It’s hard not to mention Michael Kinsley’s column on “Sex Lives of Supreme Court Justices,” in which the former editor wrote:
Now that the sex lives of Supreme Court justices have become grist for commentators, we are finally free to discuss a question formerly only whispered about in the shadows: Why does Justice Antonin Scalia, by common consent the leading intellectual force on the Court, have nine children? Is this normal? Or should I say ‘normal,’ as some people choose to define it? Can he represent the views of ordinary Americans when he practices such a minority lifestyle? After all, having nine children is far more unusual in this country than, say, being a lesbian.
I thought of comic things to say about Kinsley’s line. And depressed things to say.
But, in fact, all that seems worth mentioning is the comment left on one report about it that transmitted the rumor that the FT blogger The Anchoress is married to Justice Scalia: “His wife who blogs here Is a very devout catholic and i’m reasonably sure was happy with having lots of kids. If extremely intelligent, talented people want to have loads of children, more power to them.”
A nice comment, in its way, but you all know, don’t you, that our Elizabeth Scalia is not actually the Mrs. Scalia who’s married to the justice? That woman’s name is Maureen McCarthy Scalia.
Reminds me of the man at a conference I attended some years ago who told me, oh so confidentially, that Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard and the actor Billy Crystal were brothers, with Crystal changing the spelling of his last name as the result of, as I remember, a coin flip.
I replied that it not only wasn’t true but was nutty on its face: What parents would name both their sons William? Whereupon the rumor-teller became irate.
And rightly so. Woe to those who deprive us of our truths so much better than the actual truth could be.