Adam Klein, a former law clerk to Justice Scalia, has written a thoughtful essay at Lawfare about Scalia’s lack of enthusiasm for national-security cases and the judicial philosophy that informed this view:

Justice Antonin Scalia’s views on much of national-security litigation are embodied in an awkward moment during my clerkship interview. Justice Scalia, like most judges, believed that an aspiring law clerk’s transcript should be mostly black-letter law courses, rather than esoteric seminars and other “fluff.” (He’s right, but that’s another story.) My law-school record had a respectable proportion of black-letter law but also plenty of Lawfare fodder: international law, IHL, and various national-security-law seminars (including some taught by Lawfare’s own Matt Waxman). The Justice scrutinized my class list with a skeptical expression; unsettled, I volunteered that my principal academic interest was national-security law.

He replied: “We don’t get many of those cases up here. I hope.”

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