Cleveland-Marshall College of Law will host “Antonin Scalia’s Quest—and Bequest” Wednesday, April 20 at 5 p.m. The lecture will be delivered by Professor David F. Forte of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and Professor Jonathan Adler of Case Western Reserve Law School. The event is sponsored by Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, the Cleveland-Marshall Federalist Society, and the Justinian Forum.
When most justices of the Supreme Court leave the bench, their absence is felt. It was true of Thurgood Marshall and Byron White, of Sandra Day O’Connor and William Rehnquist. But a few Supreme Court justices have cut such a unique path that their departure leaves not just an absence, but a void—a void nearly impossible to fill. Such was Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., even though he was succeeded by Benjamin Cardozo. Such was Chief Justice John Marshall, followed by Roger Brook Taney, and Joseph Story, followed by the now unknown Levi Woodbury.
Antonin Scalia was one those few justices whose impact changed the paradigm of how the Supreme Court sees itself in a constitutional republic. At bottom, Scalia saw judging as a moral quest—a quest not to find the right answer, but to find the way to the right answer. The question he asked of himself and his fellow justices—Quo Vadis?—where are you going?—remains before all who may someday don a black robe and sit in judgment of their fellow citizens.