News gathering is hard

The New York Times doesn’t like Antonin Scalia, I get that. But that doesn’t really excuse an organization whose purported business is gathering news for not getting the facts before writing:

Scalia’s Latest Outburst . . .

Justice Scalia brought Godwin’s Law to Snowmass, suggesting in an address to the Utah State Bar Association that activist judges helped bring about the Holocaust.

Godwin’s Law refers to inappropriate reference to the Nazis to score rhetorical points. Is that what Scalia did? Not exactly:

The context is vital. . . As you can see Justice Scalia was the principal speaker on Saturday morning—Day 3 of programming. On Friday morning (Day 2 of the meeting), the principal speaker was Dr. William F. Meinecke of the Holocaust Memorial Museum giving his presentation “Law, Justice, and the Holocaust: How the Courts Failed Germany.” It is a fascinating presentation of how the Nazi party co-opted the Courts and lawyers to further its agenda against the Jews and used the judiciary to “legalize” its conduct.

Justice Scalia opened his remarks by noting that, at the previous evening’s Utah State Bar’s Past Presidents Dinner, there had been a great deal of discussion about Dr. Meinecke’s talk. Justice Scalia then indicated that, prior to beginning his prepared remarks, he had some observations about Nazi Germany and the law.

Scalia was adding to an ongoing conversation about Nazis and the law, which the NYT belatedly acknowledged, once someone else had gathered the facts for them.

I think the NYT’s real point, which they doubtless stand by, is that Scalia really shouldn’t say anything about anything.

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