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Supreme Court Justice Addresses Wartime Constitutional Rights
AP ^

Posted on 03/18/2003 7:44:03 PM PST by chance33_98



Supreme Court Justice Addresses Wartime Constitutional Rights

The Associated Press Published: Mar 18, 2003

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) - The government has room to scale back individual rights during wartime without violating the Constitution, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said Tuesday.

"The Constitution just sets minimums," Scalia said after a speech at John Carroll University in suburban Cleveland. "Most of the rights that you enjoy go way beyond what the Constitution requires."

Scalia, one of the court's most conservative judges, was responding to a question about the Justice Department's pursuit of terrorism suspects and whether their rights are being violated.

Scalia did not discuss what rights he believed are constitutionally protected, but said that in wartime, one can expect "the protections will be ratcheted right down to the constitutional minimum. I won't let it go beyond the constitutional minimum."

Scalia was interrupted once briefly by a protester who shouted an anti-war statement. The protester was taken from the room by security officers but was not arrested.

Scalia stopped speaking during the scuffle, then joked that the protest probably was more interesting than his topic, which was the constitutional protection of religions.


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: antoninscalia; constitution; encroachment; freedom; rights; scalia; supremecourt

1 posted on 03/18/2003 7:44:03 PM PST by chance33_98
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To: chance33_98
The Constitution does not grant inalienable rights. It recognizes and enumerates some, but not all, of them. Nothing--not war, not emergency, not executive order, not an act of a legislature, can rightfully justify the violation of inalienable rights. This is because the needs of one person, no matter how urgent or severe, can not justify the violation the rights of someone else. You don't have the right to kill an innocent person, just because your own life is in danger. The number of people involved makes no difference.

The Constitution is not a suicide pact, but it also has no power to justify or legitimize the violation of any inalienable rights. It is not a contract wherein citizens agree to waive their inalienable rights in exchange for either citizenship or residency in the United States.
2 posted on 03/18/2003 8:01:26 PM PST by sourcery (The Oracle on Mount Doom)
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To: sourcery
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
"The Constitution just sets minimums," Scalia said after a speech at John Carroll University in suburban Cleveland. "Most of the rights that you enjoy go way beyond what the Constitution requires."
Sorry Scalia, you just set yourself up for impeachment. Plenty of judges, politicians and lawyers would agree with you, and they are ALL wrong.

3 posted on 03/18/2003 8:10:35 PM PST by RKV
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To: RKV
Sorry Scalia, you just set yourself up for impeachment. Plenty of judges, politicians and lawyers would agree with you, and they are ALL wrong.

Are you implying that Scalia and "ALL" other judges should defere to you on what is in the Constitution?

4 posted on 03/18/2003 8:33:49 PM PST by nevergiveup (I AM that guy from Pawtucket.)
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To: chance33_98
"The Constitution just sets minimums," Scalia said after a speech at John Carroll University in suburban Cleveland. "Most of the rights that you enjoy go way beyond what the Constitution requires."

This has got to be the most assinine statement I have read in some time. If this guy is really a conservative, we are in a world of trouble. I've read through many of the supreme court decisions and dissents made over the past decade, and have generally found Scalia's to be at least coherent, but If this guy really believes what he said above, I'll have to say that we are absolutely doomed to live in a totalitarian nightmare. I expect that from 'liberals', but not from 'conservatives'.

5 posted on 03/18/2003 8:47:19 PM PST by zeugma (If you use microsoft products, you are feeding the beast.)
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To: chance33_98
There seems to be 2 thoughts re: the constitution:
- that it enumerates rights
or that
- it restricts the government from infringing on specifically mentioned rights.

I just didn't expect this from Judge Scalia.
6 posted on 03/18/2003 9:00:08 PM PST by stylin19a (Having a hard time meeting people ? just pick up the wrong golf ball on the golf course.)
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To: chance33_98
"Most of the rights that you enjoy go way beyond what the Constitution requires."

I can't say I approve of this sort of talk from our highest officials. Didn't Clinton once say that we have too much freedom, or something to that effect? If so, then it seems to be a doctrine that most in government seem to hold, regardless of party lines or professed ideology.

