Antonin Scalia Hub




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.’’


Towleroad Guide To The Tube #1262

REUNITED: John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John sing "I Think Might Like It."

WHOA: This device, made in 1890, sounds just like a bird.

'ABHORS': Supreme Court Justice Scalia does not approve of the decision in the landmark free speech case New York Times v. Sullivan.

MAMA DREW: Drew Barrymore talks motherhood with Ellen.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.


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."


Antonin Scalia, Textualism, and What's Next for Prop 8

BY ARI EZRA WALDMAN

Today, I'd like to talk about a man known for the sharpest of legal minds. A man who some think is becoming an ally in our search for equality.

AsHe is a brilliant lawyer, a former editor of his top-10 law school's law review, and an incomparable advocate for his interpretation of the Constitution. His acerbic wit is ready to be levied against the left and the right when they get things wrong. He has been involved in some of the most important civil rights cases in the last thirty years, has represented conservative and progressive causes in his career, and has been a friend to law students wading through the muck to reach the promised land of thinking like a lawyer. He is a great friend of the scion of the women's rights movement, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and is a lover of opera and baseball.

I am, of course, talking about Justice Antonin Scalia of Queens (by way of Trenton). And, he may be a great friend when Perry v. Brown reaches the Supreme Court. This is one of the implications of a recent Slate article by David Gans and Doug Kendall, available here.

Take a moment to read their thoughts and then, let's discuss how they are right... to a point.

To see how, continue reading AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Antonin Scalia, Textualism, and What's Next for Prop 8" »


SCOTUS Justice Antonin Scalia in Rear-End incident

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia caused an accident yesterday:

Scalia The Supreme Court justice was ticketed early Tuesday for his role in a four-car fender-bender. No injuries to anyone but the cars — including Scalia’s, which had to be towed.

The accident happened just before 9 a.m. on what was to be a big day for the jurist: The nation’s highest court was hearing arguments in the massive Wal-Mart gender discrimination case. According to U.S. Park Police, Scalia was driving south on the parkway approaching Roosevelt Bridge when he rear-ended a car that had stopped for traffic, triggering a chain reaction.

Brooke Salkoff saw it all go down. The former NBC reporter told us she was just behind Scalia’s vehicle, a shiny black BMW in the left lane. “It slammed into the car in front of his, which pushed the other two forward,” and caused them all to skew into the right lane, she said.

Scalia made it to court on time for 10am arguments.


Scalia: Women, Gays Have No Constitutional Protection Against Discrimination

Via Pam Spaulding comes this bit from a California Lawyer interview with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia asserting that women and gay people don't have constitutional protection against discrimination.

Scalia In 1868, when the 39th Congress was debating and ultimately proposing the 14th Amendment, I don't think anybody would have thought that equal protection applied to sex discrimination, or certainly not to sexual orientation. So does that mean that we've gone off in error by applying the 14th Amendment to both?

Yes, yes. Sorry, to tell you that. ... But, you know, if indeed the current society has come to different views, that's fine. You do not need the Constitution to reflect the wishes of the current society. Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn't. Nobody ever thought that that's what it meant. Nobody ever voted for that. If the current society wants to outlaw discrimination by sex, hey we have things called legislatures, and they enact things called laws. You don't need a constitution to keep things up-to-date. All you need is a legislature and a ballot box. You don't like the death penalty anymore, that's fine. You want a right to abortion? There's nothing in the Constitution about that. But that doesn't mean you cannot prohibit it. Persuade your fellow citizens it's a good idea and pass a law. That's what democracy is all about. It's not about nine superannuated judges who have been there too long, imposing these demands on society.

What do you do when the original meaning of a constitutional provision is either in doubt or is unknown?

I do not pretend that originalism is perfect. There are some questions you have no easy answer to, and you have to take your best shot. ... We don't have the answer to everything, but by God we have an answer to a lot of stuff ... especially the most controversial: whether the death penalty is unconstitutional, whether there's a constitutional right to abortion, to suicide, and I could go on. All the most controversial stuff. ... I don't even have to read the briefs, for Pete's sake.

Said Marcia Greenberger, founder and co-president of the National Women's Law Center, in response:

"In these comments, Justice Scalia says if Congress wants to protect laws that prohibit sex discrimination, that's up to them. But what if they want to pass laws that discriminate? Then he says that there's nothing the court will do to protect women from government-sanctioned discrimination against them. And that's a pretty shocking position to take in 2011. It's especially shocking in light of the decades of precedents and the numbers of justices who have agreed that there is protection in the 14th Amendment against sex discrimination, and struck down many, many laws in many, many areas on the basis of that protection."


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