Farewell to Justice Scalia from the Supreme People’s Court

Judge He

The US Supreme Court holds a special fascination for many members of the Chinese legal community, including some members of the Supreme People’s Court.  Judge He Fan of the judicial reform office of the Supreme People’s Court, who has translated eight or nine books on or relating to the US Supreme Court, published on the morning of 14 February a moving (and accurate) profile of Justice Scalia on his Wechat public account that (as of the evening of 14 February) had received over 60,000 page views.

Some phrases from He Fan’s profile for Chief Justice Roberts to consider when he writes his eulogy:

  • He (Justice Scalia) rode a crane to the West (他已驾鹤西去)(a phrase meaning he passed away–in traditional Chinese symbolism, a crane takes the souls of the departed to the (Western) heaven);
  • Whether you love him or hate him, everyone must admit that Antonin Scalia was the most influential contemporary American judge (无论爱他还是恨他,所有人必须承认,安东宁·斯卡利亚是对当代美国法律影响最大的大法官。
  • Farewell, Justice Scalia (别了,斯卡利亚大法官).


2 thoughts on “Farewell to Justice Scalia from the Supreme People’s Court”

  1. As always, I sincerely appreciate your diligence in educating us about the Chinese courts.

    Curiously, comments from a judge of this totalitarian system’s judicial subset of the Party (I hesitate to say “branch of government” in light of the non-existence of a government without it being the operational execution of the Party’s will) about our Supreme Court never fail to amuse me. I see little difference between the PRC’s courts and those of Nazi Germany. The Party’s will must be done by the courts, as the Party’s vision is the sole acceptable vision of law.

    I suppose one might say that our republic’s democratic vision likewise is the solely acceptable vision for executing the law, and that I am more comfortable with this vision.

    Yet there is an irony in a totalitarian praising an absolute opponent of totalitarianism.

    Best wishes, Todd L. Platek

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. Todd,
      Many thanks for your comment. Is the US’s democratic vision the solely acceptable vision for executing the law? Our friends in the UK or Europe would likely beg to differ. Is Judge He a totalitarian? He works within the Chinese system. He likely would disagree with your characterization.

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