Georgia justice: Scalia was one of 'true giants' of American law

Shortly after word spread that Antonin Scalia had been found dead in Texas, one of his former law clerks spoke of his admiration for the late U.S. Supreme Court justice.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speaks about the U.S. Constitution at a symposium organized by the Georgia Bar Association at the Westin Buckhead in 2014. KENT D. JOHNSON / KDJOHNSON@AJC.COM

"Justice Scalia was one of the true giants of American law," Georgia Supreme Court Justice David Nahmias said Saturday. "No one who has served on the Supreme Court was more dedicated to the Constitution and the rule of law."

Nahmias, the former U.S. Attorney here, grew up in Atlanta, attended Briarcliff High School and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1991. After clerking for a federal appeals court judge, Nahmias worked at the high court for Scalia as a law clerk.

On Saturday, Nahmias called Scalia "a wonderful man, devoted to his family and his faith and a loyal friend and mentor to so many people, including me. I will miss him greatly."

Georgia Supreme Court Justice David Nahmias - HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

This past Thursday, speaking to a Georgia State University law school sympositum, Nahmias spoke of his mentor and his absolute demand for confidentiality among his law clerks.

"I recall when I came to the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Scalia has his clerks sign a dual lifetime agreement not to disclose information -- not till you die and he dies," Nahmias told the symposium.

"He emphasized that because he wants to be able to talk freely with his clerks, have them tell him if they think he's got something wrong, be able to share his views about his colleagues," Nahmias said.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

About the Author

Bill Rankin
Bill Rankin
Bill Rankin covers criminal justice, the death penalty and legal affairs. He also hosts the AJC’s “Breakdown” podcast.