There will be some people out there who will say they "trust" the government and it's wartime and they're willing to make sacrifices, etc., but to make that decision for all of us, and leave it so open-ended? They say this war is to protect/promote freedom, but what good is it when the government starts deciding what rights it will respect, and how much of those rights it will extend? Either they're rights, or they're not. Scalia makes them sound like privileges to be adjusted in light of the convenience of the moment. And the government is already whispering about torturing al-Qaeda prisoners, and of course people cheer it on and say "yeah, bring on the drugs and electrodes for those terrorists!" But how long until the drugs and electrodes are used on non-violent citizens who just disagree, for political reasons? It's a door I don't even want the government to think about opening.

War or no war, I guess I just can't win. Conservatives used to fully understand that government is never on your side, and never your friend. I guess now they think government is the enemy only when the Democrats are in office. My advice: don't let down your guard just because someone with an "R" after their name is in office.

7 posted on 03/18/2003 10:09:40 PM PST by Hoppean
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To: RKV
Sorry Scalia, you just set yourself up for impeachment. Plenty of judges, politicians and lawyers would agree with you, and they are ALL wrong.

You're right, the Constitution was meant to bind the government in chains, not the people! That's the essential thing to keep in mind.

8 posted on 03/18/2003 10:11:11 PM PST by Hoppean
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To: RKV
Here it is, laid out for everyone with eyes to see.

Regards,

L

9 posted on 03/18/2003 10:14:57 PM PST by Lurker (When I want your opinion, I'll beat it out of you.)
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To: zeugma
I've read through many of the supreme court decisions and dissents made over the past decade, and have generally found Scalia's to be at least coherent, but If this guy really believes what he said above, I'll have to say that we are absolutely doomed to live in a totalitarian nightmare. I expect that from 'liberals', but not from 'conservatives'.

Ditto. One of the things I'm convinced will contribute to the downfall of the American Republic is the belief that too many people have that America is somehow magically exempt from the laws and trends that have influenced all other nations and governments in history--they think "we're different, it can't happen here." Government is government, power is power, and human nature is human nature--and power always corrupts and government inevitably grows. It's hard to get the genie back into the bottle, so never give the government an inch (to mix metaphors).

10 posted on 03/18/2003 10:15:08 PM PST by Hoppean
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To: Hoppean; All
What you hyperventilating folks are forgetting about, or don't know, is that during most of the wars, that the USA has ever been engaged in, the people's " rights " to some things ( gas,travel, shoes, nylon, silk, even some foodstuffs ) has been rationed and/or denied by the government. Today, many people think that they have " rights " far and away beyond the simple life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness / what's in the Ammendments to the Constitution.

Will troops be forced upon the citizenry, for billiting ? No. Will there be rationing, as there was during both World Wars ? Doubtful in the extreme. Are the Supremes gonna institute some strange reinvention of the Constitution ? ONLY IF THE DEMS HOLD EVERY SEAT !

11 posted on 03/18/2003 10:19:32 PM PST by nopardons
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To: nopardons
Are the Supremes gonna institute some strange reinvention of the Constitution ? ONLY IF THE DEMS HOLD EVERY SEAT !

Speaking of the Dems, if this is Scalia's position, then imagine what Ruth Bader-Ginsberg's position must be!

You're right, there have been historical abridgements, but those should never have happened in the first place--the administrations of FDR, Woodrow Wilson, and Lincoln were not known for their restraint. Emergency is always the cloak of the tyrant.

And we don't live in the kind of society that existed under Lincoln and even as far forward as FDR--back then, there were still strong, organic values and self-reliant individuals out in the countryside. Modern Americans, however, have been dumbed-down by 50 years of Hollywood and public schools, and it's more likely that any would-be abusers of power will be able to get away with a lot more, and there will be less resistance. Clinton was returned to office twice, after all....

