Feeling that this might well be Reagan's last opportunity to pick a Supreme Court justice, the president and his advisers chose Scalia over Bork. Reagan wanted to appoint the first Italian-American justice.
When Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Scalia's nomination opened in August 1986, he faced a committee that had just argued divisively over the Rehnquist nomination.
Scalia was unanimously confirmed by the Senate, becoming the first Italian-American justice.
Scalia served on the Court for nearly thirty years, during which time he espoused a conservative jurisprudence and ideology, advocating textualism in statutory interpretation and originalism in constitutional interpretation. In 1953, Scalia enrolled at Georgetown University, where he graduated valedictorian and summa cum laude in 1957 with a Bachelor of Arts in history.
He was a strong defender of the powers of the executive branch, believing presidential power should be paramount in many areas. While in college, he was a champion collegiate debater in Georgetown's Philodemic Society and a critically praised thespian.
He believed that the constitution permitted the death penalty but did not guarantee the right to abortion or same-sex marriage, and that affirmative action, as well as most policies that afforded special protected status to minority groups, were unconstitutional. After four years in Charlottesville, Scalia entered public service in 1971.
Witnesses and Democratic senators contended that before becoming a judge, Rehnquist had engaged in activities designed to discourage minorities from voting.
The Court held that although Congress had authorized Hamdi's detention, Fifth Amendment due process guarantees give a citizen held in the United States as an enemy combatant [Hamdi] the right to contest that detention before a neutral decision maker.Scalia indicated that the law was an unwarranted encroachment on the executive branch by the legislative. United States challenged the United States Sentencing Commission, an independent body within the judicial branch whose members (some of whom were federal judges) were removable only for good cause.