Acton Institute Powerblog

Why is Justice Scalia Wearing Sir Thomas More’s Hat?

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At most inaugural events the sartorial buzz is about what designer dress the First Lady is wearing. But yesterday everyone was more interested in a Supreme Court Justice’s hat. Many people were left wondering: Why is Antonin Scalia wearing a renaissance era painter’s hat?

University of Richmond School of Law professor Kevin Walsh has the answer:
morescalia

The hat is a custom-made replica of the hat depicted in Holbein’s famous portrait of St. Thomas More. It was a gift from the St. Thomas More Society of Richmond, Virginia. We presented it to him in November 2010 as a memento of his participation in our 27th annual Red Mass and dinner.

Was the imitation of More a form of silent protest? As First Things’ Matthew Schmitz says:

Wearing the cap of a statesman who defended liberty of church and integrity of Christian conscience to the inauguration of a president whose policies have imperiled both: Make of it what you will.

Joe Carter Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).

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