Benjamin Barton and Alex Long

Faculty discuss Justice Scalia, Supreme Court with New York Times

Following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, Alex Long, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law, and Benjamin Barton, Helen and Charles Lockett Distinguished Professor of Law and Fulbright Scholar, both spoke with the media regarding the justice’s legacy and his eventual replacement on the bench.

In an interview with The New York Times, Long discussed the use of musical lyrics in judicial opinions and Justice Scalia’s notable use of a Bob Dylan lyric.

“Justice Scalia was in good company. Mr. Dylan has long been the most cited songwriter in judicial opinions,” says Long. “There is a reason Mr. Dylan is so popular among judges: His lyrics are pithy, memorable and pointed. They’re great lines on their own and they’re also really useful to convey to the legal concept they’re trying to get across.”

In an interview with The New York Times Magazine, Barton discussed the hypothetical credentials of Justice Scalia’s replacement.

The article points out that today’s Supreme Court is composed of nearly all former federal appeals court judges who attended Ivy League institutions and who have never lived outside of the East Coast or held elected office. “At a time when Americans are worried that the elite are running the country, and not doing a good job of it, this is the most elite group you could have,” explains Barton.