Posted: Feb 13, 2017 08:04 AM MST
Updated: Feb 13, 2017 08:04 AM MST
On the one-year anniversary of his death, take a look at the life of Antonin Scala, Supreme Court justice.
Scalia was born in Trenton, New Jersey, in 1936 and grew up in Queens, New York. He attended Xavier High School in Manhattan, a military school run by the Jesuit order of the Catholic Church.
After attending Georgetown University and Harvard Law School, Scalia began his career at a law firm in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1961. Six years later he accepted a teaching position at the University of Virginia Law School.
In 1972, Scalia was appointed general counsel for the Office of Telecommunications Policy by President Richard Nixon. Following the Watergate scandal, Scalia was appointed assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Council.
As assistant attorney general, Scalia argued his first and only case before the U.S. Supreme Court -- Alfred Dunhill of London, Inc. v. Republic of Cuba. Representing the U.S. government, Scalia won the case.
In 1982, Scalia accepted an appointment by President Ronald Reagan to the Washington, D.C. Court of Appeals. His time on the Court of Appeals was marked by high praise in legal circles and a conservative record that drew the attention of the Reagan administration.
In 1986, Reagan appointed Scalia to the Supreme Court. He was the first justice of Italian-American heritage and passed through confirmation with a unanimous vote.
Scalia was a conservative icon; he believed judges should follow the precise words of the Constitution, rather than apply a modern interpretation. He is credited with changing oral arguments, as he became an active participant with tough questions for advocates.
An ardent conservative, Scalia will perhaps be best known for his landmark decision District of Columbia v. Heller, arguing the Second Amendment protects the right to possess a firearm at home. He was a critic of Roe v. Wade, a landmark decision on the issue of abortion, and dissented in the recent same-sex marriage cases.
Scalia believed the issue of same-sex marriage should be decided by the people, not the court. He called the 2015 case Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the court held in a 5-4 decision the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples, a "threat to American democracy."