On Friday, United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia spoke at an event hosted by the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, according to the Memphis Daily News and the Memphis Business Journal.
During the event, Scalia discussed his disagreement with those who claim oral arguments in front of the Supreme Court are unnecessary. He also disagreed with those who claim briefs are more important for the outcome of a case compared to anything else.
Scalia touched on a lot of items during his brief, 20-minute discussion, which was attended by law students and leaders of the law school. Scalia said that oral arguments have aided him when making a decision on a case. He also disagrees with people who claim year three of law school is not necessary. Scalia made a point to say that judgments issued by foreign courts should never influence the decisions made by the United States Supreme Court.
Scalia made note that state supreme courts have more influence in the lives of Americans than the U.S. Supreme Court. A luncheon followed at The Peabody Hotel, which was open to the public, but admittance did cost a fee. At The Peabody Hotel, where he went after his visit to the law school, Scalia said the following:
“Ninety percent of the laws citizens live under are state laws; criminal law. If you murder someone anywhere in the country, if you do it right, you haven’t broken federal law.”
“If you were to ask the average man on the street what has been the greatest source of our freedoms … you would probably get a response (like) freedom of speech. Freedom of the press,” Scalia said. “That is so mistaken. Do you not realize every tyrant in the world has a bill of rights? Every banana republic? … Unless the real constitution of a country prevents the centralization of power, all the rest is words on paper.”