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The discussion between U.S. Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito Jr. on Oct. 21 came across in some press reports as an anti-media screed, but it really was a mellower affair. The two spoke at a panel sponsored by the National Italian American Foundation hours before its annual gala in Washington. Moderator Francis Allegra, a judge on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, quizzed them and other panelists on judicial independence, not on media coverage of the Court. But when the media came up, Scalia briefly repeated his long-standing grievance that journalists focus on whether “the nice little old lady” won or lost a court case, rather than the reasoning behind the decision. But he did not blame the media, adding that nuanced explanations would not sell newspapers. Alito’s main complaint was with bloggers and others on the Internet who view judges’ family members as fair game for scrutiny. Alito also revealed that his mother, Rose, enjoys watching courtroom shows such as “Judge Judy.” “Unfortunately, real courts can’t work that way,” Alito said.
Tony Mauro can be contacted at [email protected].

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