Local law professor talks about close friendship with Scalia


Rancho Santa Fe’s Susan Tiefenbrun shows pictures of Justice Antonin Scalia that hang in her home.

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RANCHO SANTA FE, Calif. -- A San Diego law professor who was a close friend of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for more than 20 years says Scalia would have wanted President Barack Obama to fill his vacant seat as soon as possible..

Susan Tiefenbrun and her husband hosted Scalia four times at their Rancho Santa Fe home. Tiefenbrun, who is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in Downtown San Diego, says she first met Scalia in 1994 and became fast friends.

At times, Scalia and his wife, Maureen, also traveled to the South of France where he would teach in a summer-law program organized by Tiefenbrun.

Tiefenbrun says she and her husband shared a love of travel, music and opera with Scalia and his wife. When she learned of Scalia's death on Saturday, she immediately called his wife to offer support.

"The first thing I did was call Maureen Scalia to offer my sincere condolences, he was so charming, so appreciative, so intelligent that you felt honored that he would consider you worthy of being around him," said Tiefenbrun.

Tiefenbrun said she can't believe Scalia is dead and insisted he would've wanted President Obama to nominate a successor right away.

"To leave the Supreme Court in a deadlock position four versus four, it would be something that would paralyze the nation on some very important decisions, I think he would've said, in the interest of America it's the right thing to do, to name justice immediately and go through nomination process," said Tiefenbrun.



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