Supreme Court's newest justice has an elk as an office mate

AP

Print Article

WASHINGTON (AP) When Justice Neil Gorsuch joined the Supreme Court earlier this year he got Justice Antonin Scalia's seat, his office and his elk, Leroy.

In recent appearances, Gorsuch has been telling the story of how the elk actually just its mounted head came to be his office mate.

The story starts more than a decade ago when Scalia shot the elk on a hunting trip and had its head mounted and hung in his Supreme Court office.

Gorsuch explained at an event in Washington last week that after Scalia died in 2016 it seemed that the elk was destined "to become homeless." That's because the elk head, part of an animal estimated to have weighed around 900 pounds, is "much too much for anyone's living room wall," Gorsuch said.

"And then someone got the idea that Leroy might make, well, a sort of unusual welcome-to-the-neighborhood gift for the new guy. What a gift," Gorsuch said.

Christopher Scalia, one of the late justice's nine children and the co-editor of a collection of his father's speeches published this week, said in a telephone interview that his father shot the Rocky Mountain elk on a hunting trip in Colorado in 2003. Though the justice had other hunting trophies displayed in his home including white tail deer, an antelope or two and a boar's head, the elk was "way too big for our house," Christopher Scalia said. So Leroy took up residence at the Supreme Court facing the justice's desk.

"He was proud of it and he enjoyed showing it off," Christopher Scalia said.

Glen Summers, a former law clerk of Scalia's who was with him when he shot Leroy, said Scalia made a "magnificent, long-range" shot of some 460 yards. It was the only elk Scalia ever killed, he said. As for why the justice called him Leroy, that's a mystery, Summers said.

After Scalia died, Leroy was crated up and sent to Summers in Colorado, he said. And when Gorsuch was nominated to the court, Summers asked what others were also thinking, he said: Would Gorsuch, a fellow conservative and outdoorsman, take Leroy back to Washington? Gorsuch "graciously accepted," Summers said. So back across the country Leroy went. He was presented to Gorsuch at a reunion of Scalia clerks earlier this year.

Gorsuch joked last week that he is actually "delighted to share space with Leroy" and that they "share a few things in common."

"Turns out, we're both native Coloradans. We both received a rather shocking summons to Washington," he said. "Neither of us is ever going to forget Justice Scalia."

___

Follow Jessica Gresko on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jessicagresko

Print Article

Read More Lifestyles

The Latest: More evacuees from California wildfires go home

AP

October 16, 2017 at 8:37 pm | SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) The Latest on California wildfires (all times local): 8:30 p.m. More people displaced by Northern California wildfires have been told they can go home. The Sonom...

Comments

Read More

Houses spared by massive fires bring joy and sense of loss

AP

October 16, 2017 at 7:00 pm | SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) Tom and Catherine Andrews live on the edge of devastation. On one side of their mid-century style home, the deadly wildfires that ravaged parts of Northern California fo...

Comments

Read More

Entangled dock line blamed for Rhode Island tall ship crash

AP

October 16, 2017 at 5:12 pm | NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) The owner of a tall ship that crashed into four other boats after a seafood festival is blaming the crash on a dock line that became entangled on its two propellers. The SSV ...

Comments

Read More

Liz Weston: How to buy the last house you'll ever buy

AP

October 16, 2017 at 7:54 am | My husband and I bought what we thought was a starter home 20 years ago. Now we think of it as our "forever" home, where we plan to retire and live out the rest of our days. We got lucky, because...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(509) 765-4561
PO Box 910
Moses Lake, WA 98837

©2017 Columbia Basin Herald Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X