Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia does not believe rocket launchers are covered by the Second Amendment. This revelation was one of many that students and other outside guests learned during a Federalist Society-hosted lecture and book signing that took place in Hart Auditorium on Tuesday, November 20.
While the event was presented by the national Federalist Society organization, members of Georgetown Law’s student chapter helped promote and coordinate the event. The event began with a reception, hosted by the Federalist Society. Dean William Treanor opened the event, introducing Justice Scalia and the Justice’s new book “Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts,” coauthored with Bryan A. Garner.
Scalia spoke about his new book, as well as his philosophy on constitutional law in general. After the Justice spoke time was allotted for questions from the audience. The event was one of many stops on Scalia’s book tour, but the first at a law school. “I told you these questions were going to be new.” Noted Leonard Leo, Executive Vice President of the Federalist Society. “No one is asking about your favorite opera or your favorite pasta here . ”
Instead, law students asked questions including a query regarding the Justice’s preference for bright line rules versus balancing tests. In response, Justice Scalia answered, “My court has used the totality of the circumstances test. That’s not a test. That’s a non-test.”
The Justice also spoke about key decisions of the past, including the controversial Roe v. Wade case, on which he commented “even the people who like the result have acknowledged recently anyway that the reasoning was very, very vague.”
While the Justice did not speak specifically about political issues, he did discuss his philosophy on the role of the Court and his views on textualism and interpretation. As for his colleagues on the Court, Justice Scalia revealed, “I have not discussed law on any profound level with my colleagues in 27 years. They have their own philosophies, I have mine. My hope is for the next generation. That’s what books are for!”
The Georgetown Law chapter of the Federalist Society has hosted a number of events this semester, including a lecture and panel on the topic of French and American perspectives on the burqa and a debate on the recent ACA challenge, hosted last Wednesday, Nov. 28. The Federalist Society is a national organization whose purpose is dedicated to upholding primarily conservative and libertarian values regarding strict textualist or originalist interpretations of the U.S. Constitution .