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Home / Antonin Scalia / Scalia gently jabs Posner in talk on history, the Constitution and public perception (access required)

Scalia gently jabs Posner in talk on history, the Constitution and public perception (access required)

Justice Antonin G. Scalia has thrown sharp barbs at 7th Circuit Judge Richard Posner in their ongoing public spat about the role of history in legal interpretation. But last week he took a softer approach in mocking the now infamous review Posner wrote of Scalia’s latest book.

As you recall, Posner questioned the wisdom of basing legal interpretations on merely text and history in his critical review in The New Republic of the book “Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts,” which Scalia authored with Bryan Garner. The review has led to some public bickering – via media outlets – between the esteemed jurists. In one interview, Scalia went so far as to say Posner lied in asserting that Scalia relied on legislative history in his opinion in the Second Amendment case DC v. Heller. Posner responded with a two-page letter to Reuters defending his claim.

But at event last week in Washington  hosted by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, Scalia took a more gentle approach in keeping the public feud going.

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