This Christmas, I was pleased enough to find a copy of Scalia Speaks under the tree. I was very excited to read this book, and quite honestly it exceeded all of my expectations. This book is a fantastic testament to the legacy that Antonin Scalia leaves behind. It is a great read for a variety of different people for different reasons. As a disclaimer, I would highly recommend approaching this book with a pen in hand. I found myself wanting to underline so many quotes as I was reading this book. I am sincerely glad that I took the time to do it.

The book consists of some of Antonin Scalia’s best speeches. They are compiled by one of his nine children, Christopher Scalia (who attended my alma matter, UW-Madison) and one of his formal law clerks, Edward Whelan. The book also includes a forward by Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her words gave extremely compelling background of Justice Scalia as a person as well as a Justice. His speeches are organized into different sections based upon the subject matter and include the context in which they were given.  

One of my favorite sections of the book was the section in which his speeches discussed faith. His speeches about the Catholic faith were deeply intriguing. It raised many thoughts for me to consider in my own journey with faith. One quote that struck me in particular was “In everything he performs, from baseball to government, the Christian is supposed to put on the mind of Christ, which includes a concern for all his fellow men.” Even for someone who is not Catholic, these speeches also delve into issues surrounding religious liberty and its relevance to society.

As a conservative deeply committed to the Constitution, I also deeply enjoyed Justice Scalia’s analysis of the Constitution and how we should approach judicial review. Justice Scalia is a legend in Originalist thought. His speeches on the matter revealed a great deal about his dedication to the Constitution. While advocating for originalist theory, he also made a observed that “In recent years, however, the American people seem to have become persuaded that the Constitution is not a fixed and limited text, but rather an all-purpose, shorthand embodiment of whatever they care deeply about. This sort of approach to the Constitution is incredibly dangerous. I am extremely thankful that were, and luckily still are, Justices like Scalia who were willing to interpret the law according to its original meaning.

What I like most about this book is that there is a section of great significance to so many different groups of people. Even those who are not particularly interested in law and politics can appreciate the brilliance that was Justice Scalia. He speaks in such a way that conveys deep concepts while making them easy for nearly everyone to understand. Justice Scalia’s advice about so many different aspects of life have caused me to evaluate how I approach them. This book serves as a fantastic legacy to a man who has certainly left his mark on American life and the law.

Get your copy of Scalia Speaks here.

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Alesha G
Alesha is a sophomore at UW-Madison studying Political Science, Strategic Communications, and Reporting. When she isn’t cheering for the Badgers, you can catch her studying in one of Madison’s many coffee shops. She is the Deputy Communications Director of her College Republicans Chapter. She loves Jesus, Capitalism, and Fall. She hopes to be a Dog-Mom practicing law in Washington D.C.