"Indeed, Scalia's tenure on the Court may be understood as an exercise in standing athwart history yelling stop--athwart the decades-long succession of cases by which the judicial power was transformed and the justices became lawgivers. During his confirmation hearing in 1986, Scalia told the Senate Judiciary Committee, "My only agenda is to be a good judge." It is clear in retrospect--if it was not at the time--that "a good judge," to his mind, was not the sort that had often preceded him to the High Court."Well said. Read the Weekly Standard's whole piece.
I think Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito will be better - more consistent, more humble, and less caustic. And I think Chief Justice Rehnquist truly deserves the most restorative trailblazing credit. But Justice Scalia's efforts have made the ascendancy of a more restrained and conservative judiciary possible. Without him, I don't know that we have a Roberts or an Alito, and I think Justices O'Connor and Kennedy would have "evolved" much more than they did.