Scalia, Antonin

Author:Jeffrey Lehman, Shirelle Phelps
 
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In 1986, Antonin Scalia was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by President RONALD REAGAN, becoming the first American of Italian descent to serve as an associate justice. Known for his conservative judicial philosophy and narrow reading of the Constitution, Scalia has repeatedly urged his colleagues on the Court to overturn ROE V. WADE, 410 U.S. 113, 93 S. Ct. 705, 35 L. Ed. 2d 147 (1973), the decision recognizing a woman's right to terminate her pregnancy under certain circumstances.

Scalia was born March 11, 1936, in Trenton, New Jersey. Before he began grade school, Scalia and his family moved to Elmhurst, New York, where he spent much of his boyhood. Scalia is the only child of Eugene Scalia, an Italian immigrant who taught romance languages at Brooklyn College for 30 years, and Catherine Scalia, a first-generation Italian-American who taught elementary school.

In 1953, Antonin Scalia graduated first in his class at St. Francis Xavier High School, a Jesuit military academy in Manhattan. Four years later, Scalia was valedictorian at Georgetown University, receiving a bachelor's degree in history. In the spring of 1960, Scalia graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School where he served as an editor for the Harvard Law Review. Known to his friends as Nino, Scalia was known to many of his classmates as an eager and able debater.

Upon graduation from law school, Scalia accepted a position as an associate attorney with a large law firm in Cleveland, Ohio, where he practiced law until 1967. He resigned to teach at the University of Virginia School of Law. In 1970, Scalia joined the Nixon Administration to serve as general counsel for the Office of Telecommunications Policy. Under President GERALD R. FORD, Scalia served as assistant attorney general for the JUSTICE DEPARTMENT, where he drafted a key presidential order establishing new restrictions on the information-gathering activities of the CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY and FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION.

In 1977, Scalia left public office to become a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C. During this same year, Scalia also returned to academia, accepting a position as law professor at the University of Chicago, where he developed a reputation as an expert in ADMINISTRATIVE LAW. In 1982, President Reagan appointed Scalia to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which many lawyers consider to be the second most powerful court in the country.

"JUDGES IN A REAL SENSE 'MAKE' LAW.? [T]HEY MAKE IT AS JUDGES MAKE IT, WHICH IS TO SAY AS THOUGH THEY WERE 'FINDING' IT?DISCERNING WHAT THE LAW IS, RATHER THAN DECREEING WHAT IT IS TODAY CHANGED TO, OR WHAT IT WILL TOMORROW BE."

?ANTONIN SCALIA

When Chief Justice WARREN BURGER retired in 1986, President Reagan elevated...

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