Scalia’s letter to the Herald

Scalia’s letter to the Herald

As the life cycle of the Antonin Scalia “obscene” gesture story winds down, the Boston Herald today took the opportunity to print a letter from Scalia on its news pages, and then writes a news story paraphrasing the letter and throwing in a couple of new jabs. Oh, and it then splashes it all over the front page. Glad to see there’s nothing more important going on in the world.

In his letter, Scalia uses his trademark caustic wit to take the Herald and its reporter down a peg and dismisses the whole thing as a trumped up grab at a non-story.

It has come to my attention that your newspaper published a story on Monday stating that I made an obscene gesture - inside Holy Cross Cathedral, no less. The story is false, and I ask that you publish this letter in full to set the record straight.

Your reporter, an up-and-coming “gotcha” star named Laurel J. Sweet, asked me (o-so-sweetly) what I said to those people who objected to my taking part in such public religious ceremonies as the Red Mass I had just attended. I responded, jocularly, with a gesture that consisted of fanning the fingers of my right hand under my chin. Seeing that she did not understand, I said “That’s Sicilian,” and explained its meaning - which was that I could not care less.

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  • I read on blog, written by an anti-christian pro-abortionist who claimed that Scalia actually “flipped the bird”, which is giving the middle finger. I’m seriously concern how we handle the free press and publishing of the news. Maybe we are all guilty of it in one way or another, but it is scary how we can easily lose all objectivity maybe our own lives.

  • No he didn’t give the finger at all. I think a part of his rather “I don’t care attitude” is an important lesson to remember that the judicial branch of government isn’t suppose to be run by politicians whose job is to be well liked and care what people think of them on a personal level.

  • Two points only:

    (1)  Justice Scalia may have been most unjustly maligned by being titled, “an Italian jurist.”  His last line, “(I am, by the way, and American jurist)” is eloquently simple and should have served as a stinging rebuke to Sweet and everyone else who passed by her remark without thinking twice. 

    We are NOT “Irish,” “Italian,” “French,” “Chinese,” or any other nationality if we are born here in the USA or if we are naturalized citizens.  Is it so declasse to be known as a citizen of the greatest country in the world?

    (2)  Why is nobody asking about the hypocrisy of Ms. Laurel J. Sweet?  How can she honestly reconcile her description of the whole affair as being only feet from the “holy altar” and in the “Mother Church” (love her oh-so-reverent capitalizations!) with her use of this holy space for such a profane purpose?  She ambushes Justice Scalia right after Holy Communion (she makes the juxtaposition, not I) and then complains about HIS irreverence?


  • More likely, everybody would be nicer to him (especially reporters) if he were a Democrat.

    Just ask Ruth Bader Ginsburg how many hostile questions she’s fielded from the press about reports she sleeps through oral arguments.

  • May I suggest to Ms. Laurel Sweet to take a course in How Italians speak without words?
    She doesn’t need attend a College, just take few strolls into the North End of Boston.