Elon Law’s Alan Woodlief on the legacy of Justice Scalia

Alan Woodlief, senior associate dean at Elon Law, writes in a February 21 News & Record column that “Justice Antonin Scalia was one of the most influential and dynamic justices to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.” 

<p>Alan Woodlief, senior associate dean, Elon University School of Law</p>
Woodlief’s News & Record column focuses on the judicial philosophy of Justice Scalia.

“Scalia changed the national dialogue about the Constitution and statutory construction,” Woodlief wrote. “His ‘originalism’ and ‘textualism’ are now mainstays in our nation’s jurisprudence. An advocate for judicial restraint, Scalia championed a limited role for the judiciary, which should find the Constitution’s meaning in its text and in the framers’ original intent at the time of its drafting.”

Reviewing several of Scalia’s majority opinions and dissents in a series of Supreme Court cases, Woodlief highlights the late justice’s influence on the Court and U.S. law.

“In almost 30 years on the Supreme Court, Scalia developed his judicial philosophy in roughly 1,000 opinions, concurrences and dissents,” Woodlief wrote. “Scalia did not convert everyone to his ‘originalist’ and ‘textualist’ approaches, but he did force judges and legal scholars of all political persuasions to engage his arguments. As judges, lawyers and law students grapple with what the Constitution means in new situations, Scalia’s trove of opinions will continue to inform and enrich their debate. Undoubtedly, his work will be read, studied and cited for years to come.”

Read Woodlief’s News & Record column on Justice Antonin Scalia here.

Learn more here about Alan Woodlief, senior associate dean for admissions, administration and finance, associate professor of law and director of moot court programs.