Justice Scalia’s Unsent Letters To The Editor

Justice Scalia is apparently in the habit of writing letters to the editor of The Washington Post which he never sends:

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says that the nation’s highest court “gets clobbered by the press all the time,” driving him to the point of writing letters to the Washington Post that, for the sake of upholding tradition, he does not send.

“I don’t think it’s the role of the judge to give an account of himself to the people,” Scalia tells C-SPAN in a Q&A interview that will air this Sunday at 8 p.m. “It’s the tradition of common law judges not to reply to press criticism. We get clobbered by the press all the time. I can’t tell you how many wonderful letters I’ve written to the Washington Post just for my own satisfaction then ripped up and thrown away.”

“You don’t send them — that’s the tradition of the common law judge,” he continues. “You do not respond to criticism. Why is that? Because what the judge has to say is in the judges opinion.”

It’s too bad really, because you’ve got to bet that some of those letters were pretty entertaining.

Here’s video of the interview, which will air in full on C-Span on Sunday:

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. My dad would write and never send letters to the editor. He claimed it was therapy.

  2. Murray says:

    Both Truman and Lincoln were in the habit of venting their anger by writing letters to the offenders without ever sending them.

  3. Anderson says:

    Funny, I thought he was reading those from the bench.

  4. Me Me Me says:

    Is anyone else reminded of “Old Man Shouts at Cloud” from The Simpsons?