Progressive. Queer. Feminist. Opinionated.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Scalia, campion of bigotry

Scalia's such an ass.

Scalia Attacks Gay Rulings:

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has delivered a scathing attack on judges who he claims are deciding moral issues not addressed in the Constitution, such as gay rights, abortion and the death penalty.

Scalia told a packed auditorium at Chapman University, in Orange County, California on Tuesday, that such questions should be settled by Congress or state legislatures beholden to the people.

"I am questioning the propriety — indeed, the sanity — of having a value-laden decision such as this made for the entire society ... by unelected judges," he said.

Scalia also railed against the principle of a "living Constitution" - mantra he has been chanting ever since the Supreme Court stuck down sodomy laws.

Justice Scalia, who dissented on the sodomy ruling, said the Constitution must be strictly followed and chastised Congress for not appointing judges who are strict constitutionalists. Although he did not specifically mention the nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court, Scalia's message was clear.

"Now the Senate is looking for moderate judges, mainstream judges. What in the world is a moderate interpretation of a constitutional text? Halfway between what it says and what we'd like it to say?" he said.

This guy drives me nuts.


Anonymous vt_slayer said...

I don't think there was any bigotry in this article. Whether Scalia is personally bigoted or not, his argument is completely self-consistent and based on a judicial philosophy he has consistently advocated his entire career: that the constitution should be interpreted entirely based on what it says, informed by the intent of its authors... even when what it says and that intent is not consistent with the outcome we prefer.

It is because of this philosophy that he has consistently voted against restrictions on flag burning as contrary to the plain meaning of the First Amendment's protection of political speech despite his personal abhorrence of the practice.

By the same token Justice Scalia does not interpret the constitution as protecting a right of privacy, a position for which a very strong case can be made. Without such a protection, he is arguing, there is no constitutional basis for judges striking down laws passed by the elected representatives of the people. After all, in our system the will of the people is the ultimate source of government authority.

Reasonable people can disagree with him. I myself do. And even more than that I would have deplored the consequences should his views have prevailed in this case. But I think it is a mistake to assume that anyone who opposes the sodomy rulings does so out of bigotry, and I think it is a mistake to assume that Scalia's comments are anything but what they are on their face: a criticism of a judicial philosophy he disagrees with.

5:44 AM


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