Antonin Scalia | News | Supreme Court

Confronted by Gay Student at Princeton, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Defends Anti-Gay Writings

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia appeared at Princetown University on Monday and was asked by a gay student, Duncan Hosie ’16, why he equates laws banning sodomy with those barring man-on-animal sex and murder.

A_scaliaPolitico reports:

Some in the audience who had come to hear Scalia speak about his book applauded but more of those who attended the lecture clapped at Hosie’s question.

“It’s a form of argument that I thought you would have known, which is called the `reduction to the absurd,’” Scalia told freshman Duncan Hosie of San Francisco during the question-and-answer period. “If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?”

Scalia said he is not equating sodomy with murder but drawing a parallel between the bans on both. Then he deadpanned: “I’m surprised you aren’t persuaded.”

MSN reports: "Hosie said afterward that he was not persuaded by Scalia's answer. He said he believes Scalia's writings tend to 'dehumanize' gays."

The AP adds:

As Scalia often does in public speaking, he cracked wise, taking aim mostly at those who view the Constitution as a ‘‘living document’’ that changes with the times.

‘‘It isn’t a living document,’’ Scalia said. ‘‘It’s dead, dead, dead, dead.’’

He said that people who see the Constitution as changing often argue they are taking the more flexible approach. But their true goal is to set policy permanently, he said. ‘‘My Constitution is a very flexible one,’’ he said. ‘‘There’s nothing in there about abortion. It’s up to the citizens. ... The same with the death penalty.’’

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  1. The good thing is, his statements and obvious bias make it much harder for Roberts and Kennedy to side with him.

    Posted by: Wisebear | Dec 11, 2012 10:38:22 AM

  2. We know his birthday (March 11, 1936), but wouldn't it be nice to know his death day!

    Posted by: Oliver | Dec 11, 2012 10:41:08 AM

  3. Originalist arguments about the constitution are okay if you are consistent, but Scalia has actually been all over the map. He is very much outcome-based when he feels the need. Thomas is more consistent, but doesn't go talking about it. Kennedy is more consistent but has a "personal liberty" interpretation of the constitution that is more broadly supportive of individual and civil rights than Scalia. There are also well known flaws in the constitution that legal scholars have discussed for many years, but the courts do nothing about. Scalia sees the law as advancing moral principles. This kind of thinking should be shot down. Laws should express practical concerns. One of these would be the impact on society of murder, so you would still ban murder, but there are scant practical concerns regarding sodomy and gay marriage.

    Posted by: anon | Dec 11, 2012 10:43:55 AM

  4. Anyone who believes that a man can be born of a virgin, that anyone can atone for everyone, and that the preposterous idea of original sin is factual cannot be considered rational. Scalia needs to go where the stupidity of such absurdities, along with his own, can be made unequivocally clear. At a fat, squat and bitter 76 he's just about there.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Dec 11, 2012 11:20:45 AM

  5. I would compare homosexuality to deafness or left-handedness--not murder. Some cultures have tried to suppress sign language and use of the left hand. I think it's obvious that we have a constitutional right to sign, use our left hands and have gay sex. I'm surprised Scalia isn't persuaded.

    Posted by: Kyle | Dec 11, 2012 11:42:33 AM

  6. I agree, WiseBear. No way will Kennedy align himself with such forcefully ignorant views as Scalia's. Methinks this is just the old fart realizing he's on the wrong side of this issue.

    Posted by: Gregoire | Dec 11, 2012 11:45:13 AM

  7. "Scalia says the Constitution is 'Dead.'"

    I wonder what kind of reception that headline would get?

    Both Scalia and his Mini-Me, Thomas, have demonstrated their political/ideological bias many times by participating in Right Wing and Tea Party (same difference) political events. Scalia has refused to recuse himself from cases where he is involved directly with either the cause or the leaders of the cause. ARE there procedures in place to impeach a Supreme Court justice? If so, especially in the wake of the very unpopular Citizens United decision, it might be possible to take Scalia down.

    Thomas has famously never asked a single question in court for years. My personal theory is that's because Scalia's arm isn't long enough to stick up Thomas's @ss to make his lips move. Thomas's "opinions" should be nothing more than arrow drawn pointing at Scalia's opinion, with "Me too!" written next to it.

    Posted by: Caliban | Dec 11, 2012 11:53:22 AM

  8. As George Will recently commented, If you're against Marriage Equality, you are Old. AND AND you are going to Die. Scalia is a relic from the 1950s. Like "his" constitution, his ability to evolve and grow is dead dead dead dead. Should he convince Roberts and Kennedy to support his religious based opinion in the marriage cases, he will eventually be overturned, leaving him and his opinion on the wrong side of history, turned to dust.

