Scalia's legacy looms over the Amy Coney Barrett hearings

by 24USATVOct. 13, 2020, 6 a.m. 21
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It recalls one of his most memorable lines, as he took issue with a controversial standard for state aid to religious schools. He likened a decades-old rule -- criticized by justices but never overruled -- to "some ghoul in a late-night horror movie that repeatedly sits up in his grave and shuffles abroad ... frightening the little children and school attorneys."

Scalia was not a man of ambiguity. His views were black and white. Like President Ronald Reagan who appointed him to the high court in 1986, he was a defining figure who inspired legions of young conservatives who held him up as a model of judicial brilliance, including Barrett.

"I felt like I knew the justice before I ever met him, because I had read so many of his colorful, accessible opinions," Barrett, who clerked for Scalia in 1998 and 1999, told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday . "More than the style of his writing, though, it was the content of Justice Scalia's reasoning that shaped me. ... A judge must apply the law as written, not as the judge wishes it were."

At the White House on September 26, Barrett said of Scalia, "His judicial philosophy is mine too."

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