Wait, isn't Clarence Thomas the raunchy one?

Antonin Scalia has a message for his critics, and he delivers it with an obscene hand gesture.

Tim Grieve
March 28, 2006 1:16AM (UTC)

At the end of an item earlier today, we quoted legal ethics expert Stephen Gillers opining thusly on the antics of Antonin Scalia: "As these things mount, a legitimate question could be asked about whether he is compromising the credibility of the court."

Gillers uttered those words to Newsweek -- and we quoted them here -- before either of us was aware of the latest Scalia incident. As the Boston Herald reports, the associate justice was leaving church in Boston Sunday when he was asked by a reporter whether he faces questions about his impartiality when dealing with issues of church and state.


"You know what I say to those people?" Scalia asked. Then he made what the Herald calls "an obscene gesture under his chin." In case anyone missed the meaning, the justice explained helpfully: "That's Sicilian."

Scalia's response was caught on film by a photographer for the local archdiocese newspaper, but Scalia told the photographer not to publish it.

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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