Friday, October 24, 2003

Rights and Reason: Scalia Ridicules Court's Gay Sex Ruling

The AP reports on one more example why Antonin Scalia is not a friend of individual rights:

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia ridiculed his court's recent ruling legalizing gay sex, telling an audience of conservative activists Thursday that the ruling ignores the Constitution in favor of a modern, liberal sensibility.

The ruling, Scalia said, "held to be a constitutional right what had been a criminal offense at the time of the founding and for nearly 200 years thereafter."

Scalia adopted a mocking tone to read from the court's June ruling that struck down state antisodomy laws in Texas and elsewhere.

Scalia wrote a bitter dissent in the gay sex case that was longer than the ruling itself.

On Thursday, Scalia said judges, including his colleagues on the Supreme Court, throw over the original meaning of the Constitution when it suits them.

"Most of today's experts on the Constitution think the document written in Philadelphia in 1787 was simply an early attempt at the construction of what is called a liberal political order," Scalia told a gathering of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

"All that the person interpreting or applying that document has to do is to read up on the latest academic understanding of liberal political theory and interpolate these constitutional understandings into the constitutional text."

Scalia is a hero of conservatives who favor a strict adherence to the actual text of the Constitution.
And who forget what principle ought to animate that text.

By Scalia’s logic, the question of institutional slavery was never a question of individual rights; it was a question of what text was in the Constitution at any given moment. And if the latest "academic understanding" of the Constitution is far left in today's context, Scalia’s mission is to replace it with the equally subjective Judeo-Christian interpretation. That's not progress—that’s nothing more then a different side of a very bad coin.

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