Justice Scalia to Give Congress Lecture on Constitution, Separation of Powers

Dec 15, 2010 3:08pm

ABC News' Ariane de Vogue reports:

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has agreed to give new lawmakers a lesson on the Constitution.

Conservative Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn, invited Scalia to lecture incoming House Members on the issue of the separation of powers.

Bachmann told ABC on election night as Republicans were sweeping to power in Congress that she would launch the series of lectures to educate incoming members.

She has said the classes could occur weekly and compared them to classes football players take to bone up on plays before a game. The classes should be open to all lawmakers.

So far the first event with Scalia is closed to the press and slated to occur on January 5th. It is unclear whether there is precedent for such a meeting of the minds between the second and third branches.

In 2003, Representatives Judy Biggert (R-IL) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) launched the Congressional Caucus on the Judicial Branch to strengthen relations between Congress and the Judiciary. The group has hosted several Supreme Court Justices for off the record exchanges including Justice Sonia Sotomayor earlier this year. It’s not exactly a lecture but according to Biggert (in a posting on the website uscourts.gov) it’s a “rare opportunity for Members of Congress to interact with senior judges in a context where no pressing decision, legal dispute or Constitutional question is at stake.”

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