Skip to comments.Scalia Ridicules Court's Gay Sex Ruling
Posted on 10/23/2003 6:37:48 PM PDT by NCjim
WASHINGTON - Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia ridiculed his court's recent ruling legalizing gay sex, telling an audience of conservative activists Thursday that the ruling ignores the Constitution in favor of a modern, liberal sensibility.
The ruling, Scalia said, "held to be a constitutional right what had been a criminal offense at the time of the founding and for nearly 200 years thereafter."
Scalia adopted a mocking tone to read from the court's June ruling that struck down state antisodomy laws in Texas and elsewhere.
Scalia wrote a bitter dissent in the gay sex case that was longer than the ruling itself.
On Thursday, Scalia said judges, including his colleagues on the Supreme Court, throw over the original meaning of the Constitution when it suits them.
"Most of today's experts on the Constitution think the document written in Philadelphia in 1787 was simply an early attempt at the construction of what is called a liberal political order," Scalia told a gathering of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.
"All that the person interpreting or applying that document has to do is to read up on the latest academic understanding of liberal political theory and interpolate these constitutional understandings into the constitutional text."
Scalia is a hero of conservatives who favor a strict adherence to the actual text of the Constitution.
The 50-year-old Intercollegiate Studies Institute is a private conservative education organization that sponsors lectures and conferences and scholarships. The group says its mission is to, "enhance the rising generation's knowledge of our nation's founding principles limited government, individual liberty, personal responsibility, free enterprise and Judeo-Christian moral standards."
ISI draws much of its funding from conservative foundations, including three controlled by or associated with billionaire philanthropist Richard Mellon Scaife, a vehement critic of former President Clinton.
Scalia spoke after standing with some 800 others to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Supreme Court announced last week that it will hear a case testing the constitutionality of the current version of the pledge as it is recited in public schools and that Scalia will not take part.
Scalia apparently sidelined himself because of remarks he made earlier this year critical of a lower court ruling in the case. The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had found the pledge was unconstitutional in public school classroom because of the phrase, "one nation, under God."
The Supreme Court could decide to strip the words "under God" from the patriotic oath or rule that the mention of God does not violate the notion of separation of church and state.
Scalia might have cost the country the pledge for his efforts. a 4-4 tie means no "under God". If he was there in the case it would be a 5-4 ruling. He better hope that Kennedy or O'Connor don't go wobbly.
I still have trouble understanding why he should sideline himself for commenting on court cases. His opinion is his opinion whether he expresses it in public or not. Wherever he goes, he takes himself along and having commented on something does not change the dynamics of how he would have ruled anyway. If he had some OUTSIDE interest in a ruling and stood to gain or lose something, then it would make sense to recuse himself. The whole point of his being there is to do his best to interpret cases as he feels they should be interpreted. Somebody please explain to me where the real impropriety would be if he stayed in on the case...
Tonight on Radio FreeRepublic
Unspun with AnnaZ
October 23rd, 2003 -- 10pmE/7pmP
"At least when right-wingers rant, there's a point!"
Off with his head.
The biggest problem I see with the analogy for him being predisposed to a decision is that the Supreme Court is not a jury and the selection is already pre-ordained. If we try to put traditional rationales behind it, then some of them shouldn't be allowed to sit on any more affirmative action cases, etc. The Supreme Court is a body that is supposed to make decisions and the odd number serves a purpose.
I see trying to say that if one of the SCOTUS Jurists is predisposed to a certain conclusion disqualifies him/her from sitting on a case as really bad and dangerous precedent. With that rationale you open the door for a lot of special interest groups to raise a hue and cry whenever a case near and dear to them comes up. They would see an opportunity to try to question a Jurist's right to sit on the case and put pressure to try and pick their own combination of SCOTUS Jurists for their case. Unstacking the deck in from one direction and stacking it in another direction. The problem is, SCOTUS is supposed to be a stacked deck in that Presidents get to appoint them (unles you have some obstructionist Democrats in the Senate and some lily-livered Republicans there) and the appointments are generally made with the Presidents' personal leanings in mind. That's the way it was designed and that's the way it should work. It is as close as we can come to having a court appointed by the "will of the People".
Allowing SCOTUS Jurists to be pressured into recusal would, in effect, turn SCOTUS into a circus and remove any real validity by putting it in the hands of special interest radicals. The system as-is works fine; sometimes SCOTUS is a little more liberal, and sometimes a little more conservative and the mix changes slowly. All the Jurists should decide every case. Otherwise you have a situation where if a kid doesn't like one parent's decision, he can petition the courts to only let the other parent make decisions in a certain area - chaos and the further degradation of society.