9 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Antonin Scalia

Antonin Scalia washington national opera ariadne auf naxosJustice Scalia on stage in 2009.

Photo: Karin Cooper/Washington National Opera

Justice Antonin Scalia is known for many things—being conservative, cantankerous, and even a little scathing.But there’s another side to Scalia.

The man likes to have a good time, and he’s found an unlikely friend in one of the court’s more liberal justices.

He reads his court briefs on his iPad.

We aren't sure if he has 'Angry Birds' on it.

Source: CBS News

He has nine children and 28 grandchildren.

Antonin Scalia grew up an only child, which was unusual for a Catholic.

He met his wife, Maureen McCarthy, in 1960, and their family has been growing since.

Source: Joan Biskupic, 'American Original.'

He and Justice Ginsburg are good friends.

Despite their opposing political opinions, the two are the closest members of the current Supreme Court.

The Ginsburgs and the Scalias actually began having New Year's Eve dinner together in 1982. We're not sure what they talk about, though.

Source: Joan Biskupic, 'American Original.'

He is a fan of the opera.

Maybe they talk about the opera.

In 2009, Scalia and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg appeared as party guests in Richard Strauss's 'Ariadne auf Naxos,' and a cast member sat on his lap.

'I didn't consider it my, you know, most notable theatrical performance,' Scalia told the Washington Post. 'It didn't take much talent. But I thoroughly enjoyed it.'

Source: JoanBiskupic.com

He enjoys playing poker.

In fact, Justice Scalia played monthly games with the likes of the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist, former Nixon lawyer Leonard Garment, and attorney Robert Bennett.

Source: Joan Biskupic, 'American Original.'

He is, by far, the funniest justice.

It has been scientifically proven. A study of the Supreme Court in 2004 showed that Justice Scalia triggered 77 laughs in the term.

That made him 19 times funnier than Justice Ginsburg, according to one analysis.

Sources: U.S. News and World Report and The New York Times

He was the first Italian-American to serve as a Supreme Court Justice.

During his confirmation hearings in 1986, there was such fervor over his ethnicity that a number of people from the crowd shouted out, 'I'm Italian, too.'

Source: U.S. News & World Report

He listens to Baroque music on his iPod.

Scalia was asked once if he was the 'iPod type' when he was on the WQXR, New York's classical music station.

'When I go on aeroplanes and, you know, I have a chatty pair of adolescents behind me driving me nuts,' he replied, 'I just put on my earphones and turn on some Baroque music that enables me to survive.'

Source: JoanBiskupic.com

He was tapped to determine who owned the rights to the Nixon tapes after Watergate.

President Gerald Ford appointed Scalia as the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Council. He then testified before congressional committees over executive privilege.

Source: Biography.com

Now discover tidbits about all of the justices' personal lives >

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