ABC’s Moran: ‘Towering’ Scalia ‘Didn’t Win That Much’ While on the Supreme Court

During the ABC News Special Report on Saturday concerning the sudden death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, chief foreign correspondent and longtime Supreme Court reporter Terry Moran opined that while Scalia was “a towering figure,” the conservative Justice “didn’t win that much” and thus was relegated to dissents that were “scathing and sarcastic but were loud and clear.”

On the phone in Mexico City since he’s covering Pope Francis’s visit to Mexico, Moran began by telling anchor Tom Llamas that “Scalia was just a towering figure on the Supreme Court and in America law through the force of his intellect, but his sheer force of his personality he, for three decades, he led the conservative movement in American law to roll back the era of liberal activism on the courts.”

The reliably liberal reporter made sure to emphasize multiple times that Scalia and his conservative viewpoints “didn’t win” often and thus “he didn’t hand down some landmark rulings, but it was in those rulings and even more in his dissents, which would be scathing and sarcastic but were loud and clear that he demonstrated a way forward for conservatives who almost given up on the Supreme Court after the Warren Era — the era liberal activism.” 

“You couldn’t say that there was a Scalia era, he didn't win that much, but certainly a Scalia influence and it runs right through Supreme Court and American court in general,” he added.

Llamas then steered the remaining time with Moran toward Bush v. Gore decision that still has liberals upset and spun it as Scalia who was responsible for making Bush the next president and not then-Vice President Al Gore:

He was happy about the outcome of that case. That case which awarded the election to George W. Bush on the basis that the Florida recount was violating the equal proection rights of voters because they were counting ballots in Florida in such a variety of ways if you recall and as you know, it was a hugely controversial ruling[.]

Of course, Moran ignored a variety of cases in which Scalia was in the majority. Ranging from cases on gun ownership in Washington D.C. to Texas v. Johnson to Shelby County v. Holder and Gonzales v. Reich are just a few of the monumental decisions in which Scalia wasn’t found in the minority (as Moran claimed).

Over the years, Moran has blasted Scalia and recently concerning his dissents on ObamaCare and gay marriage. Full coverage of those posts on NewsBusters can be found here

The relevant portion of the transcript from the ABC News Special Report on February 13 can be found below.

ABC News Special Report
February 13, 2016
5:29 p.m. Eastern

TERRY MORAN: Justice Antonin Scalia was just a towering figure on the Supreme Court and in America law through the force of his intellect, but his sheer force of his personality he, for three decades, he led the conservative movement in American law to roll back the era of liberal activism on the courts. He didn't win. He didn’t pass – he didn’t hand down some landmark rulings, but it was in those rulings and even more in his dissents, which would be scathing and sarcastic but were loud and clear that he demonstrated a way forward for conservatives who almost given up on the Supreme Court after the Warren Era — the era liberal activism. You couldn’t say that there was a Scalia era, he didn't win that much, but certainly a Scalia influence and it runs right through Supreme Court and American court in general. He showed the way for conservatives to be on the Court, to fight that liberal effort to reinterpret the Constitution in the life of current circumstances. Scalia was the champion of saying the Constitution should mean what it meant for the people who wrote it and ratified it. His loss is just incalculable to the conservative movement and American law and beyond because he was such a champion, he became kind of a political figure and a controversial one as well and yet, it also must be said he also had a gift for friendship. His closest friend on the Supreme Court, the most liberal Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and they were very close. They went to the opera together, they appeared in an opera together in Washington and more recently, Justice Elena Kagan, an Obama appointee, had been converted to quail hunting by Justice Scalia, he was a character, but more than that, as I say, a towering, intellectual and personal figure on that Court, dominating in oral arguments, clear, scathing and  in some ways, a leader, like few other just have been for the conservatives on the Supreme Court. 

TOM LLAMAS: And one of his victories mentioned, as you mentioned, one of his few victories. was Gore v. Bush in 2000, talk to me about the arguments there and this was something he wasn’t afraid to almost boast about times. 

TERRY: No, he was happy about the outcome of that case. That case which awarded the election to George W. Bush on the basis that the Florida recount was violating the equal proection rights of voters because they were counting ballots in Florida in such a variety of ways if you recall and as you know, it was a hugely controversial ruling and yet, Scalia was the kind of guy, I would see him from time to time at events in Washington. He was charming but he liked to mix it up. He liked a good argument and usually got the better of it.

Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck is the Managing Editor of NewsBusters for the Media Research Center