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  1. #1
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    Scalia: Supreme Court Should Not be Moral Arbiters

    Saturday, July 31, 2010

    Jul 30, 1:43 PM EDT

    Scalia: Supreme Court should not be moral arbiters

    Associated Press Writer

    BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) -- Antonin Scalia believes Supreme Court justices are all too often deciding the nation's morals from the bench. He thinks the nomination process has turned into "absurd political theater." And he has grown to loathe the "silly spectacle" surrounding State of the Union speeches.

    Scalia offered these insights and many others during an appearance in Montana this week that provided a unique glimpse into the beliefs of the Supreme Court justice.

    He said the Supreme Court should abandon the notion of a "living constitution" - an approach the court adopted in the last half of the 20th century that has resulted in the nation's charter being rewritten time and again by unelected judges who are unqualified to make decisions on morality.

    Instead, the court should go back to the time when the constitution and the meaning of laws were considered static and could only be changed by an amendment of the people, he said.

    The modern court's "living constitution" doctrine has resulted in the Supreme Court acting as moral arbiters for the nation, he said. Examples of such decisions include barring states from having military colleges for men only and rejecting a constitutional right to assisted suicide.

    "Nothing that I learned in my courses at Harvard law school, none of the experience I acquired practicing law qualifies me to decide whether there ought to be, and hence is, a fundamental right to abortion or assisted suicide," Scalia said.

    Scalia, 74, spoke before a crowd packed into the 220-seat auditorium at Montana State University's Museum of the Rockies on Wednesday.

    He discussed a range of subjects, including the nomination process that has engulfed Washington lately as lawmakers considered Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan for the high court.

    He guessed that if he were up for nomination today, he would not get 60 votes to be confirmed. Scalia was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan in 1986. His opinions have placed him among the most conservative justices on the bench.

    "I am not happy about the intrusion of politics into the judicial appointments process," he said. But, "as long as (the constitution) is subject to revision, you should get used to controversial and absurd political theater when a person is nominated."

    He followed his speech with a candid question-and-answer session, fielding questions that ranged to which dictionary he uses to define words in the constitution - an 1848 Noah Webster dictionary he keeps on his desk - to how he can defend the court's recent decision to allow corporations the same rights as individuals in elections.

    "Corporations are groups of individuals," Scalia responded. "This wasn't a conservative versus liberal thing. This was an original reading of the constitution thing."

    One question he would not answer, though, was his opinion on Arizona's controversial immigration law, parts of which a judge were blocked from taking effect this week.

    "You want to get me recused from the case?" he asked his questioner.

    Outside the museum, a couple of protesters stood in the rain, condemning the Supreme Court's decision allowing corporations to participate in election campaigns. One of the protesters, Belgrade resident Erik Kreis, said corporations have no loyalty to any country.

    "I think he's representative of a prevailing culture that needs to change," Kreis said. "We want back our country."

    Inside the auditorium, Scalia occasionally let his humor show, telling the audience he was delighted to be in Montana because he loves to fish.

    But at times, his temper flared. He interrupted his speech twice, once to ask that a crying baby be removed from the audience and again to halt the clicking cameras of news photographers in the front row.

    And when he was asked whether it was a violation of decorum to have the justices dressed down at the State of the Union address, Scalia said the annual presidential speech has simply become political theater consisting of a series of applause lines. This year President Barack Obama pointedly criticized the campaign finance ruling during his speech.

    "I haven't gone to that silly spectacle for the last 15 years, I think," Scalia said. "I don't know why the Supreme Court should lend dignity to that silly occasion." ... SECTION=US
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Rockfish's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    From FLA to GA as of 04/01/07
    I haven't gone to that silly spectacle for the last 15 years, I think," Scalia said. "I don't know why the Supreme Court should lend dignity to that silly occasion
    I don't think the judge would feel that way if he was on SCOTUS during the years of Eisenhower or Kennedy. It's the administrations that followed that tainted the integrity of the office of the President.

    My 12 year old daughter was telling me that she should be able to drive a car when she's 14 and to heck with what the law says..she was half kidding, but she went on to say that illegal immigrants are crossing our border all the time and they don't pay attention to the law... I lectured her for the next 10 minutes, she gets it, but..

    Our President doen't and he sucks
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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