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Scalia vs. Obama administration?

Justice Antonin G. Scalia is the U.S. Supreme Court most senior associate justice. But some say that during oral arguments he often assumes another role: chief antagonist to the Obama Administration.

When Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. or other attorneys from the Justice Department argue the federal government’s position at the Court, critics say, Scalia can usually be counted on to fire sharp questions. After the proffered answers are given, Scalia often dismisses them with one of his favorite expressions: “extraordinary!”

“His questions have been increasingly confrontational,” said Charles Fried, a Harvard Law School professor and former Reagan-era solicitor general told Bloomberg’s Greg Stohr.

Scalia’s opposition to the Obama Administration was particularly apparent during the recent marathon oral arguments in the health care case, some observers told Stohr.

“Someone who had just tuned into the health-care argument might get the impression that the court is a much more partisan institution than it actually is,” said David Strauss, a constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago Law School.

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