The biography of an American authoritarian

I will be brief. This book is not Law and the Inner Self by Prof. White, nor is it the damming polemic rejoinder to Prof. White's book, that is Law without Values by Prof.Alschuler.
Here we have a long piece of reportage, simply put. It does not pretend to be a literary biography, it could not meet that standard. Ms. Biskupic is a reporter and functions in that capacity quite well, although she sometimes stumbles maladroitly into the role of enthusiast, while not wholly partisan, which puts any notion of objectivity in a kind of unwelcome comic relief. Such locutions as 'he nailed it' seem out of place. I think she is good at describing the arguments in cases before the court, that does not betray sympathy to either side, which adds value to this book, in fact that could be considered the book's strongest point. That was what I was looking for.
Justice Scalia is an authoritarian, Ms. Biskupic's biography makes utterly clear that he fits that political/psychological profile. His fealty to Executive Privilege dates back to the Nixon/Ford era. But Justice Scalia is not content to lecture from the bench his errant colleagues, in withering but shopworn sarcasm, he uses his many appearances and his long association with The Federalist Society, to promote the Originalism/Textualism canard. Originalism/Textualism i.e .Jim Crow Nostalgia fits quite handily in to one of the founding myths of Reaganism, white victim-hood. Justice Scalia is also skilled at exploiting another Conservative myth: the malfeasance, mendacity of the Warren Court: it is his raison d'etre, his stock and trade.
Political Observer

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.'
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