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Bleyer: My lunch with Justice Antonin Scalia

July 9, 2012 by NCC Staff


The Daily Show’s Kevin Bleyer gives us some insight into his breakfast with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia--and why Scalia poked a fork at him.

Bleyer’s new book, Me the People, is his attempt to rewrite the Constitution, based on his experiences writing for Jon Stewart, Dennis Miller, Bill Maher, and even Barack Obama.

Bleyer’s current gig is writing for The Daily Show, but he’s also been in the media a lot talking about his book, which comes out at a historic time for Constitution-related events.

He recently spent an hour at the National Constitution Center talking about the Constitution, his book, the recent Supreme Court decision on health care--and his lunch with Justice Antonin Scalia as part of his book research.

Listen To Bleyer Talk About His Lunch With Justice Scalia

[audio:/images/uploads/blog/bleyeronscalia.mp3|titles=Kevin Bleyer's Lunch With Scalia]

Bleyer said he was shocked when researching his book that more Americans could name the Three Stooges than the three branches of government.

Bleyer detailed his lunch at the National Gallery with Justice Scalia, because he would be the one person who would object to rewriting the Constitution.

“He is an incredibly charismatic person," Bleyer said.

He also said Scalia “poked a fork at him” when he brought up ending lifetime tenure for Supreme Court justices.

But in a serious moment, Bleyer said that Scalia remarked he would know when it was time to retire, and then joking asked if Bleyer would knock him off the court if he could change the Constitution.

The subject then changed to Article III of the Constitution, which allows justices to hold office as long as they observe “good behavior.”

The debate was about Bleyer’s proposal to set up a three-person panel to review the Supreme Court.

“Who gets to decide [the panel]” Scalia asked. When Bleyer said the president would pick the panel, Scalia quipped, “A ‘supreme’ Supreme Court … Who gets to decide how long they serve?”

Scalia also told Bleyer that the current Supreme Court has been rewriting the Constitution, too.

“He is officially the funniest Supreme Court justice,” Bleyer added, quoting a study of laughter in the courtroom.

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