Best Antonin Scalia books

Scalia Speaks: Reflections on Law, Faith, and Life Well Lived

Antonin Scalia

Best price for this book: $ 19.3

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This definitive collection of beloved Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's finest speeches covers topics as varied as the law, faith, virtue, pastimes, and his heroes and friends. Featuring a foreword by longtime friend Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and an intimate introduction by his youngest son, this volume includes dozens of speeches, some deeply personal, that have never before been published. Christopher J. Scalia and the Justice's former law clerk Edward Whelan selected the speeches.

   Americans have long been inspired by Justice Scalia’s ideas, delighted by his wit, and instructed by his intelligence. He was a sought-after speaker at commencements, convocations, and events across the country. Scalia Speaks will give readers the opportunity to encounter the legendary man more fully, helping them better understand the jurisprudence that made him one of the most important justices in the Court's history and introducing them to his broader insights on faith and life.

Original Photograph: Kainaz Amaria/NPR
Cover Design: Darren Haggar

Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges

Bryan A. Garner

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In their professional lives courtroom lawyers must do these two things well: speak persuasively and write persuasively. In this noteworthy book, two of the most noted legal writers of our day Justice Antonin Scalia and Bryan A. Garner systematically present every important idea about judicial persuasion in a fresh, entertaining way. Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges is a guide for novice and experienced litigators alike. It covers the essentials of sound legal reasoning, including how to develop the syllogism that underlies any argument. From there the authors explain the art of brief-writing, especially what to include and what to omit, so that you can induce the judge to focus closely on your arguments. Finally, they show what it takes to succeed in oral argument. The opinions of Justice Scalia are legendary for their sharp insights, biting wit, and memorable phrasing. The writings of Bryan A. Garner, editor in chief of Black s Law Dictionary®, are respected inside and outside legal circles for their practical guidance on the art of writing and advocacy. Together the Scalia-Garner team has produced a fresh, innovative approach to a timeless topic.

Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts

Antonin Scalia

Best price for this book: $ 43.82

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In this groundbreaking book by best-selling authors Justice Antonin Scalia and Bryan A. Garner, all the most important principles of constitutional, statutory, and contractual interpretation are systematically explained in an engaging and informative style-including several hundred illustrations from actual cases. Never before has legal interpretation been so fascinatingly explained. Both authors are individually renowned for their scintillating prose styles, and together they make even the seemingly dry subject of legal interpretation riveting. Though intended primarily for judges and the lawyers who appear before them to argue the meaning of texts, Reading Law is sound educational reading for anyone who seeks to understand how judges decide cases-or should decide cases. The book is a superb introduction to modern judicial decision-making. Justice Scalia, with 25 years of experience on the Supreme Court, is the foremost expositor of textualism in the world today. Bryan A. Garner, as editor in chief of Black's Law Dictionary and author of Garner's Dictionary of Legal Usage, is the most renowned expert on the language of the law. Reading Law is an essential guide to anyone who wishes to prevail in a legal argument-based on a constitution, a statute, or a contract. The book is calculated to promote valid interpretations: if you have lame arguments, you'll deplore the book; if you have strong arguments, you'll exalt it. But whatever your position, you'll think about law more clearly than ever before.

A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law (The University Center for Human Values Series)

Antonin Scalia

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We are all familiar with the image of the immensely clever judge who discerns the best rule of common law for the case at hand. According to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a judge like this can maneuver through earlier cases to achieve the desired aim―"distinguishing one prior case on his left, straight-arming another one on his right, high-stepping away from another precedent about to tackle him from the rear, until (bravo!) he reaches the goal―good law." But is this common-law mindset, which is appropriate in its place, suitable also in statutory and constitutional interpretation? In a witty and trenchant essay, Justice Scalia answers this question with a resounding negative.

In exploring the neglected art of statutory interpretation, Scalia urges that judges resist the temptation to use legislative intention and legislative history. In his view, it is incompatible with democratic government to allow the meaning of a statute to be determined by what the judges think the lawgivers meant rather than by what the legislature actually promulgated. Eschewing the judicial lawmaking that is the essence of common law, judges should interpret statutes and regulations by focusing on the text itself. Scalia then extends this principle to constitutional law. He proposes that we abandon the notion of an everchanging Constitution and pay attention to the Constitution's original meaning. Although not subscribing to the “strict constructionism” that would prevent applying the Constitution to modern circumstances, Scalia emphatically rejects the idea that judges can properly “smuggle” in new rights or deny old rights by using the Due Process Clause, for instance. In fact, such judicial discretion might lead to the destruction of the Bill of Rights if a majority of the judges ever wished to reach that most undesirable of goals.

