Faculty Mourn the Loss of a Great U.S. Supreme Court Justice

Author: Lauren Love

“It would be difficult to overstate Justice Scalia’s impact on the law. His jurisprudence touched nearly every area of the Constitution, and he has profoundly influenced the way that lawyers think about questions of statutory and constitutional interpretation.

Tonight, however, those of us who knew the Justice mourn the loss of a mentor and friend. His brilliance and wit not only lit up a pen; they lit up a room. He was larger than life, and it is difficult to imagine life without him in it.

My sadness is tempered only by my gratefulness for having known this truly great man. Both Justice Scalia and the family he so loved are in my prayers.”

Amy Coney Barrett
Diane and M.O. Miller, II Research Chair in Law
Barrett served as a law clerk to Associate Justice Scalia (1998-99)

“Justice Scalia was an exceptional jurist who, by force of reason and principle, transformed debates over constitutional law and the role of courts in our federal system. He was one of the most influential justices of our day, and he likely will go down as one of the most influential justices in United States history.

Justice Scalia was beloved by those who knew him — for his warmth, his friendship, and his example. To work with him was a privilege. His sharp intellect, quick wit, and commitment to principle were unfailing. More importantly, his witness to the things in life that matter most — including faith and family — was constant.

My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Maureen, and his entire family.”

Anthony J. Bellia Jr.
O’Toole Professor of Constitutional Law
Bellia served as a law clerk to Associate Justice Scalia (1997-98)

“We lost today a great and consequential jurist, whose contributions to the law have been immense. During his almost thirty years on the Supreme Court, Justice Scalia set the terms of debate among lawyers, judges, and academics. His piercing intellect, his unyielding devotion to principle, and his graceful pen, produced a body of work that will influence American law for generations to come. History will record him as one of America’s greatest Justices.

But for those who knew and loved him, today is about the loss of a great man — a boss, a mentor, a role model, and a friend. Anybody who spent any real time with the Justice came to love him. His wit, his quick mind, his love of laughter and a great story — those are the things that his friends will remember.

Personally, I will always remember and be grateful for the many conversations we had, and the things he taught me, about faith, and the things that really matter.

I pray for the repose of Justice Scalia’s soul, and for the comfort of his wife and family.”

William Kelley
Kelley served as a law clerk to Associate Justice Antonin Scalia (1988-89).

More Remembrances
Scalia’s lasting impact on the Supreme Court (William Kelley)
The fight for late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s replacement is just getting started (Amy Barrett)