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Scalia Gets Nasty With A College Student Over A Question

Antonin Scalia demonstrates why he's an embarrassment to the high court. Where others fear to tread, a 20-year-old college student from Tequesta, F

Antonin Scalia demonstrates why he's an embarrassment to the high court.

Where others fear to tread, a 20-year-old college student from Tequesta, Fla.,boldly stepped forward Tuesday to ask Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia a question he did not like during a public appearance in West Palm Beach. "That's a nasty, impolite question," said Scalia, himself an expert on tough questioning, and he at first refused to answer it.

So what did Sarah Jeck ask that caused the volatile justice to erupt? According to her own notes and this account in today's Sun-Sentinel, Jeck asked whether the rationale for Scalia's well-known opposition to cameras in the Supreme Court was "vitiated" by the facts that the Court allows public visitors to view arguments and releases full argument transcripts to the public, and that justices go out on book tours.

So it's OK for justices to go on book tours to make some extra cash, but oh...they are not having anything to do with televised proceedings. And Scalia gets nasty with a question about this double standard.

In a room filled with some of Palm Beach County's most powerful people, it took a 20-year-old political science student to throw off U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Tuesday afternoon.

Student Sarah Jeck stood in front of 750 people and asked Scalia why cameras are not allowed in the U.S. Supreme Court even though the court hearings are open, transcripts are available and the court's justices are open enough to go "out on book tours." Scalia was at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in part to do a book signing and wasn't happy at the question.

"Read the next question," Scalia replied. "That's a nasty, impolite question."

C&L is getting ready to unveil a new Supreme Court blog very soon which will take up the "cameras in the high court" question. Why are we shut out of their deliberations? We will push for cameras in the high court. We are getting a lot of support from a bunch of organizations and law bloggers. I'll tell you more next week. It should be fun.

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