Justice Antonin Scalia and the Conservative Revival
As the leading legal voice of the American conservative movement, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has challenged the assumptions and legal ... Show synopsis As the leading legal voice of the American conservative movement, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has challenged the assumptions and legal methodology of American liberals. In this thorough and exacting study of the development of Justice Scalia's legal principles, political scientist Richard Brisbin explores the foundation and elaboration of the justice's conservative political vision. Scalia's jurisprudence, Brisbin contends, values order and stability over pragmatism and experiment, relying on a majoritarian view rather than on any nucleus of founding principles embedded in the American constitution. After reviewing Scalia's legal experiences before joining the Supreme Court and describing the influences on his political and legal thought, Brisbin undertakes a detailed analysis of Scalia's Supreme Court voting record and opinions. The conservative philosophy emerging from Scalia's legal decisions, Brisbin argues, assumes the legitimacy and propriety of political regimes functioning under the rule of law. It disciplines - sometimes harshly - inappropriate uses of liberty and accepts the proposition that the law can serve as an effective means to structure, interpret, and control political conflicts. Brisbin concludes that the language of Scalia's legal opinions reinforces a politics of inequality.