Antonin Scalia's 10 most memorable lines

Story highlights

  • Justice Antonin Scalia was a verbose bogeyman to the liberals he prodded and provoked during his nearly three decades on the Supreme Court
  • The New Jersey-born Scalia, who died in his sleep over the weekend, had a talent for making his allies squeal and opponents squirm

(CNN)A hero to many conservatives, Justice Antonin Scalia was a verbose bogeyman to liberals during his nearly three decades on the Supreme Court.

In public speeches, comments from the bench and in his written opinions, the New Jersey-born Scalia, who died in his sleep over the weekend, had a talent for making his allies squeal and opponents squirm.
Though Scalia's words sometimes offended, they sometimes delighted, and, on some occasions, made almost everyone laugh.
Here are 10 of the late justice's most memorable quotes.

1. Why a public nudity ban did not violate the First Amendment

"The purpose of Indiana's nudity law would be violated, I think, if 60,000 fully consenting adults crowded into the Hoosierdome to display their genitals to one another, even if there were not an offended innocent in the crowd," Scalia wrote, concurring with the majority in Barnes v. Glen Theatre.

2. Scalia lists 'easy' cases to decide

"The death penalty? Give me a break. It's easy. Abortion? Absolutely easy. Nobody ever thought the Constitution prevented restrictions on abortion. Homosexual sodomy? Come on. For 200 years, it was criminal in every state," he said in October at the American Enterprise Institute.

3. Oddly unforgettable jabs at the Supreme Court's 2015 Obamacare decision

"The court's next bit of interpretive jiggery-pokery involves other parts of the Act that purportedly presuppose the availability of tax credits on both federal and state Exchanges," Scalia wrote, before dismissing another point as "pure applesauce."

4. That time he told Americans to 'get over' the Supreme Court's decision in Bush v. Gore

"Gee, I really don't wanna get into -- I mean this is -- get over it. It's so old by now. The principal issue in the case, whether the scheme that the Florida Supreme Court had put together violated the federal Constitution, that wasn't even close. The vote was seven to two," Scalia told "60 Minutes" after being asked about the case that effectively ended the 2000 general election fight.

5. On how his fear of 'the Devil' made a reporter seem out of touch

"You're looking at me as though I'm weird," he said to New York magazine's Jennifer Senior in the course of a long Q&A in 2013. "My God! Are you so out of touch with most of America, most of which believes in the Devil? I mean, Jesus Christ believed in the Devil! It's in the Gospels! You travel in circles that are so, so removed from mainstream America that you are appalled that anybody would believe in the Devil! Most of mankind has believed in the Devil, for all of history. Many more intelligent people than you or me have believed in the Devil."

6. Speaking to students in England about how some react to his brand of Constitutional interpretation

"Sometimes people come up to me and inquire, 'Justice Scalia, when did you first become an originalist?' As though it's some weird affliction, you know, 'When did you start eating human flesh?' " Scalia said, as reported on "60 Minutes."

7. Musing on what is and isn't protected by the Second Amendment

"Obviously the (Second) Amendment does not apply to arms that cannot be hand-carried -- it's to keep and 'bear,' so it doesn't apply to cannons -- but I suppose here are hand-held rocket launchers that can bring down airplanes, that will have to be decided," he said during a Fox News Sunday interview in 2012.

8. Scalia invokes murder in discussion about homosexuality

"If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?" he asked a college freshman who questioned him about his past writings.
"I'm surprised you aren't persuaded," Scalia added, after insisting he was not seeking to equate sodomy with murder.

9. When he balked at the suggestion that the Supreme Court had become too 'political'

"Maybe the legislature and the president are not as stupid as you think," Scalia said during a panel discussion on one of his books. "They assuredly picked those people because of who they are and when they get to the court they remain who they were."

10. On being proud to have enemies

In an interview with Charlie Rose in 2012, he said: "A man who has made no enemies is probably not a very good man."