This essay is followed by four commentaries by Professors Gordon Wood, Laurence Tribe, Mary Ann Glendon, and Ronald Dworkin, who engage Justice Scalia’s ideas about judicial interpretation from varying standpoints. In the spirit of debate, Justice Scalia responds to these critics.

Featuring a new foreword that discusses Scalia’s impact, jurisprudence, and legacy, this witty and trenchant exchange illuminates the brilliance of one of the most influential legal minds of our time.

Nino and Me: My Unusual Friendship with Justice Antonin Scalia

Bryan A. Garner

Best price for this book: $ 13.12

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From legal expert and veteran author Bryan Garner comes a unique, intimate, and compelling memoir of his friendship with the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

For almost thirty years, Antonin Scalia was arguably the most influential and controversial Justice on the United States Supreme Court. His dynamic and witty writing devoted to the Constitution has influenced an entire generation of judges.

Based on his reputation for using scathing language to criticize liberal court decisions, many people presumed Scalia to be gruff and irascible. But to those who knew him as “Nino,” he was characterized by his warmth, charm, devotion, fierce intelligence, and loyalty.

Bryan Garner’s friendship with Justice Scalia was instigated by celebrated writer David Foster Wallace and strengthened over their shared love of language. Despite their differing viewpoints on everything from gun control to the use of contractions, their literary and personal relationship flourished. Justice Scalia even officiated at Garner’s wedding.

In this humorous, touching, and surprisingly action-packed memoir, Garner gives a firsthand insight into the mind, habits, and faith of one of the most famous and misunderstood judges in the world.

American Original: The Life and Constitution of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

Joan Biskupic

Best price for this book: $ 7.77

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If the U.S. Supreme Court teaches us anything, it is that almost everything is open to interpretation. Almost. But what's inarguable is that, while the Court has witnessed a succession of larger-than-life jurists in its two-hundred-plus-year history, it has never seen the likes of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Combative yet captivating, infuriating yet charming, the outspoken jurist remains a source of curiosity to observers across the political spectrum and on both sides of the ideological divide. But for all his public grandstanding, Scalia has managed to elude biographers―until now. In American Original: The Life and Constitution of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the veteran Washington journalist Joan Biskupic presents for the first time a detailed portrait of this complicated figure and provides a comprehensive narrative that will engage Scalia's adherents and critics alike. Drawing on her long tenure covering the Court and on unprecedented access to the justice, Biskupic delves into the circumstances of his rise and the formation of his rigorous approach on the bench. This book shows us the man in power: his world, his journey, and the far-reaching consequences of a transformed legal landscape.

A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law (The University Center for Human Values Series)

Antonin Scalia

Best price for this book: $ 13.97

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We are all familiar with the image of the immensely clever judge who discerns the best rule of common law for the case at hand. According to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a judge like this can maneuver through earlier cases to achieve the desired aim--"distinguishing one prior case on his left, straight-arming another one on his right, high-stepping away from another precedent about to tackle him from the rear, until (bravo!) he reaches the goal--good law." But is this common-law mindset, which is appropriate in its place, suitable also in statutory and constitutional interpretation? In a witty and trenchant essay, Justice Scalia answers this question with a resounding negative.


In exploring the neglected art of statutory interpretation, Scalia urges that judges resist the temptation to use legislative intention and legislative history. In his view, it is incompatible with democratic government to allow the meaning of a statute to be determined by what the judges think the lawgivers meant rather than by what the legislature actually promulgated. Eschewing the judicial lawmaking that is the essence of common law, judges should interpret statutes and regulations by focusing on the text itself. Scalia then extends this principle to constitutional law. He proposes that we abandon the notion of an everchanging Constitution and pay attention to the Constitution's original meaning. Although not subscribing to the "strict constructionism" that would prevent applying the Constitution to modern circumstances, Scalia emphatically rejects the idea that judges can properly "smuggle" in new rights or deny old rights by using the Due Process Clause, for instance. In fact, such judicial discretion might lead to the destruction of the Bill of Rights if a majority of the judges ever wished to reach that most undesirable of goals.


