Justice Scalia comments on his life as an open book

Joel Reidenberg in NJEsq-Reckless Place (blog), April 29, 2009

Media Source

The other day we reported that a Fordham University law professor, responding to Justice Antonin Scalia’s remark at a privacy-rights conference that it was “silly” to try to keep “every single datum” about a person’s life private, had assigned one of his classes to track down everything they could find out about Scalia over the Web. They developed a 15-page dossier, which they graciously sent to Scalia and announced to the world without revealing the details. Well, now Scalia has responded in an arguably angry note to one of the websites that broke the story, Above The Law. He said in part:

It is not a rare phenomenon that what is legal may also be quite irresponsible. That appears in the First Amendment context all the time. What can be said often should not be said. Prof. Reidenberg’s exercise is an example of perfectly legal, abominably poor judgment. Since he was not teaching a course in judgment, I presume he felt no responsibility to display any.

Nice. And I’m sure the scam artists, data thieves and scandalmongers who ferret out this kind of information will show much better judgment. I don’t know if Nino realizes how obtuse he sounds, criticizing a law class that took him at his word for showing exactly where his attitude toward privacy leads. But then it’s hard to tell from his tone whether he’s actually annoyed at the Fordham professor or only amused; his comments on matters big and small are as reliably abusive as Calvin Coolidge’s were reliably brief. George Washington University law professor Daniel Solove riffs on the implications of the Fordham project and Scalia’s reaction on his blog Concurring Opinions.  (Thanks to the people at Above the Law for bringing the whole thing to our attention.)