Washington Secrets

Antonin Scalia to skip SOTU to give his own speech

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is skipping President Obama's first State of the Union since being elected to give his own speech. What's more, the outspoken conservative will be speaking at an event moderated by National Public Radio.

As lawmakers, most Cabinet members and some other Supreme Court justices file in to the House chamber to hear Obama's address, Scalia will be at George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium talking about some of his favorite subjects: himself and the law.

His 7 p.m. speech is being hosted by the Smithsonian Associates, an educational arm of the museum. "Scalia will discuss his time on the Supreme Court, memorable and meaningful cases and his working life as an associate justice with Nina Totenberg, NPR's legal affairs correspondent," said the museum.

In a longer version of the event to promote the speech, the Smithsonian said: "After taking his seat on the Supreme Court in 1986, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia quickly became known as one of the most powerful communicators on the bench, producing forceful and colorful oral arguments and written decisions. Take the rare opportunity to get a more personal glimpse of a man who has been described as 'the Supreme Court's wittiest and most outspoken justice' when he joins Nina Totenberg, NPR's legal affairs correspondent, for an informal conversation. He'll talk about his time on the Supreme Court, memorable and meaningful cases, his working life as an associate justice, and more in what's sure to be a lively and insightful discussion."

Scalia's absence at Obama's speech isn't much of a surprise. In 2011 he called the annual ritual a "juvenile spectacle," and hasn't attended a State of the Union in years.

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