Gay Rights and Abortion are ‘Easy’ Cases, Says Justice Scalia

Asserting himself a "textualist" when it comes to the Constitution, Justice Antonin Scalia told a D.C. crowd that gay rights and abortion are east cases for him, the AP reports:

A_scalia"The death penalty? Give me a break. It's easy. Abortion? Absolutely easy. Nobody ever thought the Constitution prevented restrictions on abortion. Homosexual sodomy? Come on. For 200 years, it was criminal in every state," Scalia said at the American Enterprise Institute.

He contrasted his style of interpretation with that of a colleague who tries to be true to the values of the Constitution as he applies them to a changing world. This imaginary justice goes home for dinner and tells his wife what a wonderful day he had, Scalia said.

This imaginary justice, Scalia continued, announces that it turns out "'the Constitution means exactly what I think it ought to mean.' No kidding."


  1. Alex Parrish says

    This is the most dangerous man in the United States. He may be the brilliant jurist some claim him to be but his narrow and literalist views of our founding document would leave the nation struggling with slavery, women as chattel and a deeply convoluted government. The only solution to this man’s evil concepts is to make sure that he is securely outnumbered in the court until he dies. He will never retire or resign and I doubt anyone will catch him in criminal activity.

  2. Dan says

    “This imaginary justice, Scalia continued, announces that it turns out ‘”the Constitution means exactly what I think it ought to mean.” No kidding.'”

    The man’s lack of self-awareness is breathtaking.

  3. Tagg says

    What a fkn moron he is. The Laws of the Land do not come from the Constitution…they come from bigots in Congress and State Gov’t. Did we really think he would vote any other way?

  4. Daniel says

    I’m wondering if Scalia didn’t scare Roberts so badly that he’s prone to disagree with his stands for safety’s sake.
    Scalia may have intellect, but he lacks wisdom. A ‘textualist’? Seriously? I believe the constitution says nothing about, well, most everything, so being a textualist is simply being obtuse and an abandonment of the jurists duty to PROTECT the rights of ALL citizens.
    Some deity should grant that man a stroke.

  5. Mitch says

    THIS is what an activist judge looks like – advancing his own agenda from the bench rather than applying the meaning of the constitution and 200+ years of law to an ever changing world.

    It’s a strong reminder how important this election is – we need Obama, not someone answering to the tea party and right wing extremists, to be the one in the next four years making Supreme Court nominations.

  6. Quest says

    I like the way he distinguished “homosexual sodomy” from the completely acceptable “heterosexual sodomy”…Wouldn’t want to deny himself the joys of the female anus. This man disgusts me.

  7. HadenoughBS says

    May I live long enough to see this bigoted blowhard retire from the court and be replaced by a progressive justice appointed by a progressive president. Oh, yeah, the same goes for the lone “mute” on the SC, Justice Clarence Thomas.

  8. says

    The Constitution doesn’t mention computers, airplanes, pornography, the internet, and a billion other things.

    This man is why Romney should never, ever be allowed near the presidency.

  9. Michaelandfred says

    90%…more?…of almos everything we now do in a modern society couldn’t have been conceived of 200+ years ago. With his reasoning 99 percent of the cases before him should then be disqualified. The writers of the Constitution created it to be a living, adapting work for a changing growing society.

  10. Jack M says

    For a Supreme Court Justice to come out and say how he would vote in any case before it even comes up for review is shocking, and shows he is just going to push his own agenda. He is not fit to serve.

  11. ggreen says

    Fat, greasy, papist Tony has a book to sell. Funny how he can easily define the constitution in just a few words but he doesn’t know the meaning of the word ethics. He feels his lifetime appointment gives him and his family immunity to such things. Scalia is a pig, period. He is what stupid people think a smart person sounds like.

  12. Byron St. James says

    This is just one reason why presidential elections matter. We have been living with the stench of his flatulence ever since the Reagan era.

