Stephen Colbert “Salutes” Antonin Scalia

I always knew Scalia was a polarizing figure, but the hatred toward the man that I have been seeing on social media this week has been disheartening.  These comments seem to go beyond just ideological difference.

As a historian, I want my students to understand the “original intent” of the United States Constitution.  But I also want them to see that the document is a product of the late-18th century.  In other words, it is a product of a very different world than the one we live in today.  So I have always been somewhat suspect of the kind of originalist interpretations that Scalia espoused.

But I digress…

I am enjoying some of the stories of Scalia’s humanity being passed along by those who disagreed with him.  For example, check out David Axelrod’s story about a conversation with Scalia concerning current Supreme Court justice Elena Kagan.

And now Stephen Colbert has entered the mix:

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