Want More Civility? Try Less Power.

Thu, 2017-04-13

Earlier this week, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and now-deceased Justice Antonin Scalia (posthumously) received the seventh annual Award for Civility in Public Life from Allegheny College. Every year since 2011, Allegheny College has recognized two individuals whose conduct -- often toward each other -- displays the kind of respect and courtesy that should be a hallmark of political discourse and public life in a civilized society.

The decision to give the award to Ginsburg and Scalia was inspired. The long friendship between the two -- often referred to as the Supreme Court's "oddest couple" -- was well-known and often marveled at. Despite their profound political differences and conflicting interpretations of the Constitution, the two justices held great admiration for each other's intellect and analytical skills, as well as a shared love of travel, fine cuisine and opera. They (and their spouses) socialized together frequently.