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Scalia Doesn't Mince Words on State of the Union


If you were wondering why you didn't spot Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia in the House chamber during Tuesday's State of the Union address, rest assured that he was absent for two reasons. 

First, note that he seldom attends the president's addresses, the last time being in the late 1990s, he has said.

Second, Scalia was booked Tuesday night by the Smithsonian Resident Associates Program for an interview on his judicial style conducted by NPR legal correspondent Nina Totenberg.

For the crowd that packed The George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium, Scalia mocked the way lawmakers at the State of the Union take turns jumping up to clap for a line they agree with. "It has turned into a childish spectacle," the justice said. "I don't want to lend dignity to it."

Charles S. Clark joined Government Executive in the fall of 2009. He has been on staff at The Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly, National Journal, Time-Life Books, Tax Analysts, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and the National Center on Education and the Economy. He has written or edited online news, daily news stories, long features, wire copy, magazines, books, and organizational media strategies.

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