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Justice Scalia To Open Up to Lesley Stahl

The desire to sell books, it seems, can make even the Supreme Court's fiercest critic of the media smile for the camera.

Justice Antonin Scalia, who once banned broadcast media from covering his acceptance of an award for supporting free speech, will be profiled on CBS' "60 Minutes" in late April, just before publication of his new book on legal writing and advocacy.

Scalia already has been interviewed at the court by "60 Minutes" correspondent Lesley Stahl and has allowed CBS cameras to record some speeches, said Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg.

Yes, this is the same justice who wouldn't allow TV or radio coverage when he received the City Club's Citadel of Free Speech Award in Cleveland in 2003.

A year later, Scalia apologized to two reporters, including one from The Associated Press, after his security detail forced them to erase tape recordings of a speech he gave in Hattiesburg, Miss. Scalia said it was all a misunderstanding. The ban was meant to apply only to broadcast media, not reporters who were using audio recordings to help them write stories, he said.

But in the course of his written apology for what the U.S. Marshals Service called the "Hattiesburg Incident," Scalia discussed his policy of barring cameras from speeches and declining personal interviews by any media.

"It has been the tradition of the American judiciary not to thrust themselves into the public eye, where they might come to be regarded as politicians seeking public favor," he said.

On the other hand, Scalia has seen his court colleagues use TV appearances to hawk their own books. Former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor appeared on "Dateline NBC" to promote her memoir about growing up on an Arizona ranch.

Justice Clarence Thomas, whose disdain for reporters is also well-known, sat for lengthy interviews on "60 Minutes" and ABC's "Nightline" in connection with publication of his autobiography, "My Grandfather's Son."

Thomas' book briefly rose to No. 1 on the New York Times nonfiction best-seller list.

Perhaps Scalia has similar visions for his book, "Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges," co-written by legal writing expert Bryan Garner. Then again, perhaps not.

Could Scalia, who recently turned 72, be mellowing with age? Don't count on it.

Last month, he criticized reporters for recent coverage of Supreme Court decisions in business cases. The media, he said, often make it appear as though the court is reaching policy judgments on its own rather than basing its decisions on the text of the law at issue in a case.

Scalia's decision to go before the cameras was first reported online by Legal Times.

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