Antonin Scalia | Gay Marriage | News | Supreme Court

Justice Scalia Calls Gays an 'Invented Minority'

In a speech to the Federalist Society  in Bozeman, Montana yesterday, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia called gays an "invented minority" when he referenced recent rulings on same-sex marriage, the AP reports:

A_scalia“It’s not up to the courts to invent new minorities that get special protections,” Scalia told a packed hotel ballroom in southwestern Montana.

The Supreme Court earlier this year cleared the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California and struck down part of a federal law that prevents legally married gay couples from receiving benefits. Scalia voted against the majority of justices.

Changes to the Constitution were made to protect minorities and to give women the right to vote, but that’s not how the court operates today, he said. Rather, a majority of five judges decide issues that should be in the hands of Congress or made through a change to the Constitution.

The Billings Gazette adds:

“We’re now in an age when the high court’s opinions speak of an evolving Constitution,” he said. “It means what it ought to mean. And who decides what it ought to mean?

“Nine lawyers. Actually five lawyers. What, are you crazy? Who would ever set up a system like that?”

Scalia, considered an intellectual leader of the Supreme Court’s conservative wing, said the court’s justices are no better suited to decide what rights ought to exist than is “Joe Sixpack.”

“These aren’t questions for lawyers,” he said. “These are the kind of questions that society debates and decides.”

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  1. Yes, and 100 years ago "Joe Sixpack" would've classified Scalia as a WOP and discriminated against him in housing, jobs, etc. But, like Clarence Thomas and so many other conservatives, now that he's got his, he wants to make sure no one else gets theirs.

    Posted by: Dback | Aug 20, 2013 1:08:35 PM

  2. I'l be so glad when he's no longer on the court. His so-called intellectualism is utterly disingenuous and inconsistent, and a perfect example of an out of touch Republican stamping his feet against inevitable social change.

    It's also really reassuring that he gives so much credence to the views of qualifications of his fellow justices.

    Posted by: Paul R | Aug 20, 2013 1:09:21 PM

  3. He has the intellectual acumen of a gnat.

    Posted by: Jeff | Aug 20, 2013 1:12:17 PM

  4. And calling Scalia an intellectual leader is an invented [actually crazy] description

    Posted by: Ted | Aug 20, 2013 1:20:32 PM

  5. He's a Toad!

    Posted by: Mikey C. | Aug 20, 2013 1:20:35 PM

  6. Impeach him. He is not fit to hold judicial office.
    Being a professional bigot is not a good precedent to set for sitting on SCOTUS.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Aug 20, 2013 1:28:42 PM

  7. Wouldn't it be more appropriate to say that laws criminalizing our community invented the minority? And that laws which equalize all relationships between consenting adults actually lessens the need for minority status of the LGBT community?

    Posted by: Marshall | Aug 20, 2013 1:28:54 PM

  8. Then why does Scalia continue to serve on the Court? Why not resign if he's so disenchanted with its function?? Oh, I see, that Kenyan Socialist Obama might not appoint a crazy f**ked up conservative to take his place. Uh-huh, I TOTALLY understand this so-called conservative intellectual.

    Posted by: HadenoughBS | Aug 20, 2013 1:29:34 PM

  9. A Republican is someone who can't stand to sit down to dinner unless he knows that someone, somewhere, is going hungry.

    Posted by: Jack M | Aug 20, 2013 1:29:47 PM

  10. I wish for the day where everybody's sexuality is treated equality as to consider our differences unworthy to be classify as a minority. Till then any denial is a step back. We don't ask for special rights as this kind of people like to suggest.

