Skip to comments.Supreme Court Justice Addresses Wartime Constitutional Rights
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.
|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.|
Are you implying that Scalia and "ALL" other judges should defere to you on what is in the Constitution?
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'.
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.
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.
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).
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 !
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....
You bet the American populace has been " dumbed down "; you're a primary example !
We need to appoint some freepers to the SCOTUS...
Here's one to add to your bookmarks ;)
" 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. ; ^ )
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.
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 ?
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.