Scalia on Art: He who pays calls the shots


The government can decide what artwork is worthwhile without being accused of censorship as long as it is funding that art, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told an audience Thursday at the Juilliard School.

“The First Amendment has not repealed the ancient rule of life, that he who pays the piper calls the tune,” Scalia said.

The justice, who limited his discussion to art issues, said he wasn’t suggesting that government stop funding the arts, but that if it does fund artwork, it is entitled to have a say in the content, just like when it runs a school system.

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