Antonin Scalia Condemns Judicial Activism, Invokes The Holocaust

Antonin Scalia

This weekend in Snowmass, CO Justice Antonin Scalia spoke to a gathering of the Utah State Bar Association. The "strict originalist" bemoaned judicial activism and his colleagues treating the Constitution as a "living document" in a speech titled "Mullahs of the West: Judges as Moral Arbiters." His argument was that elected officials, not unelected judges, should be the ones to legislate society's moral views.

Justice Scalia wasted no time in invoking Godwin's Law, opening his speech with the claim that judges interpreting the law in ways that reflected "the spirit of the age" in 1930's Germany was what led to the rise of the Nazis and, ultimately, the holocaust. He also pointed out that Supreme Court interpretation of the Constitution wasn't necessary at the turn of the century in response to the women's suffrage movement. However, he conveniently omitted that it was due to the Supreme Court intervention that schools were desegregated and interracial marriages were made legal.

Scalia received a standing ovation for his speech, the attendees apparently unaware that the first person to invoke Godwin's Law loses the argument.


  1. ColinATL says

    Scalia should talk to this guy who actually researches and studied the failure of the German judicial system to prevent the rise of the Nazis.

    It had EVERYTHING to do with allowing the Nazis to remove Jews from the bench and avoiding a confrontation with Hitler, and nothing to do with interpreting the Constitution in “the spirit of the age.”

    All judges interpret the law through biased lenses. Scalia thinks his bias is better and everyone else’s leads to Nazism.

  2. kdknyc says

    This is someone who was OK with the court overturning the Voting Rights Act provision 4, a law that was put in place with exactly the same process as DOMA. I think he’s crazy, actually, or at least a little sociopathic.

  3. melvin says

    It is a rare thing for me to hope for a heart attack. Bring on the chicken alfredo, sausage pizza, and a double portion of tiramisu.

  4. Keppler says

    What makes you believe that Scalia would characterize it as progress that “schools were desegregated and interracial marriages were made legal?”

  5. terry says

    His political agenda has never been hidden. He wants to protect state rights, you know, like when he voted to over-rule the decision of the FL Supreme Court in Bush v Gore and became one of the 5 justices who elected the president. I have to invent new words to express my dislike for this ass.

  6. greenfuzz says

    He’s angry because he has a gay son and there’s nothing he could ever do about it.

  7. Michael says

    I love those saying he’s the worst while they completely forget there’s an even worse one, one that doesn’t say a single word during any hearing.

    btw, when is this f*cker going to have a heart attack already? Not sure which day will be more worth celebrating; the death of Scalia or the death of Robertson.

  8. Geoff says

    He really should be put away. He’s dangerous. Next, he’ll be hearing voices…or worse. He’s seriously crazy.

  9. Geoff says

    He really should be put away. He’s dangerous. Next, he’ll be hearing voices…or worse. He’s seriously crazy.

  10. says

    ” However, he conveniently omitted that it was due to the Supreme Court intervention that schools were desegregated and interracial marriages were made legal.”

    Conveniently indeed. I don’t assume he would have ruled to desegregate schools or to make interracial marriage legal. Unless it benefited one of the CEOs that takes him on expensive vacations.

  11. walter says

    when he makes these appearances it is amazing he doesn’t show up in his white sheets and hood. he and thomas are probably two of the most bigoted and ideological men to ever sit on the court. the roberts court is the worst in our history.

  12. franklin says

    This coming from a man who helped orchestrate the “election” of George W. Bush.

  13. Chuck Mielke says

    I wonder where he ever got the idea that Congress legislates morality. As far as I know, Congress creates laws and I’ve never heard that laws necessarily reflect morality. How moral can it be to require a speed limit or to restrict health care?

    As usual, Scalia speaks out of both sides of his mouth. He’s correct in so far as the Constitution gives the SCOTUS no power of judicial review. However, he has no inclination to rescind that power; he only wants to use it to promote the neo-con agenda. In true form of the hypocrite, he had no qualms about gutting the voting rights act, but same-sex marriage gets him all steamed up.

  14. says

    If anyone should know about “judicial activism”, it would be Justice Scalia. I mean, he was the author of Heller, which completely ignored the first part of the 2nd Amendment. He was the Justice that stopped the recount in 2000, thus putting the court into an extra-constitutional position it had no place to be, as “disputed” presidential elections are purely the purview of the Congress. He was in the majority in the Citizens United decision which allows unlimited corporate money in campaigns.