  13. jason says

    Scalia is a vile little creep. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has hemorrhoids in his mouth. He’s a disgusting excuse for a judge.

    Scalia’s adherence to the text of the Constitution is a cover for his bigotry. Like most observant Catholics, he appears to love the Vatican more than he does America.

  14. UFFDA says

    Yes, indeed this man is VERY dangerous to a whole lot of people. First define sodomy, and it better include lesbians or there’ll need to be two sets of homosexual laws. How easy is that…a**hole?

  15. Diogenes Arktos says

    Interesting textualist… What about the 3/5 of a person? It enshrined slavery in the constitution. What about the amendments? He’d like to overturn the 14th amendment. (Not so incidentally, he also thinks that the process to add amendments is too hard.)

    “Nobody ever thought the Constitution prevented restrictions on abortion.” This from an uber-pro-lifer? “Homosexual sodomy”? He should have been honest (!) and just said sodomy (= any sexual act besides straight vaginal intercourse, presumably in missionary position with the man on top)


    The Religious Right are trying to energize their base to vote for Romney by emphasizing the President’s right to appoint judges. We need to vote for Obama for the same reason!

  16. CPT_Doom says

    @Homer – the Constitution also doesn’t mention Mormonism, and there is no way the Founders could have known they were protecting a religion that didn’t exist yet. Wonder if Tony gets that implication of his “logic,” or would he find some kind of mental gymnastics to resolve the discrepancy?

    Tony also dissented in Romer v. Evans the decision that ruled you cannot take away civil rights by popular vote. That means Tony believes having a “no Italians” rule in a homeowners’ association agreement would be totally Constitutional, right?

    All I can say is I hope Tony has a diet high in red meat, fried products, bacon and alcohol.

  17. turing's ghost says

    Speaking with confidence and using legal jargon does not make Scalia an intellectual. He is a simple bully who goes around the school yard yelling things until challenged. If you read Scalia’s writings, its all based on the assumption that the original intent can easily be determined by reading the word of the constitution. He then builds everything on this ludicrous assumption. If reading the actual words of the constitution was the only requirement, then linguists should be judges, not lawyers. Question: doesn’t this speech about how he will rule in cases of gay rights and abortion disqualify him from hearing the cases?

  18. jamal49 says

    This interview should put to rest forever any idea that Justice Antonin Scalia is a “brilliant” jurist. He is not. He is a thick-headed moron with the compassion and empathy of a tapeworm.

    His pugnacious arrogance screams for a rebuttal (or a slap right-up-side his fool head).

    Scalia claims he is a “texualist” (perhaps the polite term for “originalist” in right-wing circles). Thus, one must ask Scalia: where in the U.S. Constitution was there ever a prohibition against “sodomy” (or, as we mature adults refer to it, the private, consensual behavior between consenting adults)?

    The “textual” silence is deafening.

    That man is a danger to our republic. He has admitted his private biases publicly, which means that he can NEVER be impartial in any case that appears before the Supreme Court.

    In that case, either Scalia should recuse himself from every case that appears before The Supreme Court; or he should resign; or he should be impeached.

    Antonin Scalia is morally and ethically unfit to sit on our nation’s Highest Court.

    He should be removed from the bench immediately.

  19. mike128 says

    The writers of the constitution believed that this was “self-evident”

    all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    How do you reconcile THAT with laws against homosexuality?

  20. Caliban says

    Trying to be an “originalist” or “literalist” about the Constitution on no less dangerous than being a Biblical fundamentalist. Or a fundamentalist about ANY religious text like the Torah or the Koran. You’re so busy parsing the words, and in the process twisting them so they agree with YOUR interpretation just like Scalia is accusing other Justices of doing, that you miss the entire SPIRIT of the document.

    To this day we haven’t fulfilled the promise of the Constitution because we’re still treating some people, gay people for instance, as “lesser than” when the Constitution says we are ALL equal and were born that way. How can you argue against that?

