Perhaps no single justice on the U.S. Supreme Court – save Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar, the only Mississippian ever to serve on the nation’s highest court – spent more time in Mississippi than did Antonin Scalia.
The jurist spoke multiple times at Mississippi State University, appeared along with Justice Elena Kagan at Ole Miss, at William Carey University, and the University of Southern Mississippi. But more than merely with students, Scalia made friendships in Mississippi to be sure among the powerful, but likewise among those far less so.
Perhaps it was Scalia’s self-analysis that reveals characteristics that would have made his trips to Mississippi intellectually entertaining to the jurist whether he encountered philosophical friends or foes: “I attack ideas. I don’t attack people. And some very good people have some very bad ideas. And if you can’t separate the two, you gotta get another day job.”