Justice Scalia: Abortion, Gay Rights Are Easy SCOTUS Cases

Friday, 05 Oct 2012 09:38 AM

 

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

WASHINGTON — Justice Antonin Scalia says his method of interpreting the Constitution makes some of the most hotly disputed issues that come before the Supreme Court among the easiest to resolve.

Scalia calls himself a "textualist" and, as he related to a few hundred people who came to buy his new book and hear him speak in Washington the other day, that means he applies the words in the Constitution as they were understood by the people who wrote and adopted them.

So Scalia parts company with former colleagues who have come to believe capital punishment is unconstitutional. The framers of the Constitution didn't think so and neither does he.

Urgent Poll: Who Won the Presidential Debate? Vote Here!

"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.'"

As he has said many times before, the justice said the people should turn to their elected lawmakers, not judges, to advocate for abortion rights or an end to the death penalty.

Or they should try to change the Constitution, although Scalia said the Constitution makes changing it too hard by requiring 38 states to ratify an amendment for it to take effect.

"It is very difficult to adopt a constitutional amendment," Scalia said. He once calculated that less than 2 percent of the U.S. population, residing in the 13 least populous states, could stop an amendment, he said.

In a lengthy question-and-answer session, Scalia once again emphatically denied there's a rift among the court's conservative justices following Chief Justice John Roberts' vote to uphold President Barack Obama's healthcare law. Scalia dissented from Roberts' opinion.

"Look it, do not believe anything you read about the internal workings of the Supreme Court," he said. "It is either a lie because the press knows we won't respond — they can say whatever they like and we won't respond — or else it's based on information from someone who has violated his oath of confidentiality, that is to say, a non-reliable source. So one way or another it is not worthy of belief."

"We can disagree with one another on the law without taking it personally," he said.

___

The issue of gay rights, or more specifically same-sex marriage, is expected to be a big one in the term that began this week.

While the justices initially were scheduled to discuss the topic at their private conference in late September, it now appears likely that they will not make a decision about whether to take up a gay marriage case until after the presidential election, which would mean arguments would not take place until the spring.

Urgent Poll: Who Won the Presidential Debate? Vote Here!

The justices have a variety of pending appeals they could choose to hear that deal in one way or another with gay marriage.

One set of cases looks at whether same-sex couples who are legally married can be deprived of a range of federal benefits that are available to heterosexual couples.

Another case deals with California's constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and federal court rulings striking down the amendment. An Arizona case deals with a state law that revoked domestic partner benefits, making them available only to married couples. Arizona's constitution bans gay marriage.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

More Detainees Set for Release From Guantanamo

Thursday, 27 Nov 2014 22:34 PM

More detainees are slowly and quietly being released from U.S. detention in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, The Wall Street Journa . . .

Romney to GOP: Pass 'Permanent Clarification' of Immigration Laws

Thursday, 27 Nov 2014 21:45 PM

Mitt Romney is urging Republicans in the new Congress to come together, swallow hard, and pass a "permanent clarificat . . .

IRS Gave White House Thousands of Taxpayer Documents

Thursday, 27 Nov 2014 18:48 PM

The IRS improperly turned over thousands of confidential tax documents to the White House for review, according to infor . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved