Brian Wilson/Office of Communications

“It is simply not true that the courts can do whatever it takes” to right wrongs, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told a near-capacity audience March 7 in McCosh 50. “There are some things that courts cannot do, and if that means there are some wrongs that courts cannot right, so be it,” he added during a talk on “The Role of the Courts in a Liberal Democracy.” Scalia was presented with the 2008 James Madison Award for Distinguished Public Service by Molly Alarcon ’10, president of the American Whig-Cliosophic Society, which invited Scalia to campus. After his speech, Scalia answered questions submitted in advance by students, including one regarding the Supreme Court’s decision in the 2000 presidential ballot recount in Florida. “Oh, get over it. It’s eight years ago,” Scalia responded, drawing a mixed reaction of laughter, applause, and boos from the audience. “We were the laughingstock of the world – the world’s greatest democracy that couldn’t conduct an election.”