Skip to comments.Scalia sees no abortion right in Constitution
Posted on 03/14/2002 5:50:19 AM PST by wwcc
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, during a luncheon in Buffalo on Wednesday, re-emphasized his view that women don't have a constitutional right to an abortion. His belief flies against the court's majority decision in the 1973 case Roe v. Wade, which found a constitutionally protected right of privacy that covers abortion.
"My votes in abortion cases have nothing to do with my pro-life views," Scalia said after his speech at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo. "They have to do with the text of the Constitution. And there is nothing, nothing in the Constitution that guarantees the right to an abortion."
At times flashing a prickly wit, Scalia also criticized the process for selecting new Supreme Court justices as being highly political today.
And he defended the court's 5-4 decision in the 2000 presidential election that stopped ballot counting in Florida and handed victory to George W. Bush.
The recurring theme throughout Scalia's 40-minute speech, and in answers to audience questions, was the importance of a strict, limited interpretation of the Constitution.
"It says what it says, and it ought not to be twisted," he said.
Scalia, who is the foremost conservative member of the Supreme Court, was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986. .
Scalia devoted the bulk of his speech to the clauses in the First Amendment that ensure government may not restrict people's religious practices, nor impose religion on anyone.
Judicial rulings on those clauses - and the entire Constitution - must be based on their text, the authors' original intent or historical practice, he said.
In quoting George Bernard Shaw - using a phrase later appropriated by Robert F. Kennedy - Scalia said those who believe in judicial reshaping of the Constitution "dream things that never were."
The appropriate way to deal with an issue that demands updating judicial precedent or the Constitution is by legislative action or, where appropriate, a constitutional amendment.
"We have an enduring Constitution, not a living one," Scalia said.
After his prepared remarks, Scalia took questions and delved into several hot-button issues.
He dismissed the idea that abortion is a constitutionally protected right, but he also said the Constitution doesn't explicitly prohibit abortions, either. He indicated the issue ultimately should be decided by a constitutional amendment.
The fight over abortion rights already is heating up, as pro-choice groups dig in for a battle whenever Bush gets to make a Supreme Court appointment.
Picking up that theme, Scalia blamed the the bitter political fights over court nominations on the belief that judges are free to rethink the Constitution.
"Every time you're selecting a Supreme Court justice, you're conducting a mini-plebiscite on what the Constitution ought to mean," he said.
Scalia defended the court's decision in the 2000 balloting debacle, saying it properly returned authority in the matter to the Florida Legislature.
Organizers said 930 tickets were sold for the event, sponsored by the Chabad House of Western New York and the University at Buffalo Law School.
The Buffalo News is owned by Warren Buffett, a population-control freak.
Scalia's statement is not the same as yours. Scalia would be quick to tell you that the meaning of the Constitution doesn't change no matter how much people like you pretend it does.
His point, which you blithely ignore, is that people are constantly pretending the Constitution means whatever they want it to, and the political appointment of justices reflects that.
Writing in a right to abortion and taking out a right to bear arms outside of the ammendment process is judicial lunacy. The document stands, and any justice who ignores that meaning is first and foremost a liar.
Of course, that is a common liberal failing.
It was a question, not an arguement
Moral relativism should have a bad name. It's a poisonous bankrupt illogical and dangerous ethic. It denies truth. If every person in the U.S. became a moral relativists, then they would ALL be wrong.
If you would like to defend your ethical system of moral relativism, I will be happy to blow it to pieces for you with simple logic.
The political appointment of justices of the Supreme Court is built into the Constitution. Why? Were the founders so stupid that they couldn't see the consequences?
"People like me" are citizens of the United States and always have been. Thus we're voters and participate in the selection of Justices of the Supreme Court. Were the founders so stupid they couldn't see the consequences?
If "people like me" aren't fit to decide the "true" meaning of the Constitution then who is? Only people like you?
Moreover, the other two didn't even suggest a remedy and it was clear that in the short time remaining, nothing else would be done that would pass court muster anyway.
So that the process would not be as political as an election. Sorry, the process is specifically designed to remove as much politics as possible. How else would they get to the bench? The hand of God?
Where do I denounce moral relativism?
Perhaps I was unclear. I thought I said it was dangerous and that Political Correctniks have given it a bad name in modern times. I also thought I said that it was moral abolutism that was truly dangerous. That's why I referred to Muslims fundamentalists and religious wars.
For me, and many who think like I do, morality is like all other human attempts to understand the world and structure a decent society - an attempt which constantly requires adjustment in response the new experience and new understanding. That not the same thing as saying that all moral systems are equivalent - the error Political Correctiks make and the reason I despise them.
Perhaps the confusion comes because Political Correctiks have appropriated the term Moral Relativism in the same way they've appropriated the term Liberalism. I am more properly a believer in moral uncertainty rather than relativism. It's dangerous because it is uncertain and thus open to misinterpretation. It's dangerous because people crave certainty.
Well, let them crave it. The reality is we live in an uncertain world.
It is, in fact, the government which is prohibited from meddling where it has no stated authority...
Too many folks fail to realize these simple truths.
In the first paragraph of the article. Bias coming through as usual at the Buffalo Snews. "flies against" is close to the "flies in the face of" to be no coincidence.
But, then again, this is news and you and I are talking facts.
Facts haven't had anything to do with news since at least 1990, probably long before.
Ah, the old "interpretation" gambit. Useful whenever you seek to evade the law.
The Constitution is written in clear and concise English. No interpretation needed, unless you are illiterate.
The true meaning of the Constitution is not some dark mystery requiring revelation by liberal witch doctors. The purpose of the liberal witch doctors is to conceal and obfuscate the clear meaning of the Constitution.
"...as possible", you say. Don't you think the founders realized this? Don't you think the founders were aware of human limitations? They were children of the 18th century. Deists for the most part. Familiar in a way that we are not (pre 9/11) with the consequences of religious absolutism. They were trying to build a stable political system - not one immune from change. They would've been the last to claim "absolute" wisdom.
They realized - as any literate person does - that all law is open to interpretation. That differing views can often never be reconciled. That's why we have a Supreme Court. To make a final decision in real time so that action can be taken in real time. In Marbury vs. Madison the Court decided it was the final arbiter of the meaning of the Contitution - above Congress (but not above the people who could amend) - and that interpretation was approved by the founders and has stood the test of time.
OK, that puts the "non" in non-sequitor. Where the hell did that come from? Never mind, I don't want to know.
They were trying to build a stable political system
BZZZT. They could have done that with Emperor George Washington. Try again.
They realized - as any literate person does - that all law is open to interpretation.
Actually, they often appealed to "reason". But in the age of moral relativism, that has now become malleable.
In Marbury vs. Madison the Court decided it was the final arbiter of the meaning of the Contitution
No . . . actually what happened is that the Court decided that it could use the Constitution to determine the outcome of lawsuits and set precidents. It has the same effect as it means that unconstitutional laws will not be enforced.
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