    Posted by: SAYTHETRUTH | Aug 20, 2013 1:29:49 PM

  11. It's as if he had never read the 14th Amendment.

    Posted by: David | Aug 20, 2013 1:43:15 PM

  12. Bloviator.

    Posted by: David R. | Aug 20, 2013 1:44:26 PM

  13. The reich wing uttered no objections when it was Bush v. Gore, 5 v. 4. Sorry, Tony, you can’t have it both ways!

    Posted by: jctsf | Aug 20, 2013 1:47:21 PM

  14. Scalia had one brain cell, but it fell off, rolled under the someone else's another country...forty years ago.

    Posted by: Geoff | Aug 20, 2013 1:50:15 PM

  15. @Marshall makes a very good point (laws criminalizing our community invented the minority). When any group of people is singled out for denial of equal rights of any kind, and is defined by any specialized definition (black, transgender, dwarf, etc.,) a minority is automatically invented. People in wheelchairs are a minority, and there are all manner of laws to provide them with access to everything to which a 'normal' person usually has access.

    Posted by: rroberts | Aug 20, 2013 1:51:18 PM

  16. “These aren’t questions for lawyers,” he said. “These are the kind of questions that society debates and decides.”

    and what happens when society debates, but can't decide, or disagrees? it ends up being fodder for biased justices such as yourself. disgusting, and a violation of his oath:

    " solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me...under the Constitution and laws of the United States..."

    he should be impeached.

    Posted by: northalabama | Aug 20, 2013 1:52:42 PM

  17. As Marshall noted, the law created that minority when it singled them out for discrimination. And it was acts of Congress which created DADT (which limited the actions and speech only of gay people) and DOMA (which limited the marriage rights of same sex couples), so all of Scalia's criteria have been met.

    Posted by: Gregory In Seattle | Aug 20, 2013 1:53:58 PM

  18. “It’s not up to the courts to invent new minorities that get special protections.”

    Sums up what's wrong with Scalia. Lie 1: gay people are not an invented minority, or laws would not have been created to target them for exclusion. Lie 2: protections are not "special" when they're ones he already has. Fail, fail.

    Posted by: Ernie | Aug 20, 2013 1:55:22 PM

  19. He should take his own advice with Bush v Gore.

    Get over it!!!!!!!

    The floodgates have been breached, and he knows it. Nationwide marriage is only a matter of time now.

    Posted by: Anthony | Aug 20, 2013 1:57:23 PM

  20. If you're cis you are the oppressor. He's right. As a trans woman of color I know true discrimination!

    Posted by: DoMANique | Aug 20, 2013 2:03:22 PM

  21. Keep it up, Scalia, you bloated pig scrotum - your butthurt-fueled tears refreshes me.

    Posted by: FuryOfFirestorm | Aug 20, 2013 2:04:14 PM

  22. Earth to Scalia: how can a group that makes up a few percent of the population, with membership in the group not a matter of choice, not be a minority?

    Posted by: Bill | Aug 20, 2013 2:05:34 PM

  23. The only invention here is Mr. Scalia being a justice, what a joke.

    Posted by: Rafael | Aug 20, 2013 2:09:56 PM

  24. You have to understand that Scalia thinks the equality promised in the 14th Amendment only applies to race, because that's the issue that drove its passage. He doesn't understand that people who aren't career bigots like himself can encounter a specific injustice and learn a broader principle from it. They can encounter racism--one form of inequality--and learn the broader principle of equality.

    The problem with Scalia's vision is that Society can _think_ it has "debated and decided" an issue, but then along comes a Scalia who says, oh no, even though the plain language of the Constitution states a general principle, I don't accept that the Constitution can _ever_ codify a general principle. No, an Amendment, no matter how broadly written, can only speak to the specific problem that motivated it.

    This is how career bigots like Scalia unravel decisions that Society enacted ages ago, and thus grant their bigotry a new lease on life and force Society to rehash the same principles over and over again at tremendous cost.

    Posted by: JJ | Aug 20, 2013 2:11:07 PM

  25. Our basic set of checks and balances under the Const. places the obligation of protecting ideas and people, that do not have a majority, squarely in the Judicial branch of government. So ever since the ratification (and especially after the passage of the 14th Amendment) Judges are responsible for ensuring those protections. I don't think he understands our form of government or his role as a judge.

    Posted by: Markt | Aug 20, 2013 2:12:06 PM

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