6 things you might not know about Justice Scalia

Liz Goodwin
Yahoo NewsOctober 7, 2013
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FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2011 file photo, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia participates at the third annual Washington Ideas Forum at the Newseum in Washington. One never knows when the Supreme Court will hand down its last, often biggest, opinions of the term. But the justices' summer travel schedules make it a pretty safe bet that blockbuster health care and immigration cases will be decided by the end of June. Professor Antonin Scalia, will put his law students through their paces in Innsbruck, Austria. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

The court's conservative firebrand, Antonin Scalia, gave an extensive interview to New York Magazine that reveals a few surprising things about him, from his love of "Seinfeld" to his hatred of social media. Here are six things you may not know about the Ronald Reagan-appointed, originalist justice.

1. He thinks he has gay friends

Scalia famously wrote the dissent in Lawrence v. Texas, a 2003 decision that prohibited states from criminalizing anal sex. Scalia argued that states should be allowed to outlaw a "lifestyle" that they consider to be immoral and skewered the majority opinion that ruled gay people have "the right to choose to enter upon relationships in the confines of their homes … and still retain their dignity as free persons."

But he told New York Magazine he personally has gay friends and does not hate gay people. "I have friends that I know, or very much suspect, are homosexual. Everybody does," Scalia said, but added that none of them had told him he or she was gay. "I still think it’s Catholic teaching that it’s wrong. OK? But I don’t hate the people that engage in it. In my legal opinions, all I’ve said is that I don’t think the Constitution requires the people to adopt one view or the other."

2. He doesn't like Facebook.

The 77-year-old Scalia said he doesn't understand some things about the Internet. "I don’t know why anyone would like to be 'friended' on the network. I mean, what kind of a narcissistic society is it that people want to put out there, This is my life, and this is what I did yesterday? I mean … good grief. Doesn’t that strike you as strange? I think it’s strange."

3. He is appalled that ladies curse.

"One of the things that upsets me about modern society is the coarseness of manners," Scalia said. "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. People that I know don’t talk like that! But if you portray it a lot, the society’s going to become that way. It’s very sad."

4. He has a close friendship with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the leader of the court's liberal wing, in part because they're so ideologically different he has "low expectations" for her in court.

"If you have low expectations, you’re not disappointed. When it’s somebody who you think is basically on your side on these ideological controversies, and then that person goes over to the dark side, it does make you feel bad," he said.

5. He really likes "Seinfeld"

"I loved 'Seinfeld,'" Scalia said. "In fact, I got some CDs of 'Seinfeld.' '­Seinfeld' was hilarious. Oh, boy. The Nazi soup kitchen? No soup for you!"

6. He does not care about his legacy

"You know, for all I know, 50 years from now I may be the Justice [George] Sutherland [who opposed much of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal legislation] of the late 20th and early 21st century, who’s regarded as: 'He was on the losing side of everything, an old fogey, the old view.' And I don’t care."