Justice Scalia Found Trump ‘Refreshing,’ New Memoir Claims


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Kevin Daley Supreme Court correspondent
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Justice Antonin Scalia spoke approvingly of President Donald Trump’s candidacy in the early days of the Republican primary, a new memoir claims.

Bryan Garner, an accomplished lexicographer and intimate of the late justice, will release an account of his friendship with Scalia Tuesday. The book, “Nino and Me,” relates Scalia’s appraisal of the GOP presidential field during the opening sequence of the primary.

“Justice Scalia thought it was most refreshing to have a candidate who was pretty much unfiltered and utterly frank,” Garner wrote.

“But he was fascinated by the fact that Trump was so outspoken in an unfiltered way, and therefore we were seeing something a little more genuine than a candidate whose every utterance is airbrushed,” he added. Garner emphasized that Scalia’s observations were made at an early stage of the campaign.

Scalia died in February 2016, several months before Trump secured the Republican presidential nomination.

The Wall Street Journal first highlighted the remarks.

David Foster Wallace introduced Scalia to Garner over a decade ago. The pair went on to collaborate on several major projects, including “Making Your Case,” a guide for legal advocacy, and “Reading Law,” an exposition of textualism.

Though reasonable inferences might be made about a justice’s political views, detailed accounts of their private partisan commitments are rarely made public. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg shocked Court-watchers when she denounced Trump’s candidacy in a series of summer 2016 interviews. Ginsburg later apologized for the remarks, which were denounced by the Journal and The New York Times.

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was heard to lament former Vice President Al Gore’s possible victory in Nov. 2000 at an election night cocktail party in Washington, creating the appearance of partisan vassalage when she cast the crucial fifth vote for Bush in Bush v. Gore just weeks later.


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