This essay is followed by four commentaries by Professors Gordon Wood, Laurence Tribe, Mary Ann Glendon, and Ronald Dworkin, who engage Justice Scalia's ideas about judicial interpretation from varying standpoints. In the spirit of debate, Justice Scalia responds to these critics.

Scalia Dissents: Writings of the Supreme Court's Wittiest, Most Outspoken Justice

Antonin Scalia

Best price for this book: $ 22.97

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Brilliant. Colorful. Visionary. Tenacious. Witty. Since his appointment to the Supreme Court in 1986, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia has been described as all of these things and for good reason. He is perhaps the best-known justice on the Supreme Court today and certainly the most controversial. Yet most Americans have probably not read even one of his several hundred Supreme Court opinions. In Scalia Dissents, Kevin Ring, former counsel to the U.S. Senate's Constitution Subcommittee, lets Justice Scalia speak for himself. This volume—the first of its kind— showcases the quotable justice's take on many of today's most contentious constitutional debates.

Scalia Dissents contains over a dozen of the justice's most compelling and controversial opinions. Ring also provides helpful background on the opinions and a primer on Justice Scalia's judicial philosophy.

Scalia Dissents is the perfect book for readers who love scintillating prose and penetrating insight on the most important constitutional issues of our time.

Scalia: A Court of One

Bruce Allen Murphy

Best price for this book: $ 11

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“[Murphy’s] biography of Justice Scalia is patient and thorough, alive both intellectually and morally….Functions as an MRI scan of one of the most influential conservative thinkers of the twentieth century.” (The New York Times): An authoritative, incisive and deeply researched book about of the most controversial Supreme Court justice of our time.

Scalia: A Court of One is the compelling story of one of the most polarizing figures to serve on the nation’s highest court. Bruce Allen Murphy shows how Scalia changed the legal landscape through his controversial theories of textualism and originalism, interpreting the meaning of the Constitution’s words as he claimed they were understood during the nation’s Founding period. But Scalia’s judicial conservatism is informed as much by his highly traditional Catholicism and political partisanship as by his reading of the Constitution; his opinionated speeches, contentious public appearances, and newsworthy interviews have made him a lightning rod for controversy. Scalia is “an intellectual biography of one of [the Supreme Court’s] most colorful members” (Chicago Tribune), combined with an insightful analysis of the Supreme Court and its influence on American life over the past quarter century.

Scalia began his career practicing law in Cleveland, Ohio, and rose to become the president’s lawyer as the head of the Office of Legal Counsel for President Gerald R. Ford. His sterling academic and legal credentials led to his nomination by President Ronald Reagan to the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit in 1982. In 1986, he successfully outmaneuvered the more senior Robert Bork to be appointed to the Supreme Court.

Scalia’s evident legal brilliance, ambition and personal magnetism led everyone to predict he would unite a new conservative majority under Chief Justice William Rehnquist and change American law in the process. Instead he became a Court of One. Rather than bringing the conservatives together, Scalia drove them apart. He attacked and alienated his more moderate colleagues Sandra Day O’Connor, David Souter, and Anthony Kennedy. Scalia prevented the conservative majority from coalescing for nearly two decades.

Originalism: A Quarter-Century of Debate

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What did the Constitution mean at the time it was adopted? How should we interpret today the words used by the Founding Fathers? In ORIGINALISM: A QUARTER-CENTURY OF DEBATE, these questions are explained and dissected by the very people who continue to shape the legal structure of our country. Inside you'll find: *A foreword by Justice Antonin Scalia and speeches by former attorney general Edwin Meese III, Justice William Brennan, Judge Robert H. Bork, and President Ronald Reagan *Transcripts from panel discussions and debates engaging some of the brightest legal minds of our time in frank, open discussions about the original meaning of the Constitution of the United States and its impact on the rule of law in our country *A debate on the original meaning of the Commerce, Spending, and Necessary and Proper Clauses *Concluding thoughts by Theodore Olson, forty-second solicitor general of the United States and a fellow at both the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. ORIGINALISM: A QUARTER-CENTURY OF DEBATE is a lively and fascinating discussion of an issue that has occupied the greatest legal minds in America, and one that continues to elicit strong reactions from both those who support and those who oppose the rule of law. Steven G. Calabresi, co-founder of the Federalist Society and professor of law at Northwestern University School of Law, has compiled an impressive collection of speeches, panel discussions, and debates from some of the greatest and most prominent legal experts of the last twenty-five years.