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Statement from the Sons of Italy® on the Passing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

February 16, 2016, Washington, D.C.

On behalf of its hundreds of thousands of family members in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, the Order Sons of Italy in America (OSDIA), the oldest and largest organization representing Americans of Italian heritage, deeply mourns the passing of United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

OSDIA National President Daniel J. Longo of Maryland calls Scalia a “shining example of the very best the Italian American community has to offer, highlighting a brilliant career in public service and jurisprudence.” Justice Scalia was recognized by the Sons of Italy Foundation® (SIF) in 1991 for being that shining example, receiving the SIF’s highest honor, the National Education & Leadership Award.

OSDIA National Executive Director Dr. Philip R. Piccigallo, who knew Justice Scalia for more than a quarter century, states that, “whether one agreed or disagreed with his strong legal and philosophical positions, it was impossible not to recognize Justice Scalia’s intellectual acuity, command of prose, forceful impact on American law, the legal system and culture, and the historical importance as the first Italian American appointed to the Supreme Court in 1986.” Piccigallo adds, “moreover, virtually everyone respected and enjoyed Justice Scalia’s company, irrepressible wit, and sense of humor.”

OSDIA extends its deepest condolences to Justice Scalia’s devoted wife, Maureen, his nine children, and more than two dozen grandchildren. His indelible place in American history and jurisprudence is clear and firm.

Established in 1905, the Order Sons of Italy in America (OSIA) has hundreds of thousands of family members located in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. OSIA works at the community, national and international levels to promote the heritage and culture of an estimated 26 million Italian Americans, the nation's fifth largest ethnic group, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. To learn more, visit


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