Justice Scalia remembered in Chicago

WLS logo
Sunday, February 14, 2016
EMBED <>More Videos

Chicago-area residents remember Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Supreme Court Antonin Scalia, who passed away Saturday, influence and reach extended across the nation. In Chicago, he had an extra special connection.

Scalia, who was the longest-serving justice on the high court, was law professor at the University of Chicago between 1977 and 1982, before he went to Washington, D.C.

"His legacy as a justice will be very complicated. But I think his legacy as a person is simple," said Mike Brody, a former Scalia law clerk.

It was at U of C, where Brody first approached him for a job.

"Word around the law school was that he was about to be nominated to the D.C. Circuit and I interviewed with him. I remember interviewing with him wearing blue jeans and a red t-shirt. And he hired me," Brody said.

Brody served as Scalia's law clerk for just one year from 1983 to 1984. But it was a defining one.

"Justice Scalia was a very careful judge. I learned a lot from him. He made sure his opinions were correct before they went out of chambers. As a new lawyer he was very influential to me and helped me learn how to be a better lawyer," Brody said.

Justice Scalia will go down in history as one of the court's most conservative voices. A hero to some. An enemy to others. Brody remembers the man, and specifically a Christmas long ago when all the law clerks decided to go caroling to their judges homes.

"Most of the judges greeted us warmly, smiled and sent us on our way. Justice Scalia invited us in. He sat at the piano. He played the piano and sang a duet with one of the clerks. His wife served us punch and cookies," Brody said.

Also, Scalia's daughter - one of his nine children - now lives in Wheaton.

On Saturday, she said: "He was a great intellect. A lot of people did not agree with his views, but I was very proud."