Monday, April 28, 2008

Scalia, the "shin-kicker contrarian"

Justice Scalia appears on 60 Minutes.
Found via Redstate

Part 1

Scali, the self-described "shin-kicker contrarian," is criticised for being an"originalist"! *GASP* Which means his interpretations attempt to decipher what was really meant by the framers of the Constitution. *YIKES!*

The Constitution as a "living and breathing document"? Justice Scalia says, "No. Unless you think that judges in black robes are moral arbiters". He states that he doesn't view his role as such, but that it "sounds like fun".

Scalia warns the proponents of an evolving Constitution - "It's going to evolve in both directions".

But doesn't societal Values change?

Scalia: "You think there ought to be a right to an abortion? No problem. The Constitution says nothing about it. create it the way most rights are created in a democratic society. Pass a law- and that law, unlike a constitutional right created by a court, can comprpomise... it can... I was going to say it could split the baby..."

"The Constitution is not meant to facilitate change, it is meant to impede change. To make it difficult to change."

60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl: "You've been labeled a counter revolutionary... The public sense of you is that you make your decisions based on your social beliefs...that is the perception".

Scalia: "I'm a law and order guy I confess. I'm a social conservative but it does not affect my views on cases. On the abortion thing for example. If indeed I were trying to impose my own views, I would not only be opposed to Roe v Wade, I would be in favor of the opposite view which the anti-abortion people would like adopted, which is to interpret the Constitution to mean that a state MUST prohibit abortion.... there is nothing there on that subject."

Hmmm. I deviate from Scalia here. I guess it depends upon how you interpret what the framer's had in mind with "LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". Other than this, his brain is a veritable synapse symphany of cacaphonous melodies.

As Justice Scalia says, "Anyway, that's my view and it happens to be correct."


  1. I wonder why those who insist on a "originalist" interpretation of the Constitution completely ignore the Ninth Amendment:
    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    In other words, people hold rights, and those rights should be legally protected, whether they are included in the Constitution (or enumerated) or not.

    The framers of the Constitution added the Ninth Amendment because they were concerned that by specifically enumerating certain rights (the first eight amendments), future jurists would believe that our rights extended no further.

    So why is it that Justice Scalia can insist upon a strict interpretation of the Constitution, while all the while pretend that the Ninth Amendment isn't there?

  2. The Ninth Amendment... ambiguous. an inkblot. a legal hail mary. incoherent. vague.

    Not gonna go there Kevin. Neither one of us are attorneys, let alone Constitutional scholars (who have no idea what the hell it means either, by the way). I see no contradiction in your "AH HA!"

    At the end of the day, we both are on opposite sides of the fence.

  3. You don't need to be a scholar. It means what it says, and you can't at one moment say the forefathers were geniuses who wrote an unchanging document which applies for centuries, and then turn around and say that they wrote an inkblot.

    Read it again. It is the most simple of the amendments. It means exactly what it says.