Antonin Scalia's Son Says Friendship Between Ginsburg and His Father Overcame Their Opposing Views

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's son Christopher Scalia spoke about his late father's relationship with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg following her death on Friday. He said that the two's friendship demonstrated that even people with differing points of view could still be great friends.

The younger Scalia, who is the director of academic programs for the American Enterprise Institute, gave an interview to Fox News on Saturday. After the presentation of a clip of Antonin Scalia and Ginsburg being interviewed together in 2014, Christopher spoke about his father's friendship with Ginsburg.

"They held very strong, very different views. They wrote opinions that disagreed with each others' opinions, and they didn't pull any punches in those opinions, but they never let those strong, deeply held beliefs get in the way of their friendship. They didn't compromise those beliefs for each other, but they didn't let it disrupt their relationship," Christopher told Fox.

Speaking about the clip where the two Supreme Court Justices joked about their past with each other, Christopher said: "That's one of the reasons they got along so well. They had somethings in common, absolutely, but they cracked each other up. They used to be on a court together, before the Supreme Court, and they sat next to each other, and my dad used to whisper jokes to her, and she would have to pinch herself so that she didn't audibly laugh and disrupt the courtroom."

Christopher also shared an anecdote about his father giving Ginsburg a dozen roses that prompted Judge Jeffrey Sutton to tease him, asking when was the last time they both sided together on a vote. "Judge Sutton was joking around, but my father took the bait and said, 'Somethings are more important than votes,' and I think that captures their friendship, and it's something we can all remember," he said.

With the upcoming election, Christopher Scalia said that his father's friendship with Ginsburg could set an example for others who may disagree with their friends. "It was a remarkable friendship in a lot of ways, because they were such high profile figures, but I think most of us have friendships like that," he said. "We find ways to love people who don't believe the same things, and I think that ability is really going to be tested over the next few months."

On Friday night, Christopher tweeted that he was sad to hear about the justice's death. He also shared a portion of a roast that his father delivered celebrating Ginsburg's 10th year on the Washington D.C. Court of Appeals. "I have missed Ruth very much since leaving the court of appeals," he said. "She was the best of colleagues, as she is the best of friends. I wish her a hundred years."

This is from a roast he delivered for her 10th anniversary on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. They'd been colleagues on that court until he went to the Supreme Court; she hadn't joined him there yet—and he missed her.

— Christopher J. Scalia (@cjscalia) September 19, 2020

A media contact for the American Enterprise Institute did not respond to Newsweek's emailed request for comment in time for publication.

Scalia Ginsburg
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy , Justice John Paul Stevens, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Justice Antonin Scalia, , Justice David H. Souter. (Second Row L to R) Justice Stephen G. Breyer , Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Samuel Alito pose for photographers at the U.S. Supreme Court March 3, 2006 in Washington DC. Scalia's son spoke about his father's friendship with Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a new interview. Charles Ommanney/Getty