Scalia on American Exceptionalism


Published last week, Scalia Speaks is a collection of the justice’s speeches edited by his son Christopher and the lawyer Ed Whelan. The book has six parts, the first of which is “On the American People and Ethnicity.”

I was surprised that the book begins with speeches on those topics, instead of something on the law. But on second thought, I saw the logic: Scalia was an American of Italian heritage before he was anything else, and he gave a lot of thought to what it means to be an American. His essential point is this:

“What makes an American . . . is not …

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