Ann Banaszewski Ann S Banaszewski Justice Antonin Scalia drunk driver drunk driving Above the Law.jpgIf your mom or dad is a federal judge, that makes them perfect (by definition). But Article III infallibility does not extend to you, their offspring. Do YOU have a commission signed by the President? Where’s your fancy black robe?
In fact, federal judicial kids get into all sorts of embarrassing scrapes. For example, sometimes they spill coffee on airplanes.*
And sometimes they get into much bigger trouble. From the Chicago Tribune:

A daughter of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was arrested Monday night in Wheaton and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and child endangerment, Wheaton Deputy Police Chief Thomas Meloni said.

Ann S. Banaszewski, 45, was stopped about 7:25 p.m. in a 1996 Ford Econoline van near Gamon Road and Longfellow Drive after a citizen reported a possible drunken driver was at the McDonald’s restaurant near there, Meloni said.

Three of Banaszewski’s “small children” were in the van with her at the time, leading to the child endangerment charge, Meloni said.

Quips our tipster: “Now that I have kids, it really makes me mad to see someone drinking and driving with their kids in the car.”
(Similarly troubling: Banaszewski’s taste in vehicles. A 1996 Ford Econoline van? Not nearly as nice as the BMW her father tools around Washington in.)
Mrs. Banaszweski wasn’t eager to chat about the incident:

Banaszewski, reached by phone at home, declined to speak about the arrest, or whether she was Scalia’s daughter.

“I have no information and I certainly would not speak with a reporter about my father,” she said.

Some unsolicited advice: Next time, Ann, just say “no comment.” We don’t mean to be annoying or pedantic — we’re guessing you don’t speak to the media much — but saying you “have no information” about an episode in which you’re the protagonist isn’t true.
Anyway, we must say we’re rather surprised by this news. The offspring of Justice Scalia are an upstanding bunch. They include a priest, a military officer, and a hot ERISA lawyer. And given Justice Scalia’s emphasis on morality and personal responsibility, we think he’d be displeased to learn that his daughter was allegedly driving under the influence, with his three grandchildren in the car.
* For those of you who care, yes, we will (eventually) respond to Judge Alex Kozinski’s open letter to us. We’ve just been very, very busy.
Daughter of Supreme Court Justice Charged in DUI [Chicago Tribune]
Earlier: Flying the Friendly, Federal Judicial Skies
Judges of the Day: Patrick Young and Jan Fiss
The Honorable Nicole Richie?


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