A Son’s Tribute: ‘My Father, Antonin Scalia’

Bob Daugherty/Associated Press
Bob Daugherty/Associated Press

On February 19, The Washington Post published an article by Dr. Christopher J. Scalia, the eighth of the late Justice Scalia’s nine children, entitled “My Father, Antonin Scalia.” A former professor of English who now works at a prestigious public relations firm in the Washington, D.C., area, Dr. Scalia provides a fascinating glimpse into the life of the departed legal titan.

Christopher Scalia wrote in part:

My own most vivid memories of Dad are set at the kitchen table. Someone once said to my brother, “You must have the most fascinating dinner conversations.” We always get a good laugh out of that one. It’s true that we’d often discuss law, history and politics. But Dad’s running gags ensured our kitchen would never be mistaken for a salon. Poor conversationalists got it worse than an unprepared lawyer during oral arguments: If anyone said “um,” Dad would lead a chorus of “ummmmmmms” to spotlight this oratorical shortcoming. Sometimes the umming would spiral into a rendition of “Thus Spoke Zarathustra.” (After his confirmation hearings, we were more than happy to point out that he had often said “uh” to the senators.)

Even when dinner conversation was “um”-free, it could still descend into another of Dad’s favorite pastimes: crumpling his napkin into a ball and throwing it into one of our glasses. Counterattacks were futile, equipped as he was with a narrow wine glass.

The younger Scalia recounts Christmas traditions, his father’s musical talents, favorite sports teams, and embarrassing episodes to which every family can relate. Recalling the time that he asked to skip mowing the law because he had a cross-country meet, Christopher Scalia explains, “So he did it himself—after reminding me that a Supreme Court justice probably had better things to do, too.”

Read the full article here.

Ken Klukowski is legal editor for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @kenklukowski.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.