Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to speak

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia will give an address on "The Role of the Courts in a Liberal Democracy" at 8 p.m. Friday, March 7, in McCosh 50 on the Princeton University campus. The lecture is free, but is a ticketed event open primarily to University students, faculty and staff, with a limited number of tickets available to the general public.

The deadline for advance media registration is 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 4. The event is open to still photographers and pencil press only. Space is limited and camera pool arrangements may have to be considered. Ticket holders must arrive by 7:45 p.m. the day of the event. Unfilled seats will be available at the door on a first-come, first-served basis.

The talk will not be transmitted on the University cable channel, but will be simulcast live to overflow locations in McCosh 10, 62, 64 and 66. No ticketing is required for the overflow locations.

Scalia was invited to campus by the University's American Whig-Cliosophic Society, which will present the justice with its 2008 James Madison Award for Distinguished Public Service -- the highest distinction bestowed by the student organization. Founded in 1765, the American Whig-Cliosophic Society is the nation's oldest literary, political and debating society. The event is cosponsored by the University's James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions.

"We chose to honor Justice Scalia with the James Madison Award in recognition of his dedication to the rule of law and public service, as well as his significant contributions to American legal thought," said sophomore Joel Alicea, director of special events for Whig-Clio. "Justice Scalia has distinguished himself as someone whose imprint on the understanding of the Constitution will long be remembered by history, and there is no greater tribute to the spirit of public service than this notable accomplishment."

Scalia was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Reagan in 1986, and is the second most senior associate justice on the court. In 1982, Reagan appointed Scalia to be a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Scalia was born in Trenton, N.J., and received his bachelor's degree from Georgetown University and the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, and his law degree from Harvard Law School.

Whig-Clio President Molly Alarcon, a University sophomore, will present the James Madison Award to Scalia following his address. Past recipients of the annual honor include President Clinton, Supreme Court justices Earl Warren and Sandra Day O'Connor, and Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir. James Madison, the fourth president of the United States and Princeton's first graduate alumnus, was one of Whig-Clio's early members.

"To have Justice Scalia speak on campus is a remarkable opportunity for students," Alicea said. "Princeton has a long and distinguished history regarding the study of constitutional law, and all students will benefit from the chance to hear such an eminent jurist."

Robert George, Princeton's McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and founding director of the James Madison Program, will give introductory remarks at the event. Following his address, Scalia will answer questions submitted by Whig-Clio members.

Tickets will be available to Princeton University students, faculty and staff beginning at noon Monday, March 3, at University Ticketing in the Frist Campus Center. Tickets will be distributed while supplies last from noon to 6 p.m. through Friday, March 7. One ticket will be given per Princeton University ID, and each student, faculty or staff member may present up to two IDs when picking up tickets.

A limited number of tickets for the general public will be available from noon to 2 p.m. Thursday, March 6, at the Richardson Auditorium ticket office in Alexander Hall. Members of the general public may pick up a maximum of two tickets per person.

Representatives of the news media interested in attending the event must call (609) 258-5733 or e-mail no later than 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 4.