Scalia 'Appalled' by Lack of Civic Education in Schools

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Monday, 17 Feb 2014 10:01 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has denounced the school education in America for not properly educating youngsters on their civic responsibilities, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Speaking Friday at the Union League Club of Chicago’s 126th annual George Washington’s Birthday celebration in Chicago, Scalia said that Washington was his favorite president and "a man of conscience and steadfast determination."

He then decried the fact that the "reasons and objectives" of the Constitution are not being taught in schools as they were when the country was first founded.

Saying he’s astonished that most students in law schools he speaks at have not read the Federalist Papers, he went on, "It is truly appalling that they should have reached graduate school without having been exposed to that important element of their national patrimony, the work that best explains the reasons and objectives of the Constitution."

Quoting lexicographer Noah Webster, Scalia said that students "must know and love the laws, this knowledge should be diffused by means of schools and newspapers, and an attachment to the laws may be formed by early impressions on the mind."

The justice said Webster called for school lessons devoted to the in-depth study of American history and the U.S. system of government. "How politically incorrect these ideas seem in an age that worships diversity and moral relativism," Scalia said.

To lighten things up, he then took a potshot at pizza in Chicago while comparing it to pizza made in New York. He said he loved both the New York and Chicago dishes, but said the latter "shouldn’t be called pizza", then adding, "It’s very tasty, but it’s not pizza."

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