Rick Hasen: How Antonin Scalia was the Donald Trump of the Supreme Court


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Mar 30 2018 35 mins  
Perhaps this is how the Framers wanted it, but has there ever been a time where more issues with the potential to more deeply divide us – has there ever been a time where more of them seemed so likely to head to the same place: The U.S. Supreme Court?I’m talking about the 2nd Amendment, and the inevitable gun rights issues surely to come out of the growing #enoughisenough movement. I’m talking about gerrymandering, the crazy geographical games that determine who sits in our state legislatures and Congress – that’s already in front of the Justices. And, lurking there in the distance, the potential biggest of them all: Can a sitting President be indicted?And yet, more and more, the U.S. Supreme Court feels less like a beacon of neutrality and more like yet another politicized branch of the U.S. government.How’d we get here? As you’ll hear in my conversation with Rick Hasen, the person we might want to thank for that isn’t even here anymore: Antonin Scalia.Rick Hasen is the Chancellor's Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California, Irvine. He also runs the Election Law Blog. His latest book is: “The Justice of Contradictions: Antonin Scalia and the Politics of Disruption.”Hasen presents a new view of Scalia – not a political one – but a critical one, looking at how this strict originalist – this justice who argued that the Constitution’s meaning can be found through the original words – may not always have practiced what he preached.More directly: Hasen also argues, as you’ll hear, that Scalia was the Donald Trump – or the Newt Gingrich – of the Court. He was the ultimate disrupter, and much of the politicization the Court faces today traces directly to Scalia himself.