    If took well over a hundred years to realize that included women and black people, but we DID finally come to that understanding and now we can’t understand how it anyone could ever have seen it differently. But I’ll tell you this, go back and look at contemporary documents surrounding the ending of slavery, votes for women, interracial marriage, birth control, etc., every advancement in human rights, and EVERY time there were so-called religious folks preaching against it and waving the Bible around as their proof. Scalia is just a Papist wearing the vestments of the law instead of the church- he would have been right in his element during the Inquisition.

  21. mikenola says

    i find two things very interesting about this public statement of Scalias.

    First is that in Lawrence v Texas his response included a statement to the effect that if we legalize homosexual sex then there is nothing to constitutionally stop SSM.

    Second is that he claims the mantle of knowing what the founders “thought”. Exactly how would anyone today know how anyone else TODAY thought? much less 200 years ago? much less when they all did not agree? much less when many of those folks who established the constitution actively did not like Scalia’s chosen religous viewpoint!

    that claim is not only ridiculous it pretty much declares that HIS opinion is the only possible right opiion because he says so.

  22. says

    i do not understand the “logic” in which one reads documents that are centuries old and refuses to apply knowledge of historical context.

    hell, even reading something from the 1980s requires an understanding of historical context!!!

  23. RobNYNY1957 says

    Actually, most abortion laws date from the middle of the 19th Century. The Founding Fathers would have thought it strange that government had any role in regulating abortion.

    Scalia has written several of the strangest things a Supreme Court justice has ever committed to paper. Freedom of religion applies only to monotheistic religions (something some theologians consider Catholicism NOT to be). If laws against sodomy are struck down, states will no longer be able to criminalize masturbation. Pre-Civil War travel restrictions on freed slaves are binding precedent for current state immigration laws.

  24. rayrayj says

    I’m so glad Scabia cleared that up. The constitution does not me what I think it means. It means what I think someone else thought it meant. What a tool…

  25. PAUL B. says

    Somewhat embarrassed to say this…I was born into a sicilian catlik family myself so I know the story intimately. Don’t marry outside your faith or gene pool…hence scalia and most of my immediate family. Don’t talk about anything that makes you think hard thoughts…nothing beyond where to put the ravioli before it goes into the boiling water…usually on my parents bed…yuck. It’s OK to break someone’s legs for just about anything…as long as they’re not related to you. Since you never really associate with non-family…everyone you know intimately is protected. Never let your children see your mom’s undergarments…NEVER. How to wash & dry them has always been a mystery to me…mom??? Oh, “homosexual sodomy”…not my boy. In fact, two boys dad…you just don’t know about the other one. It’s awful what religion & a small island like sicily can do to your prospects….believe me…it’s been a struggle just to overcome both.

  26. says

    It is forbidden to give opinions on cases that are at or may be coming to the Court. He had prejudged our rights without hearing any arguments put forward. He should be removed from the Court posthaste! All the more reason to make sure Obama is re-elected.

  27. PAUL B. says

    Quote: “The Justices and their law clerks are strictly prohibited from discussing pending or decided cases with parties, their attorneys, members of the media, or the general public”.
    Isn’t this exactly what scalia just did?

  28. acevedo says

    I guess hetero sodomy is okay. Judging from the straight porn I see and hearing my younger straight brother talk, straight couples mostly engage in anal sex over vaginal sex these days. Wonder what Scalia thinks about that? Its not procreative after all…

  29. Icebloo says

    Like I have been saying for YEARS. We need to scrap the corrupt, right wing biased Supreme Court. It is ruining lives and only serving the super rich and wealthy religions.

    Time to campaign to get rid of it and to rewrite the awful, terrible document we call the Constitution. The whole system is designed to prevent ANY change – to keep the rich people at the top.

  30. Diogenes Arktos says

    When we can barely agree about the meaning of a document from the 18c, how about the intent of the Religious Right to try to ‘grandfather’ the Bible into the judicial system – because they claim that’s what the Founding Fathers wanted.

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