Scalia: Of Course I Believe in the Devil
Justice suspects he has gay friends, 'doesn't care' about legacy
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2013 3:53 AM CDT
Updated Oct 7, 2013 6:42 AM CDT
Antonin Scalia, 77, was appointed to the Supreme Court by Ronald Reagan in 1986.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

(Newser) – Antonin Scalia, the longest-serving justice and one of the most conservative currently on the Supreme Court, sat down with New York magazine for a wide-ranging interview that took in everything from Duck Dynasty to demonic possession. Some highlights:

  • On Satan: Scalia says he believes the devil is real, but while in the Bible he's "making pigs run off cliffs, he’s possessing people and whatnot," he is "now getting people not to believe in him or in God. He’s much more successful that way." Suspecting interviewer Jennifer Senior of being taken aback by his belief, he accuses her of being out of touch with most of America. "Most of mankind has believed in the devil, for all of history," he says. "Many more intelligent people than you or me have believed in the devil."

  • On homosexuality: Scalia, an often scathing voice of dissent on landmark gay-rights decisions, says "I have friends that I know, or very much suspect, are homosexual. Everybody does." Asked if any of them have come out to him, he says, "No. No. Not that I know of."
  • On flogging: If a state enacted a law permitting flogging, Scalia would consider it "immensely stupid," but not unconstitutional. "A lot of stuff that’s stupid is not unconstitutional."
  • On the news: Scalia says he reads the Wall Street Journal and Washington Times, but he gave up on the Washington Post because of its "slanted and often nasty" take on conservative issues and "shrilly, shrilly liberal tone." He gets most of his news from the radio—"but not usually" NPR.
  • On choosing his clerks: Scalia like to hire "really smart people who don’t necessarily have to share my judicial philosophy, but they cannot be hostile to it." He tries to ensure that at least one of the four clerks is a liberal, who "will always be looking for the chinks in my armor."
  • On pop culture: "You can’t go to a movie—or watch a television show for that matter—without hearing the constant use of the F-word—including, you know, ladies using it," complains Scalia, who says he has never heard of Homeland but is a big fan of Seinfeld and Duck Dynasty.
  • On his legacy: Scalia says he doesn't know how his position on gay rights will be regarded in 50 years—and he doesn't care. "Maybe the world is spinning toward a wider acceptance of homosexual rights, and here’s Scalia, standing athwart it," he says. "But I have never been custodian of my legacy. When I’m dead and gone, I’ll either be sublimely happy or terribly unhappy."

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Showing 3 of 154 comments
Avera2u
Oct 13, 2013 10:01 AM CDT
With him the devil would be real.
NoFun
Oct 8, 2013 3:19 AM CDT
Requirement #1 for being a Judge: Must be a realist and not someone showing off to his non-existent god to get his non-existent soul into the nicest possible non-existent afterlife.
JackNelsonSteward
Oct 7, 2013 5:01 PM CDT
Mr. Justice ... it's not "homosexual rights." It's just "equal rights." Period. ... and sir? ... for most of human history we have believed that disease was caused by evil spirits, that the Earth was the center of the Universe ... and that it was flat. The fact that something has been believed by "most of mankind" for "all of history" can just as easily point to humanity's ignorance as any possibility of that being factual, I find it disturbing that a man empowered to weigh in on the most critical unsettled issues in our republic believes in a mythical horned, cloven-hoofed personification of evil with the power of blinding persuasion over huge parts of mankind. ... of course, for true believers my doubt PROVES that it must be so.