U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to Speak at 2016 Boe Forum on Public Affairs

Justice Antonin Scalia

Scalia’s discussion on "Whether the U.S. Constitution is a Living Document" will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 9, in the Elmen Center. Photo credit: The Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Augustana University and the Center for Western Studies today announced that Antonin Scalia, the longest-serving justice on the United States Supreme Court, will speak at the 20th Boe Forum on Public Affairs, set for Wednesday, March 9, 2016.

Scalia’s discussion, "Whether the U.S. Constitution is a Living Document," will begin at 7:30 p.m. and will be held in Augustana’s Elmen Center, located at 2505 S. Grange Avenue on the Augustana campus.

The event is free and open to the public; however, tickets are required. Free tickets may be reserved at www.augietickets.com.

“Since its inception in 1995, the Boe Forum on Public Affairs has sought to provide access to individuals who can address events, issues, or problems of worldwide or national concern and of broad public interest. Justice Scalia is, without question, such an individual,” said Dr. Harry Thompson, executive director of the Center for Western Studies.

Members of the Boe Forum Committee agreed.

“Justice Scalia’s presence on campus and his discussion before students and the public will no doubt challenge all of us to examine the ever-important role the Constitution holds in our society today.”
— The Boe Forum Committee

Dr. Peter Schotten, professor of government and international affairs/political science, teaches courses in constitutional law and political philosophy at Augustana and also serves as the University’s pre-law advisor. He said Scalia’s visit will be memorable for students and community members.

“For almost 30 years, Justice Antonin Scalia has been one of the Supreme Court's most scholarly, provocative and quoted Supreme Court Justices,” Schotten said. “For Augustana and those who live in its surrounding South Dakota community, it will be an honor to hear from a sitting United States Supreme Court justice. For our students, who have read, studied and debated his judicial opinions, it should prove to be a memorable treat.”

Identifying as a “textualist” for his belief in deciding cases based on the original intent of the Constitution, Scalia is well known for saying what he means and meaning what he says.

About Justice Scalia

Nominated to the Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan, Scalia took his seat on the bench of the country’s highest court on Sept. 26, 1986.

Born in Trenton, New Jersey, Scalia earned his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University. He went on to study at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, and received his bachelor of laws (LL.B.) degree from Harvard Law School. He then served as a Sheldon Fellow of Harvard University from 1960–1961.

After working in private practice in Cleveland, Ohio, from 1961–1967, he taught law at the University of Virginia, the University of Chicago, Georgetown University and Stanford University.

After serving as chairman of the American Bar Association’s Section of Administrative Law (1981-82), and its Conference of Section Chairmen (1982-83), he then held various roles with the federal government, including: general counsel of the Office of Telecommunications Policy, chairman of the Administrative Conference of the United States, and assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel. In 1982, he was appointed Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

About the Boe Forum

Through the Boe Forum on Public Affairs, the Center for Western Studies has hosted many of the world’s most influential leaders. Justice Scalia will speak at the 20th Boe Forum. Past Boe Forum speakers are:

  • Gen. Colin Powell (1995)
  • President George H. W. Bush (1995)
  • President of the former Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev (1996)
  • Prime Minister of Great Britain John Major (1998)
  • First Lady of the United States Barbara Bush (1998)
  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1999)
  • Jordan's Queen Noor (2001)
  • Susan Dentzer together with Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich (2003)
  • Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani (2004)
  • Presidential Envoy to Iraq L. Paul Bremer (2006)
  • Vice President Al Gore (2007)
  • President and First Lady of Mexico Vicente Fox and Marta Fox (2007)
  • Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Sandra Day O’Connor (2008)
  • President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf (2009)
  • U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (2010)
  • U.N. Human Rights High Commissioner Mary Robinson (2011)
  • Director of Google Ideas Jared Cohen (2012)
  • Governor of Utah and U.S. Ambassador to China and Singapore Jon Huntsman (2013)
  • Microsoft Executive Robbie Bach (2014)