12 posted on 03/18/2003 10:27:50 PM PST by Hoppean
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To: Hoppean
Why shouldn't those " abridgements " ( since WHEN are we granted life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness AND silk stockings, nylon, and roastbeef three times a week ? ) have been instituted, during WAR TIME, when the " boys " needed those things ? Did Abigale Adams have a hissy fit, when she couldn't get needles anbd pins ? No, she wasn't happy about it, but she understood. Paper drives, the saving of fats and tinfoil, for the war effort, during WW I, WW II, and Korea, wasn't a hardship and NO abridgement of anyone's " rights "!

You bet the American populace has been " dumbed down "; you're a primary example !

13 posted on 03/18/2003 10:34:35 PM PST by nopardons
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To: chance33_98
So, do we still want a Supreme Court filled with Scalias?
14 posted on 03/18/2003 10:54:40 PM PST by CrimeOf73
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To: CrimeOf73
So, do we still want a Supreme Court filled with Scalias?

We need to appoint some freepers to the SCOTUS...

Here's one to add to your bookmarks ;)

Alternative Resources on the U.S.- Iraq Conflict (keep and eye on these ones....)

15 posted on 03/18/2003 11:04:45 PM PST by chance33_98 (www.hannahmore.com -- My new website, under construction)
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To: nopardons
Perhaps I should have been more clear; the abridgements that concern me most aren't the ones involving economic goods (although attacks on economic freedom are no small matter since that freedom derives from the fundamental right to property--and thus life, since one has ownership over oneself). I was really thinking about the way in which it becomes much easier for the government to charge people with "sedition" and toss people in jail merely for non-violently stating a dissenting opinion in public (as FDR did to Lawrence Dennis, Lincoln with "Copperhead" politicians and newspaper editors in the North, etc).
16 posted on 03/18/2003 11:08:04 PM PST by Hoppean
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To: Hoppean
You have NO " right " to buy something, just because you want it, when a national emergency ( W-A-R ) requires such a commodity. When, during WW II, servicemen took priority on trains, would you have said that YOU had the " right " to be on a train, instaead of some soldier ? How about the fact that silk and nylon were used for military purposes, but your mother/wife/daugfhter/girlfriend just HAD to have a pair of silk stockings, to make her feel good ? Yep, sure, you have a RIGHT to have that silk shirt / stockings/underwear ( ? ) far MORE than a pilot has the RIGHT to have a parachute ? Ye gods !

" PROPERTY " ? It is ONLY you " property ", AFTER you've bought it; NOT when you have an intention of buying something ! Talk about stretching / twisting words around; let alone facts / common sense. Sheeeeeeeeeeesh !

Okay, one for FDR and some for Lincoln. Your imagination and fears are robbing you , unneccessarily, of sanity. ; ^ )

17 posted on 03/18/2003 11:19:52 PM PST by nopardons
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To: nopardons
You have NO " right " to buy something, just because you want it, when a national emergency ( W-A-R ) requires such a commodity....Yep, sure, you have a RIGHT to have that silk shirt / stockings/underwear ( ? ) far MORE than a pilot has the RIGHT to have a parachute ? Ye gods !

True, I have no right to buy something unless the seller chooses to engage in the transaction with me. What you're discussing is a situation where the government, who isn't a party to the transaction, stepping in and preventing the manufacturer/seller from using those resources, and taking those resources for itself in the name of "national security."

The government seems to be a parasite and an interloper in that instance. Is it the buyer's or seller's fault that the government has gotten itself into a war, and now needs to extract resources (or even citizens in the event of a military draft) from the private sector to go battle another government somewhere? Of course, this is a whole different topic for the purposes of this thread.

18 posted on 03/18/2003 11:31:41 PM PST by Hoppean
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To: Hoppean
No, this is rather pertinant, might I even say jermain , to the topic.

Okay, so YOUR point is, that the Constitution, which cedes the RIGHT to protect this nation, to the president, means less, than your own ( or the seller of goods' right to sell them to you ) to buy / own something which is for the common defense. Very interesting; though parasitic, selfish, arrogant, and stupid. Thanks, for this insight, on just how much MORE regard you hold yourself in, than the good of anyone and everyone else. Not to mention, of course, that you think that " the government " gets us into wars. Libertarian, are you ?

