The fifth annual dinner in honor of the John Paul II Award for the New Evangelization was held on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington DC. The Catholic Information Center was proud to posthumously honor Supreme Court Justice Antonin G. Scalia who devoted his life to serving his family, community, and the Catholic Church.
About the 2016 Recipient
Antonin Scalia was born in Trenton, New Jersey on March 11, 1936, the only child of a schoolteacher and college professor. He received his A.B. from Georgetown University and his LL.B. from Harvard Law School. In 1960 he married Maureen McCarthy, with whom he had nine children. He worked in private practice, taught in law schools, served in the Justice Department, and sat on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In 1986, President Reagan appointed him to the Supreme Court of the United States, where he served until his death on February 13, 2016.
Justice Scalia believed that faith must play an important role in American life and should have a strong voice in the public square. He spoke openly about his own Catholicism and frequently urged others to bear witness to their religious belief: “Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity,” he said. “Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world.” As a symbol of this strong belief in the important role of faith in public life, his official Court portrait includes an image of St. Thomas More in the background. His example played a significant role in bringing friends and colleagues to the Catholic Church, and upon his death, many people across the nation expressed their gratitude for his witness.
About the 2016 Keynote Speaker
Edward Whelan served as a law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia from 1991 to 1992. He has been a prominent and vigorous defender of Justice Scalia and his jurisprudence and was asked to deliver some remarks on behalf of the family.
Since 2004, Mr. Whelan has been the President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he directs EPPC’s program on The Constitution, the Courts, and the Culture. His areas of expertise include constitutional law and the judicial-confirmation process. The National Law Journal has named Mr. Whelan among its “Champions and Visionaries” in the practice of law in D.C. and has praised him for “pioneer[ing] the field of legal blogging.” He is a regular contributor to National Review Online’s Bench Memos blog. He has also written essays and op-eds for leading newspapers (including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Washington Post), opinion journals, and academic symposia and law reviews.
Mr. Whelan has held positions of responsibility in all three branches of the federal government. From just before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, until joining EPPC, Mr. Whelan was the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel in the U.S. Department of Justice. He previously served on Capitol Hill as General Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary. In addition to clerking for Justice Scalia, he was a law clerk to Judge J. Clifford Wallace of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Mr. Whelan is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, where he was a member of the Board of Editors of the Harvard Law Review. He and his wife Deborah and their family live in Arlington, Virginia.
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