    Let’s not forget that the 15th Amendment clearly gave Congress the authority to combat voter suppression by any means necessary and yet, Justice Scalia voted in the majority to gut the VRA.

  15. Rexford says

    In his dreams, the Supreme Court would consist of a tribunal of inquisitors under papal authority with him having the prettiest hat of all!

  16. woodroad34d says

    That arrogant fat ass thinks his views are a universal truth. They’re not…they’re just the views of an unintelligent, lucky-as-sin-idiot-who-shouldn’t-have-become-a-Supreme-Court Jurist. He’s a disgusting man who can’t think beyond his own belly button. By HIS OWN actions he’s practicing judicial activism–it’s just happens to be conservative wingnuttery foolishness. Really, you ugly stupid fool, look in a mirror…or as W said (to paraphrase) get the log out of your eye first. Hypocrite. And if anyone asks, No! I don’t like him.

  17. Richard says

    Scalia = disgusting, vituperating, ignorant low-life with an education he uses to pervert the truth — the product of narrow-minded parents and the dark force of Catholicism.

  18. Markt says

    He’s friends with Ginsburg. Wonder what she thinks about him equating gay marriage with the holocaust? Gays were victims of the holocaust too; but then he’d argue that particular bit of judicial activism by the Nazis was okay. Wonder how much cock his son Paul has sucked?

  19. Michael says

    I can’t believe he actually brought up the Nazis when trying to justify his persecution of homosexual.

    Yes, Scalia, you’re just like Hitler in that sense…

  20. Michael says

    Scalia and his little dog Thomas should be removed for their open political agenda. They are a disgrace.

  21. daws says

    On the plus side, he’s 77 and overweight. Probably has some diabetes and hypertension. Come on, Mother Nature. Taketh thee!

  22. andrew says

    That Irish American Catholic Justice Kennedy has beaten down that Italian American Catholic Scalia. GO GAELS!!!

  23. Mike B. says

    Ugh. Don’t have anything new, but seriously, Scalia is just plain wrong on the facts that he uses to support his “judicial” opinions. He’s maybe never heard of confirmation bias, but he’s pretty much swimming in it.

  24. Andy says

    Was the Supreme Court getting involved in interracial marriage also “judicial activism?” Does Scalia think that the public should have voted on the rights of interracial couples too?

  25. andrew says

    @ANDY: Even better, what does Justice Thomas, who is married to a white woman, think about your question.

  26. jeff says

    The idea that the SCOTUS decision on Citzen’s United is not the worst piece of Judicial Activism ever is ridiculous on its face. I love that anything that anyone seems to disagree with automatically becomes “judicial activism”.

  27. Dback says

    Guys, ease off of wishing him ill health or early death–the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, meaning that Justice Ginsberg is over 80 and a cancer survivor. If anyone is going to step down from the court, please let it be in the next 3 years while Obama is still in office and the Democrats have a voice in Congress. (Remember, all of a sudden George W. Bush got to do TWO nominations, which was how we wound up with John Roberts as Chief Justice.)

  28. Jack M says

    If the Constitution is not a living document, then what is Scalia doing as a Supreme Court justice?

    If he would use his tiny pea-sized brain, he would come to the realization that the Constitution was written to be just that – a living document that would stand the test of time and could be used going forward as a guiding light for future generations.

    I’m tired of hearing this monkey chattering away and exposing us to his idiocy.

  29. anon says

    I’m not sure why he makes these speeches. He’s really not in a position to reform the court. Morality is always a bad guide for the making of laws. The restraints in the constitution are not a cypher for morality, they are the result of wisdom. Laws can be extremely unwise, so it’s best to try to restrain them to prevent that. As a justice though, you can’t rewrite laws, only throw out the bad ones.

    The most proper reform would be to slowly increase the number of justices to 15 and perhaps add a mandatory retirement age of 75 into the mix.

  30. Esther Blodgett says

    While it sounds as if I am engaging in bitchery, I honestly feel that Mr. Scalia is suffering from the onset of dementia. What usually happens in these cases is that a senior justice (or two) has a close conversation with the ailing justice and tell them essentially that it is time for them to resign.

    Mr. Scalia is no longer wielding a purported razor sharp intellect and is merely striking out blindly.

  31. Dave says

    I doubt he missed those two points; Scalia would be perfectly happy if schools were segregated and inter-racial marriage was banned.