19 posted on 03/18/2003 11:51:50 PM PST by nopardons
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To: nopardons
Not to mention, of course, that you think that " the government " gets us into wars.

Nah, every patriot knows that it's always the other guy's government who gets us into wars. ;)

I'm not a libertarian, at least not the usual kind, since I'm against open borders, against abortion, and I'm no fan of drugs or prostitution--it's best left as a matter for local municipalities to deal with. Massachusetts would probably have a different policy than South Carolina, etc. I share a lot of common ground with the paleolibertarians.

20 posted on 03/19/2003 12:20:02 AM PST by Hoppean
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To: Hoppean
Good gracious me ! ROTFLOL
21 posted on 03/19/2003 12:25:45 AM PST by nopardons
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To: chance33_98
Government, as any entity, protects itself and its ever expanding power against the People who created and allow government to serve, only by consent of the People.

Our Constitution says what it says without the article, amendment, clause, or even a word meaning, "those rights of the People, except as otherwise to be infringed at will by the Executive, Legislative, or Judicial branches of this or any submissive governments of the United States of America therein." Only our rulers claim that magic power not granted government by We the People. This issue is the ruling class' self-serving "stare decisis", under penalty of law, as our rulers will determine such law to be, regardless of what our Constitution actually states.

Judges and justices are needed only to interpret and apply the law, as written and lawfully adopted, to resolve certain conflicting causes of action, but blackrobes serve no Constitutional purpose in telling us, under penalty of law, what the Constitution will mean to the governed when the powers that be wish our inconvenient Constitution on life support. Bench law is no more than an insult whereby the judge and the people pretend that the "ruling" means anything.

The tree of liberty is parched from several generations of socialist, unConstitutionally interpretive adulterations abridging and infringing the clear and precise Law of the Land which limits the powers of government affirming the Rights of the People. We the People are the only guarantors of our liberty.

Fascism is nothing but criminally corrupt socialism where a self-selected elite abuses the police powers of the state, public treasury, and critical enterprises' factors of production to control the national economy to enforce their agendas.

The Democrat Party from LBJ through Bill & Hillary is clearly fascist, as the multiple felony bound XXX42 with his Chappasquaw suckling their accomplices in the House and Senate so blatantly demonstrated. Hillary stated that, "The Party is the nation."

Hillary with the Democrat Politburo is scheming more and more like fellow lawyer Vladimir Ilivich Lenin (Ulianov) while in exile, planning the Party's takeover of government.

IMO, Hillary lusts to appoint the next several SCOTUS justices and the critical appellate judges to control the United States. She like Bill would aggressively direct the radically expanding police powers of the State security apperatus, "Homeland Security". (Ask the Branch Davidians what that means; yes, a very few did survive the Clintons' 1993 pogrom.)

Should the Poliburo fail to take control, they risk their own prosecutions and imprisonment for years of debased and high crimes and misdemeanors. Democrats' level of corruptions may allow the Politburo complete, albeit temporary success.

Hillary and the XXX42 Politburo may fight for power of the State like Joseph Vissarionovich Dzhugashvilli (Stalin). Megalomania demands results. The Democrats have proven for all to see that they are willing to commit felonies and treason only to cover up to protect their own power. "The Party is the nation." As AlGore threatened, "You ain't seen nothin' yet!"

By conservatives or fascists adulterations, these "living" Constitution extralegal, aka outlaw, interpretations will kill our Republic as they attempt to control the Rights of the People.

The People can withdraw their consent to our rulers for their userpations by any means necessary at the time of our choosing.

Reread our Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights, Tony, remembering that we, sworn to protect and defend our Constitution, outnumber rulers.
22 posted on 03/19/2003 10:00:10 AM PST by SevenDaysInMay
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To: chance33_98
I won't let it go beyond the constitutional minimum.

Yeah, right. Considering how many times Scalia has voted to severly restrict 4th Amendment rights, I'm really not sure what he considers a minimum to be.

23 posted on 03/19/2003 10:02:52 AM PST by dirtboy (Render yourself invisible to the media - attend a Rally for America today!)
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