Antonin Scalia | News | Supreme Court

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."

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  1. @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.

    Posted by: CPT_Doom | Oct 5, 2012 10:35:53 AM

  2. 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?

    Posted by: turing's ghost | Oct 5, 2012 11:06:35 AM

  3. I see a good role for Danny DeVito if there's ever a biopic of Fat Tony.

    Posted by: gregory brown | Oct 5, 2012 11:12:26 AM

  4. 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.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Oct 5, 2012 11:20:45 AM

  5. Getting rid off Judge Scalia? "EASY", declare him insane and unfit for office.

    Posted by: Gast | Oct 5, 2012 11:37:25 AM

  6. 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?

    Posted by: mike128 | Oct 5, 2012 12:27:09 PM

  7. @Mike128: it's the Declaration of Independence - and in its time it meant WASP straight males. (unlike Scalia)

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Oct 5, 2012 1:04:31 PM

  8. 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.

    Posted by: Caliban | Oct 5, 2012 1:11:40 PM

  9. what century does Scalia live in?

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Oct 5, 2012 1:15:51 PM

  10. 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.

    Posted by: mikenola | Oct 5, 2012 1:43:13 PM

  11. 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!!!

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Oct 5, 2012 2:00:14 PM

  12. 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.

    Posted by: RobNYNY1957 | Oct 5, 2012 2:04:16 PM

  13. 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...

    Posted by: rayrayj | Oct 5, 2012 3:18:02 PM

  14. 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 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 Oh, "homosexual sodomy"...not my boy. In fact, two boys just don't know about the other one. It's awful what religion & a small island like sicily can do to your prospects....believe's been a struggle just to overcome both.

    Posted by: PAUL B. | Oct 5, 2012 3:18:50 PM

  15. 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.

    Posted by: John Simpson | Oct 5, 2012 4:21:24 PM

  16. @John...I understood it was forbidden too...where can I confirm that? Did you read it somewhere?

    Posted by: PAUL B. | Oct 5, 2012 4:34:00 PM

  17. 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?

    Posted by: PAUL B. | Oct 5, 2012 4:46:46 PM

  18. 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...

    Posted by: acevedo | Oct 5, 2012 11:24:20 PM

  19. 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.

    Posted by: Icebloo | Oct 5, 2012 11:40:36 PM

  20. 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.

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Oct 7, 2012 8:47:40 AM

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