U.S. Supreme Court Justice Scalia's Surprising Advice for UH Law Students

Nathan Eagle/Honolulu Civil Beat

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speaks to a group of University of Hawaii law school students, Feb. 3, 2014, at UH.

Loathed by oh-so-many liberals, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia waded into the deep-blue Aloha State Monday for a talk with law students at the University of Hawaii.

The surprise for much of the audience wasn't that the supremely self-confident Scalia stated his constitutional judicial philosophy with authority; it was his edgy wit.

UH law school dean Avi Soifer prepared the students with his introductory remarks, saying that Scalia is known as the most active questioner and commentator of the nine justices, as well as the most humorous.

The state’s monthly test of its tsunami warning system didn’t phase Scalia when the sirens sounded during the middle of his comments on the 2nd Amendment. “You never got over 1941, did you?” he said with a smile, a clear reference to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Many in the crowd whispered among themselves that they couldn’t disagree more with the intensely conservative justice's opinions on issues like gay marriage, abortion and the death penalty, but students' queries proved to be surprisingly soft, perhaps due to the legal gravitas of the longest-serving member of the court. (Journalists were not permitted to ask Scalia questions.)

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