Justice Scalia's son: Washington can learn from dad's 'rich friendship' with RBG

Eugene Scalia, the eldest of the late Justice Antonin Scalia's nine children, believes that Washington could...

Posted: Aug 24, 2018 10:49 AM
Updated: Aug 24, 2018 10:49 AM

Eugene Scalia, the eldest of the late Justice Antonin Scalia's nine children, believes that Washington could learn something from his father and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's famous, decades-long friendship.

"Whenever you have two such important, accomplished people who have a rich friendship like that, there's something to be learned from it," Scalia told CNN's Poppy Harlow and Jeffrey Toobin in the fourth episode of CNN's new podcast series "RBG: Beyond Notorious" -- which was released this week.

Antonin Scalia

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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US Supreme Court

"Their ability to engage on ideas and yet respect one another's abilities and maintain a friendship is an instructive lesson," Scalia added. "And I think they would both heartily agree that we want to have people on two sides of an issue to explain what the right answer is."

The younger Scalia, a prominent Washington lawyer who served in President George W. Bush's administration, noted that the Supreme Court is known for its collegiality, as compared to other branches of government where partisan bickering has become the standard.

His father and Ginsburg first encountered one another in academic circles in the 1970s. By 1982, they were both serving on the DC Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals. By 1993, they were both sitting on the bench of the Supreme Court of the United States.

While on the Supreme Court, the justices took turns delivering scathing dissents on one another's opinions -- but off the bench they shared a New Year's Eve dinner tradition, traveled internationally, and bonded over a mutual love of music, Scalia told Harlow and Toobin.

"It was heartening to me to see my father with a colleague he obviously had so much fun being around and speaking with," Scalia said.

Scalia described dinner parties at the Ginsburg's Watergate apartment, where Marty Ginsburg -- Justice Ginsburg's late husband, and a "wonderful cook" -- would prepare meat hunted by his late father.

When Justice Scalia died in 2015, Ginsburg spoke at his funeral, calling the high court a "paler place" without him and emphasizing that he was skilled in the art of separating ideological disagreements from his interpersonal relationships.

Scalia also said he believed his father sharpened his own ideas by listening to Ginsburg's approach on a number of issues.

"My father would seldom shy away from disagreeing, but nor would she," Scalia said. "If you couldn't give him a good argument, he might think less of you."

Ginsburg and Scalia also shared an interest in the law and enjoyed discussing it, he said. They weren't friends despite their divergent interpretations of the Constitution, Scalia told Toobin and Harlow. "They were friends, in part, because of it," he said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 314509

Reported Deaths: 7247
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21626259
Hinds20359415
Harrison17934309
Rankin13634278
Jackson13447246
Madison10099217
Lee9980174
Jones8381163
Forrest7683152
Lauderdale7191241
Lowndes6401147
Lamar623086
Lafayette6200118
Washington5339134
Bolivar4802132
Oktibbeha462798
Panola4588107
Pearl River4512146
Marshall4443103
Warren4393121
Pontotoc420772
Monroe4113133
Union411076
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3968110
Hancock379386
Leflore3497125
Sunflower336090
Tate334084
Pike3325105
Scott315973
Alcorn313368
Yazoo311669
Itawamba300477
Copiah297065
Coahoma295479
Simpson295288
Tippah288768
Adams286882
Prentiss279760
Marion269280
Leake268373
Wayne262641
Grenada261487
Covington259681
George248048
Newton246861
Winston227281
Tishomingo226967
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw207857
Holmes189173
Clay185454
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178841
Clarke178080
Calhoun170832
Yalobusha164338
Smith162434
Walthall133945
Greene130633
Lawrence128624
Montgomery126942
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton99525
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83823
Quitman80916
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67331
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 532895

Reported Deaths: 11001
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson771431528
Mobile41089808
Madison34837505
Tuscaloosa25810454
Montgomery24355588
Shelby23730249
Baldwin21191309
Lee15892171
Calhoun14522316
Morgan14324279
Etowah13861353
Marshall12250223
Houston10581281
Elmore10060205
Limestone9986151
Cullman9705194
St. Clair9702243
Lauderdale9441242
DeKalb8846187
Talladega8255176
Walker7246277
Autauga6938108
Jackson6815112
Blount6694137
Colbert6310134
Coffee5524119
Dale4850111
Russell443238
Chilton4308112
Franklin426282
Covington4136118
Tallapoosa4039152
Escambia393977
Chambers3578123
Dallas3557152
Clarke351161
Marion3130101
Pike311377
Lawrence300798
Winston275673
Bibb261564
Geneva251477
Marengo249664
Pickens234761
Barbour231756
Hale223277
Butler216469
Fayette212562
Henry189044
Cherokee184745
Randolph181742
Monroe178040
Washington167639
Macon159950
Clay156857
Crenshaw152757
Cleburne149141
Lamar142935
Lowndes139053
Wilcox127130
Bullock122841
Conecuh110629
Coosa107928
Perry107826
Sumter104832
Greene92534
Choctaw61124
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