Last Week, Today: Nino Scalia

1. Who was Nino Scalia?

The unexpected passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has ignited a stream of stories and personal memories of Scalia as a human being, not just as one of the court's fiercest and smartest conservative judges. 

  • Chris Hale's take on the common ground between Scalia and Pope Francis
  • David Axelrod, Chief Strategist for Obama's campaigns, on a surprising, personal request from Scalia for Obama to nominate Elena Kagan

Now onto politics: Linda Hirshman puts forth a compelling analysis of why the Republicans would still take a big hit this year even if they block Obama's nomination for a replacement. The main reason is that if the Supreme Court is tied 4-4 in a vote, the ruling of the lower court remains -- and the lower courts have a majority of Democratic appointees.

2. Does the Next President Need to be a Candidate of Faith?

Some have argued that Bernie Sanders is the ideal presidential candidate as his quasi-irreligious, "unbiased" perspective is what we need to navigate the thorny tensions between religious communities and secularism. Alan Noble puts forth a thought-provoking argument as to why a person of faith might actually do a better job -- and not for the reasons that you might think.

3. Pie-in-the-sky Sanders more realistic than Clinton

"Sanders is an unserious pie-in-the-sky candidate because he wants to rein in campaign spending and institute a health care system that is commonplace in Europe. Clinton, on the other hand, will eradicate sexism and racism in America. Who’s the dreamer here?"
-- Kirsten Powers, columnist

4. What Obama speaks about when he has really nothing to lose

It was not a campaign speech or really even a policy-promotion speech, but rather a "homecoming" speech of sorts that President Obama gave to the Illinois General Assembly. Obama cracked jokes, spoke from the heart, told stories of being hazed as a freshman politician, and puts forth his reflections and thoughts on what America needs to do to work towards a "better politics."

5. Remarks at Yad Vashem Memorial

"In a place where there are no men, strive to be a man."
-- Rabbi Hillel

Samantha Power, US representative to the United Nations, spoke poignantly about what we must learn from the Holocaust in her trip to Israel's Yad Vashem Memorial last week.