University of Central Missouri political science professor Jim Staab published a book in 2006 about U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The book is titled “The Political Thought of Justice Antonin Scalia: A Hamiltonian on the Supreme Court”.

Political science professor Jim Staab

Political science professor Jim Staab

Scalia, 79, was found dead Saturday in his room at a Texas hunting resort.

Staab recalls Scalia as being a unique conservative.

“The principle argument of the book is that he’s a Hamiltonian conservative, going back to Alexander Hamilton and the idea of a fairly strong national government and strong executive branch in terms of separation of powers. I didn’t think people were picking up on that so well,” said Staab.

Staab said Scalia had some controversial views that challenged students.

“He had a really unique vision of the constitution and the place of the court system within our democratic system,” said Staab. “He asked and addressed the really big questions in our constitutional system of government. Whether people agree or disagree with him, it makes for a very interesting discussion, deep level discussion.”

Staab invited Scalia to visit the University of Central Missouri. Scalia said he typically visited institutions with a law school.  In 2008, Scalia made an exception and payed a visit to the school.

A packed audience listened to Scalia talk about the way he interpreted the Constitution.

“He also gave a talk in my class. It was a real honor to have him on our campus,” said Staab.

Republicans in Washington want a new Supreme Court Justice appointed after a new president is elected. President Obama can nominate the next justice, but needs the approval of the Republican-led Congress.