy! n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sat May 1, 2021, 10:59 PM

32. Hats off from another (retired) PD

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sat May 1, 2021, 11:15 PM

35. Spare me Scalia, Please

Hideous man who really hurt the country.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sat May 1, 2021, 11:19 PM

36. Ruth Bater Ginsburg, probably the greatest justice of my lifetime was fast friends with him.

Even travelled with him in their later years.

I think they respected each otherís consistency. They had different views personally what the constitution meant, but both would stick to that meaning even if it pissed of their supposed Ďsideí. We liberals hater Heller, but conservatives hate it more. Scalia believed that every law abiding Americans had the right to own a firearm. Which. BTW, the Democratic platform totally agrees with. But Scalia also noted that reasonable restrictions are constitutional. Which the Democratic platform agree with. Republicans hate that.

If RBG, who actually knew the guy well did not hate him, how can I? Because if I choose to, Iím insulting her memory

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to GulfCoast66 (Reply #36)

Sat May 1, 2021, 11:20 PM

37. who CARES what RBG thought of him

the man was VILE - a SICKENING piece of trash who really hurt America

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Skittles (Reply #37)

Sun May 2, 2021, 08:16 PM

53. He was hateful and flouted conflict of interest principles, regardless of RBG's acceptance.

Those are inherently unethical when they come into play on the bench. She may have had shared interests with him but they didnít share these core moral values. Ironically, they each pushed the limits on what was possible under the law. Piss on him.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JudyM (Reply #53)

Mon May 3, 2021, 12:22 AM

54. THANK YOU

you get it

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sat May 1, 2021, 11:31 PM

39. Scalia was a mixed bag in a lot of ways

There are times I think he's the last GOP nominee on the bench who wasn't either unqualified or a complete lunatic (or both). I disagreed with him on most of his opinions, but didn't think they disqualified him from the bench. I did think he was showing some pretty clear signs of decline during his last year and a half.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tomconroy (Original post)


Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sat May 1, 2021, 11:36 PM

42. I think the "why" of it is the era he had to operate in

Scalia was born in 1936, went to college & law school in the 50s, began his career in the early 60s. He would have wrecked his career if he was unable to find some areas of agreement and engagement with people having considerably different viewpoints. At least, enough to be socially gracious at these sorts of events.

Conservative grievance culture was still in its formative stages. They like carrying their chips on their shoulders, but the chips didn't blind them to (at least some) other things.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sun May 2, 2021, 12:34 AM

43. "like that anymore" - um, like what?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sun May 2, 2021, 01:17 AM

45. Interesting story.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sun May 2, 2021, 01:35 AM

46. Welcome to DU

Interesting read

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sun May 2, 2021, 01:49 AM

47. Welcome to DU



Thank you for posting this. I found it interesting.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sun May 2, 2021, 07:53 AM

49. Did she still have her wallet after the hug?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sun May 2, 2021, 10:23 AM

50. Interesting story

Some who are intellectually brilliant, have a true need to exchange ideas with others on their same level, whether or not their core beliefs are the same.Your wife sounds like an incredible woman and I can only imagine the interesting conversations at your house. Thanks for sharing.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sun May 2, 2021, 12:33 PM

51. Great story

While I disagree on their principles, I can get reasonable and thoughtful conservatives. I used to read William Safireís column on occasion. Trumphumpers on the other hand...

&t=23s

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sun May 2, 2021, 07:03 PM

52. Great story. As a defense attorney myself I use Crawford daily. Tried to engage my

4 adult educated kids, one works for Medtronic, one 4th year med student, one in nursing school, and one works for a publishing house and I couldnít get any of them engaged. I thought your post shows a good example of arguing against the originalist reading of the constitution. Maybe itís me or just my household but they could care less. I told them itís their generation that is to be greatly affected by the imbalance of SCOTUS. My kids went to great k-6th public schools and all Catholic High School expensive HS that was 95% Republican. But my kids grew up with me forcing them to watch Keith Olbermann on MSNBC Special Comments during ďWĒ presidency, so one could say that they were brainwashed by me to be progressives. But they really donít care which is scary. I figure my oldest son who is going to be an orthopedic surgeon will turn to the right because of taxes and tort reform. I know there are many young people who are active progressives but my biggest fear is lack of a basic understanding of how government works or history. When I went to school in the 70ís and 80ís we learned history and civics. Today Iím not so sure how many students really understand how government works. History we once took for granted isnít being taught. Moreover, amount of knowledge available to learn and teach is so vast now itís hard to know what a basic curriculum should look like beyond learning to read, math skills, and internet. My niece teaches 7th graders and said she doesnít teach subjects, teachers teach students how to find the material online. Sorry for the wandering rant from a frustrated Dad.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread