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Details of Justice Scalia’s visit corrected

Sam Davis | Monday, November 5, 2007

Contrary to what was printed in an Observer article last Tuesday, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia did not request that his appearance at the Law School on Oct. 19 go unpublicized, and neither did the U.S. Marshals, Law School officials said. An Observer reporter’s misquoting added to the inaccuracy.

The Observer wrongly reported that Scalia and the Marshals asked the University to refrain from publicizing the justice’s participation in the Law School conference on the separation of powers in the federal government. But law professor A.J. Bellia, the conference organizer, made that decision, Bellia and Law School spokesperson Melanie McDonald said Thursday.

The errors stemmed from misinformation, compounded by poor reporting. McDonald initially told The Observer that Scalia requested the appearance to go unpublicized. She said she learned after publication of the Tuesday article that it was Bellia’s preference.

Bellia said the decision not to publicize Scalia’s presence was his own. Though it was likely easier for the Marshals that the appearance was unpublicized, they did not make that request, Bellia said.

The Observer also misquoted McDonald and Bellia. McDonald did not say that a “mob scene” would ensue if Scalia’s appearance were publicized. Also, Bellia did not say that “it is the preference of the U.S. Marshals” that Notre Dame refrain from publicizing Scalia’s visit.