It is a safe bet that the smartest guy ever to graduate from Jesuit-run Xavier High in Manhattan currently sits on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Even as a student, his former classmates say, Antonin Scalia was scary-smart, first in the class of 1953. "I was never cool though," he once remarked. That seems plausible, especially when one considers how unpopular he continues to be, especially among the chattering political classes who live within a hundred miles of either ocean.
To many liberal political activists, Scalia is a neo-Savanarola: a holier-than thou, unyielding social conservative, seeking to impose his narrow-minded morality on the rest of us. He wants "to turn back the clock," we are told, presumably to those definitely uncool years of stifling religious sensibility, "I like Ike", and Jim Crow politics. The problem with all that, of course, is that it just isn’t true.