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Barrett on Gorsuch and the 'Justice Scalia Seat'

In the Media
Photo by: AP News
Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Gorsuch would be 8th man to hold 'Justice Scalia's seat'
By Jessica Gresko
Associated Press

On the night Judge Neil Gorsuch was nominated to fill Justice Antonin Scalia's seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, he was thinking about history.

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John Q. Barrett, a law professor at St. John's University in New York, said being nominated to the court is like moving into a historic house.

"It's sort of like ending up the tenant or the owner of a house that once was occupied by some great person," said Barrett, an expert on Jackson, the fourth man to hold the seat.

Jackson, who took a year off from the court to prosecute Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg, was one of three justices to dissent in Korematsu v. U.S., a case that upheld Japanese internment during World War II.

Barrett said each spot on the court has a distinguished history and the seat's former occupants provide "cachet" or "a bit of an aura." But they're also happenstance. Justice Scalia loved that he wound up in the seat formerly held by Jackson, Barrett said, and citied Jackson as one of his heroes.

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