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These are the best parts of New York magazine's Antonin Scalia interview

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In addition to this bit pointed out by Meredith, we went ahead and pulled a few more highlights from Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's Q&A with New York magazine.

On what Scalia, 77, would change about in the Constitution: "The one provision that I would amend is the amendment provision. And that was not originally a flaw. But the country has changed so much. With the divergence in size between California and Rhode Island—I figured it out once, I think if you picked the smallest number necessary for a majority in the least populous states, something like less than 2 percent of the population can prevent a constitutional amendment. But other than that, some things have not worked out the way the framers anticipated. But that’s been the fault of the courts, not the fault of the draftsmen."

Why he doesn't go to the State of the Union addresses anymore: "It's childish. ... [I]t is a childish spectacle. And we are trucked in just to give some dignity to the occasion. I mean, there are all these punch lines, and one side jumps up—­Hooray! And they all cheer, and then another punch line, and the others stand up, Hooray! It is juvenile! And we have to sit there like bumps on a log. We can clap if somebody says, 'The United States is the greatest country in the world.' Yay! But anything else, we have to look to the chief justice. Gee, is the chief gonna clap? It didn’t used to be that bad."

Scalia blames Ronald Reagan for the now-"childish" SOTU addresses... "The Gipper may have been the one who started it. He’s the one who brought in people he would recognize in the audience, and things of that sort—made it a television spectacle. And once it becomes a television spectacle, it’s nothing serious. Of course, the press has the whole thing, and they’re up in the gallery—you can hear them turning pages as the president is speaking. Why doesn’t he just print it out and send it over?"

He uses the internet but doesn't understand Facebook: "I’m nervous about our civic culture. I’m not sure the Internet is largely the cause of it. It’s certainly the cause of careless writing. People who get used to blurbing things on the Internet are never going to be good writers. And some things I don’t understand about it. For example, I don’t know why anyone would like to be “friended” on the network. I mean, what kind of a narcissistic society is it that ­people want to put out there, This is my life, and this is what I did yesterday? I mean … good grief. Doesn’t that strike you as strange? I think it’s strange."

He's disappointed in movies and TV: "One of the things that upsets me about modern society is the coarseness of manners. You can’t go to a movie—or watch a television show for that matter—without hearing the constant use of the F-word—including, you know, ladies using it. People that I know don’t talk like that! But if you portray it a lot, the society’s going to become that way. It’s very sad. And you can’t have a movie or a television show without a nude sex scene, very often having no relation to the plot. I don’t mind it when it is essential to the plot, as it sometimes is. But, my goodness! The society that watches that becomes a coarse society."

Scalia, a Catholic, likes Pope Francis: "He’s the Vicar of Christ. He’s the chief. I don’t run down the pope."

He thinks he probably has gay friends:  "I have friends that I know, or very much suspect, are homosexual. Everybody does. (He later added that none of them have ever outright told him they're gay.)

He doesn't care about his legacy: "I don’t know either. And, frankly, I don’t care. Maybe the world is spinning toward a wider acceptance of homosexual rights, and here’s Scalia, standing athwart it. At least standing athwart it as a constitutional entitlement. But I have never been custodian of my legacy. When I’m dead and gone, I’ll either be sublimely happy or terribly unhappy.

Scalia thinks Satan is sneaky: "You know, it is curious. In the Gospels, the Devil is doing all sorts of things. He’s making pigs run off cliffs, he’s possessing people and whatnot. And that doesn’t happen very much anymore. ... It’s because he’s smart. What he’s doing now is getting people not to believe in him or in God. He’s much more successful that way."

He watched one episode of "Duck Dynasty": "I watched one episode of—what is it? Duck Dynasty? I don’t watch it regularly, but I’m a hunter. I use duck calls. … So many people said 'Oh, it’s a great show' that I thought I’d better look at it.

Scalia is sad about the atmosphere in Washington: "It’s a nasty time. It’s a nasty time. When I was first in Washington, and even in my early years on this Court, I used to go to a lot of dinner parties at which there were people from both sides. Democrats, Republicans. [Former Washington Post publisher] Katharine Graham used to have dinner parties that really were quite representative of Washington. It doesn’t happen anymore."

He doesn't know when he'll step down fromt he bench: "One will be that I won’t enjoy it as much as I do. I think that’s the beginning of the end. I was worried lately about the fact that the job seems easier. That I really don’t have to put in the excessively long hours that I used to. I still work hard. But it does seem easier than it used to. And that worried me. You know: Maybe I’m getting lazy. You know, I’m not doing it as thoroughly, or whatever. But after due reflection, I’ve decided the reason it’s getting easier is because so many of the cases that come before us present the issue of whether we should extend one of the opinions from the previous 27 years that I’ve been here, which I dissented from in the first place!"


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