January 27, 2004
Spring Quarterly Meeting and Luncheon Set for April 29U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice will present the inaugural Justice Antonin Scalia Award for Professional Excellence at the Association's April 29 Quarterly Meeting and Luncheon, to be held at noon in the Grand Ballroom at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue, Broad and Walnut Streets. Justice Scalia will also serve as the keynote speaker for the luncheon.
"Justice Scalia is a true gentleman and a scholar, always mindful of the old adage that one can disagree without being disagreeable," said Association Chancellor Gabriel L.I. Bevilacqua. "In my mind, he personifies the ideals of professionalism and collegiality. I can't think of a better exemplar for this new annual award."
The recipient of the inaugural award is Jerome J. Shestack, Esq., a partner at WolfBlock and former president of the American Bar Association. Joseph V. Del Raso and William M. Janssen served as co-chairs of the Scalia Award Committee.
Scalia will be the third United States Supreme Court Justice to address Philadelphia Bar Association members in less than a year. Last October, Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke to a sold-out Quarterly Meeting audience.
Justice Scalia, a Trenton, NJ native, is a graduate of Georgetown University and the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. He received his L.L.B. from Harvard Law School and was a Sheldon Fellow of Harvard University from 1960 to 1961. He served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review.
Justice Scalia was in private practice in Cleveland from1961 to 1967. He left private practice in to become a Professor of Law at the University of Virginia from 1967 to 1971.
In 1971, Justice Scalia left Virginia to serve in a variety of federal government posts: general counsel, Office of Telecommunications Policy, Executive Office of the President (1971 to 1972); chairman, Administrative Conference of the United States (1972 to 1974); and assistant attorney general, Office of Legal Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice (1974 to 1977). Justice Scalia returned to teaching in 1977 as professor of law at the University of Chicago, leaving for a year to serve as a visiting professor at Sanford University (1980 to 1981).
Justice Scalia was appointed to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. by President Ronald Reagan in 1982. He quickly established himself as a leading conservative judge on what was generally acknowledged as the nation's most liberal appellate court.
Frequently exercising his right to dissent, he remained faithful to his earlier published views of the judicial role. In cases concerning libel law, sexual discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Gramm-Rudman budget control measure, he wrote opinions that expressed his judicial philosophy: strict interpretation of the Constitution and legislative statutes and maintenance of the power of traditional institutions.
When Chief Justice Warren Burger announced his retirement in 1986, President Reagan quickly named Justice William Rehnquist as Burger's successor and appointed Justice Scalia to succeed Rehnquist. Confirmed unanimously by the Senate, Justice Scalia became the first Italian-American to sit on the Supreme Court on Sept. 26, 1986.
Predicting judicial performance on the Supreme Court has always been a tricky and imprecise business. An article in the Nov. 5, 1990 issue of Newsweek noted that "Scalia sticks with his ideological cards. That tenacity, combined with a sharp pen and mind--also have made him the most provocative justice."
Justice Scalia is married and has nine children.
Also at the upcoming luncheon, Bar Association members will welcome American Bar Association President Dennis W. Archer, the first African American to lead the ABA.
Tickets for the luncheon are sold out.