Antonin Scalia's NYMag Interview Gets Fact-Checked

10/07/2013 01:35 am ET | Updated Oct 07, 2013

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia got a lot of attention for his colorful interview with New York magazine on Sunday. While most of his claims were as real as it gets -- including the notion that he may have gay friends -- The Huffington Post found a few holes.

1. When asked whether he believed his "delectable" yet divisive opinions ever cost him a majority, Scalia responded, "never."

In fact, his tone once cost him the deciding vote of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. After Scalia attacked O'Connor's analysis of the abortion issue -- saying she "cannot be taken seriously" and attacking her "utter inconsistency" -- a former clerk to Scalia said O'Connor felt "deeply wounded," and that Scalia had "completely alienated" her. Scalia inhibited any shot he had at swaying O'Connor, the key swing vote, and she went on to reaffirm Roe v. Wade in 1992.

2. Scalia told NYMag's Jennifer Senior that she got it "completely wrong" when she asked if Justice John Paul Stevens said to Justice David Souter, "Tell me when I'm losing it and need to retire." Scalia said he believed it was Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes or Justice Louis Brandeis.

Senior was right: it actually was Stevens. From The Atlantic's 2011 interview with Stevens:

A few years ago, [Stevens] secretly asked Associate Justice David Souter to tell him when it was time for him to go. But Souter left first, in 2009.

"When he retired, I knew I didn't have any safety valve anymore."

3. Senior asked Scalia when he'd last attended a party with both liberal and conservative representation. "Geez, I can't even remember," he responded. "It's been a long time."

Apparently, Scalia's memory doesn't span as far back as April. The Supreme Court justice has been known to attend the White House Correspondents' dinner in years past -- an event catering to the most extreme left- and right-wing news sources, and everything in between -- and was there this year.

You'd better believe Scalia means it when he says he thinks social networking is "strange," just don't believe everything he tells you.

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