    Posted by: Tony C. | Dec 11, 2012 12:02:17 PM

    I have created a petition on We The People, the White House's petition Web site, to demand that Scalia recuse himself from the upcoming Prop 8 and DOMA cases.
    Follow this link to the site:

    Or go directly to my petition at:

    I don't know what good it will do us, but perhaps we can raise enough stink in the media to force him into it - or to force the rest of the court to demand that he do so. We have until January 10, 2013 to get 25,000 signatures - the amount necessary to get Obama's administration to review the petition and make an answer to it. The more it gets, the more publicity we may generate, and the more public discussion we may have about this blight on our Justice System.

    Posted by: Mommie Dammit | Dec 11, 2012 12:06:16 PM

  10. OK MOMMIE - you may be a silly, if earnest, drag queen but you've got a good idea here which is not so silly and I'm gonna follow your high-heeled lead. Thanks.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Dec 11, 2012 12:26:00 PM

  11. We're supposed to pretend the man who said this: “If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?” Is some kind of brilliant legal mind? Really? Since we don't get upset about homosexuality--which does not hurt anyone--we can't get upset about murder? Idiocy.

    Posted by: db | Dec 11, 2012 12:30:05 PM

  12. MMMMM if the Constitution is "dead," where is there in the Constitution that the Supreme Court gets to decide who wins Presidential elections?

    Posted by: Ken | Dec 11, 2012 12:36:08 PM

  13. Since this POS is running his mouth again about the U.S. Constitution being dead, is there anyway anybody can kick his sorry ass off SCOTUS. The only reason the Constitution appears to be dead is because of assholes like this that allow Congress to trod all over it. e.g. Patriot Act, Dept. of Homeland (Fatherland) Security. The founding father's have all got to be turning over in their graves.

    Posted by: KSBrian | Dec 11, 2012 12:47:14 PM

  14. "dyed-in-the-wool catholic"

    Actually much worse than what this term usually implies. I know people who went to Catholic school and go to Mass every Sunday yet vote democratic and are pro-gay rights. He's a member of Opus Dei and attends an ultra-right wing parish. His gay son became a priest, as they are "supposed" to LOL.

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Dec 11, 2012 12:59:29 PM

  15. LOL We ALL know Italian Catholic Supreme Court Justices rape little girls. That's why we hate their kind. Really I thought you would have known that. It's called a reduction, the same thing you would do for a fancy sauce. Only the fancy sauce is a lot better.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Dec 11, 2012 1:02:49 PM

  16. There's nothing in Scalia's dead, dead, dead constitution about minority rights either, unless they're a religious minority, but only a christian minority, and ESPECIALLY a catholic christian minority. He sees no intellectual inconsistency in this either.

    His "argument" regarding equating sodomy and murder cuts both ways, however. If we can't ban interracial marriage, what can we ban? If we can prevent people from marrying a person of their choice, why can't we also require them to marry a person not of their choosing? If we can't force victims of rape to bear children, who can we force to have children?

    He's not an intellectual, he's a bully first, and a rhetorical huckster second. When old men like him die off, the world will be a better place. Sooner, preferably, rather than later.

    Posted by: If we can't...... | Dec 11, 2012 1:03:07 PM


    Posted by: MalaysianHo | Dec 11, 2012 1:06:48 PM


    Posted by: MalaysianHo | Dec 11, 2012 1:07:09 PM

  19. Would love to see Scalia and Gallagher locked in a cage and forced to breed. Bet the old man couldn't even get it up.

    Posted by: Cage Match | Dec 11, 2012 1:07:56 PM

  20. Wouldn't blacks still be slaves and women unable to vote if the constitution were dead?

    Posted by: rick scatorum | Dec 11, 2012 1:27:47 PM

  21. RECUSE!

    If not, IMPEACH!

    Posted by: jamal49 | Dec 11, 2012 2:11:39 PM

  22. If he didn't wield so much power I would almost find him funny in an absurd sort of way.
    For some reason there's elite group of fools in this world who get to say anything they like and some people actually listen. Luckily...they're almost dead, dead, dead, dead.

    Posted by: PAUL B. | Dec 11, 2012 2:33:06 PM

  23. Now Scalia is the real dog whom the Pope should be calling defective/disordered.

    He deliberately disrespects us in his bully denigrating self satisfied superior lard dripping manner.

    His notion that the Constitution is "dead dead dead" is so wrong that he fails the needs of a modern society in it Juduciary.

    He really reminds me of the male version of Miss Havisham; the wedding has passed him by his bridegroom never showed and he will be remembered for outdated conservatism.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Dec 11, 2012 2:49:06 PM

  24. With

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Dec 11, 2012 2:49:56 PM

  25. s

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Dec 11, 2012 2:49:59 PM

  26. « | 1 2 3 »

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