Just before the murder of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016 – Scalia had begun speaking favorably about then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
According to top confidant Bryan Garner, Justice Scalia found Trump’s unfiltered and candid approach to politics “very refreshing.”
Conservativetribune.com reports: “Justice Scalia thought it was most refreshing to have a candidate who was pretty much unfiltered and utterly frank,” Garner said.
Garner said Scalia thought highly of Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who also ran for the GOP nomination in 2016, but was very impressed with Trump’s style and ability to push back against the establishment.
“But he was fascinated by the fact that Trump was so outspoken in an unfiltered way, and therefore we were seeing something a little more genuine than a candidate whose every utterance is airbrushed,” Garner said.
In his upcoming memoir “Nino and Me,” which is a nickname he had for Scalia, Garner revealed a story in which Trump said he owed his victory, in part, to promising to nominate a successor “very much in the mold of Justice Scalia.”
By nominating Neil Gorsuch to take Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court, Trump honored his commitment to the GOP base and shored up a conservative-leaning majority on the nation’s highest court.
Garner told the story about how Scalia, who sometimes offered the same sarcastic and candid opinions Trump typically does, wanted to criticize an opinion from Justice Anthony Kennedy in the case that legalized gay marriage across the country.
“I’m thinking about criticizing a colleague’s writing style,” Garner recalled Scalia saying. “Do you think that sort of commentary is permissible?”
“‘Nino, for a stylist like you, it’s almost irresistible,’ I said, ‘as it would be for me. That’s especially so if the bad writing you’re criticizing reflects bad thinking,’” he said.
“‘I’m thinking about saying I’d rather put my head in a bag than join in such a badly written opinion,’” Scalia said, not revealing which case or colleague he was referring to.
When the Supreme Court delivered its ruling in June 2015 in the case Obergefell v. Hodges, as Business Insider reports, Scalia included the phrase “head in a bag” in his dissent.
“He was a man of pugnacity, and he just couldn’t help himself when he thought he had a knockout punch,” Garner said.
Garner’s story of Scalia wanting to push back against something he vehemently disagreed with is similar to how Trump operates.
As a self-described counter-puncher, Trump is not afraid challenge those he disagreed with him and speak out about important topics — just as Scalia wasn’t afraid.
While many in the media argue Trump is a threat to our nation, Scalia found his style to be a refreshing and welcome in a time of political gridlock where many Washington politicians worked harder for special interest groups than their constituents.
Many would agree with Scalia that we need more outsiders like Trump in Washington than career politicians who are all-talk and no action.
We also need more justices on the Supreme Court who are more like Scalia.