11 Oct

Judge Scalia On How “Easy” It Is to Deny You Your Rights


Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has again treated us to his “textualist” reading of the Constitution, telling an American Enterprise Institute audience that  unfettered abortion access, “homosexual sodomy” and the retiring of the  death penalty are all “easy” to decide against.

Reports Seattle Pi:

“The death penalty?  It’s easy.  Give  me a break.  It’s easy.  Abortion? Absolutely easy,” Scalia told the  AEI faithful.


“Nobody ever thought the Constitution prevented  restrictions on abortion,” Scalia added.  “Homosexual sodomy?  Come  on.  For 200 years, it was criminal in every state.”

Scalia’s mantra is that the Constitution is not to be treated as a living,  breathing document whose promise of Liberty evolves with its people, but rather  an iron-clad relic that should be read as it was set down, and in only that  way.

This illuminating talk from Scalia comes as several marriage equality cases  stand ready to be taken up by the Supreme Court, a number that will directly  challenge the federal law that bans the government from recognizing same-sex  marriages, the Defense of Marriage Act.

Another case on the Supreme Court’s docket in the coming months, likely after  the November elections it would now seem, will be the Proposition 8 case where a  federal judge and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided that the voting  majority of California violated state and federal guarantees of equal protection  in 2008 by defining away the right to marry a same-sex partner.

Scalia, a Reagan appointee, has sat on the bench for much of the life of the  gay rights struggle. He has consistently found cause to rule against gay rights.  Most notably, Scalia dissented in Lawrence v. Texas, the case that  would serve to eventually make unenforceable state level bans on  sodomy.

In the dissent Scalia, while terming the sodomy ban “facially neutral” even  though the Texas ban applied solely to homosexual acts, wrote:

Today’s opinion is the product of a Court, which  is the product of a law-profession culture, that has largely signed on to the  so-called homosexual agenda, by which I mean the agenda promoted by some  homosexual activists directed at eliminating the moral opprobrium that has  traditionally attached to homosexual conduct…. [T]he Court has taken sides in  the culture war, departing from its role of assuring, as neutral observer, that  the democratic rules of engagement are observed.

While this may give us a rather face-slapping clue as to Scalia’s overall  opinion of gay rights, the case may be of particular interest in that, with his  dissent, Scalia found room to criticize the Court’s majority for its concern  over the criminalization of sodomy leading to discrimination, citing that this  ignored the will of the people:

So imbued is the Court with the law profession’s  anti-anti-homosexual culture, that it is seemingly unaware that the attitudes of  that culture are not obviously “mainstream”; that in most States what the Court  calls “discrimination” against those who engage in homosexual acts is perfectly  legal.

Proposition 8?s defenders have harped, seemingly to play a tune to which a  conservative judiciary might hum, that the voting people of California, through  the democratic process, decided against gay marriage and therefore the will of  the people should stand — this of course sidesteps the fact that minority rights  will nearly always and by their nature find disfavor at a majority poll.

While Scalia’s approach to law, his “textualist” attitude, seems to give him  easy answers on topics like abortion restriction and, to quote again “homosexual  sodomy,” one can’t help but feel that a judge who knows how he will rule before  he has heard the individual cases at hand might be going in with a level of bias  that is, to say the least, concerning.

However, for those of us familiar with Scalia’s views on a variety of topics, none perhaps more eyebrow-raising than  his refrain that sex discrimination is Constitutionally sound, Scalia’s  latest volley against reason and equality, and his apparent admission that being  a Supreme Court justice is “easy” when it comes to issues like these, will not  be a surprise.

Equal rights proponents were never looking to Scalia for affirmation, but  then Scalia’s celebrity has already been cemented among religious  conservatives, legislators like Scott Brown, and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney who has said he  would be looking to appoint similarly minded judges.

Scalia’s latest AEI talk serves, then, as a healthy reminder of what that  would mean for America.


Related Reading:

Scalia Dissent Reads More Like Blog Post

Scalia: Don’t Like SuperPAC Ads, Turn Off Your  TV

Scalia Openly Mocks Tentherism

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