Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the intellectual cornerstone of the court’s modern conservative wing, whose elegant and acidic opinions inspired a movement of legal thinkers and ignited liberal critics, died Feb. 13 on a ranch near Marfa, Texas. He was 79.
When Scalia joined the court, in 1986, the leading school of constitutional interpretation was the “living Constitution”—the claim that the meaning of the document evolves with changes in American society. Scalia brought with him the concept of “originalism”—that the Constitution should be interpreted as its eighteenth-century framers understood it. In practical terms, originalism gives constitutional sanction to conservative politics.
Justice Scalia played a big role in the world of antitrust. In the Trinko case, Justice Antonin Scalia openly questioned the role of antitrust in enforcing sharing obligations by putative monopolists that have invested in “an infrastructure that renders them uniquely suited to serve their customers.”
President Obama, who will have the opportunity to nominate Scalia’s successor, offered his sympathies to the justice’s family on Saturday night. “He will no doubt be remembered as one of the most consequential judges to serve on the Supreme Court,” he said.
Full content: The New Yorker
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