Thursday, October 3, 2013

One Outta Nine

Antonin Scalia takes the podium wearing a grey suit, a funny look for a man expected to be seen in black robes. The suit gives him an unfamiliar appearance of normality, as though he is a journalist, or a sports coach, or perhaps a visiting professor. He smiles on the stage set up for him in Tufts' gymnasium complex, and begins by complementing Tufts on its campus; he had never been here before, he admits. His pleasant tone and comfortable disposition begin to dissolve the tension in the room. Yes, this man is a conservative Supreme Court justice coming to speak to a largely liberal, activist student population. But he isn't here to fight; he's here to lecture. And his lecture comes in stories and jokes, asides and imitations, the type of performance one expects of a grandfather in a living room. And, like a grandfather, this man has some orthodox ideas, but, even if you didn't agree with him, you can't help but like him.

Photo shamelessly stolen from Josh Reynolds