"It was Al Gore who made it a judicial question. It was he who brought it into the Florida courts. We didn't go looking for trouble. It was he who said, 'I want this to be decided by the courts.' What are we supposed to say? 'Oh, not important enough,'" Scalia jokes.
"It ended up being a political decision" Stahl points out.
"Well you say that. I don't say that," Scalia replies.
"You don't think it handed the election to George Bush?" Stahl asks.
"Well how does that make it a political decision?" Scalia asks.
"It decided the election," Stahl says.
"If that's all you mean by it, yes," Scalia says.
"That's all I mean by it," Stahl says.
"Oh, ok. I suppose it did. Although you should add to that that it would have come out the same way, no matter what," Scalia says.
The justice has been explaining his positions publicly more and more, and even delving into some thorny issues, like torture.
"I don't like torture," Scalia says. "Although defining it is going to be a nice trick. But who's in favor of it? Nobody. And we have a law against torture. But if the - everything that is hateful and odious is not covered by some provision of the Constitution," he says.
"If someone's in custody, as in Abu Ghraib, and they are brutalized by a law enforcement person, if you listen to the expression 'cruel and unusual punishment,' doesn't that apply?" Stahl asks.
"No, No," Scalia replies.
"Cruel and unusual punishment?" Stahl asks.
"To the contrary," Scalia says. "Has anybody ever referred to torture as punishment? I don't think so."
"Well, I think if you are in custody, and you have a policeman who's taken you into custody…," Stahl says.
"And you say he's punishing you?" Scalia asks.
"Sure," Stahl replies.
"What's he punishing you for? You punish somebody…," Scalia says.
"Well because he assumes you, one, either committed a crime…or that you know something that he wants to know," Stahl says.
"It's the latter. And when he's hurting you in order to get information from you…you don't say he's punishing you. What's he punishing you for? He's trying to extract…," Scalia says.
"Because he thinks you are a terrorist and he's going to beat the you-know-what out of you…," Stahl replies.
"Anyway, that's my view," Scalia says. "And it happens to be correct."
He's nothing if not certain and confident. How did he get that way?