Justice Antonin Scalia and the Supreme Court's Conservative Moment

By Christopher E. Smith | Go to book overview

ever, the Court's composition had changed to give judicial conservatives numerical dominance, yet the counterrevolution desired by Presidents Reagan and Bush and their supporters did not occur when the moment of opportunity presented itself.

The central argument of this book is that Justice Scalia, the creative, brilliant, and outspoken intellectual leader of the Court's conservative majority, made a pivotal contribution to the failure of the judicial counterrevolution that he so fervently sought to achieve. As subsequent chapters will explain, Scalia's philosophy, behavior, and style made him an ineffective coalition builder within the political decision- making processes of a collegial court in which it takes five votes to establish a new precedent. Within the dynamic mixture of the Rehnquist Court justices' personalities and decision-making processes, Scalia shared with his conservative colleagues similar assessments about case outcomes. However, his strident efforts to push for those outcomes also served to push some of his erstwhile allies toward a moderate stance on key issues that was neither entirely predictable from their judicial philosophies nor consistent with their conservative decisions in other cases.


NOTES
1.
Scott P. Johnson and Christopher E. Smith, "David Souter's First Term on the Supreme Court: The Impact of a New Justice," Judicature 75 ( 1992): 239.
2.
Linda Greenhouse, "An Activist's Legacy," New York Times, 22 July 1990, pp. 1, 22.
3.
Tony Mauro, "High Court Adjourns for the Summer Intact," Legal Times, 9 July 1990, p. 10.
4.
"An Antidote to Antonin," Newsweek, 29 March 1993, p. 23.
5.
David Kaplan and Bob Cohn, "The Court's Mr. Right," Newsweek, 5 November 1990, p. 67.
6.
John W. Kingdon, Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies ( Boston: Little, Brown, 1984), p. 174.

-20-

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Justice Antonin Scalia and the Supreme Court's Conservative Moment
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • 1 - The Supreme Court's Conservative Moment 1
  • Notes 20
  • 2 - Justice Antonin Scalia 25
  • Conclusion 50
  • Notes 51
  • 3 - Justice Scalia's Judicial Behavior 55
  • Notes 73
  • 4 - Justice Scalia and the Failure of the Conservative Agenda 77
  • Notes 115
  • 5 - The Influence of the Individual Justice 121
  • Notes 134
  • Select Bibliography 137
  • Index 139
  • About the Author 148
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