Scalia's Big Shovel

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia shovels a huge load of bullshit in a public appearance.

[East Valley Tribune, Arizona:]

ScaliaOne of the most conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court said Monday his more liberal colleagues are trying to manufacture new constitutional rights that were never intended by the drafters.

"The fight is about the Supreme Court inventing new rights nobody ever thought existed,'' Justice Antonin Scalia said in an appearance at the University of Arizona College of Law.

"Right to abortion?'' he asked. "Come on. Nobody thought it violated anything in the Constitution for 200 years. It was criminal.''

The same, said Scalia, is true of homosexual sodomy. Yet the nation's high court has struck down state laws banning both.

"They may be bad ideas,'' Scalia said. "But don't tell me it’s unconstitutional.''

Scalia's really far outside traditional judicial thinking here. First off, rights aren't granted -- by the founders or the courts or anyone else -- rights are recognized. Second, the Constitution's 9th amendment reads:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

To translate this into plain language, "Just because we wrote a Bill of Rights, don't think these are the only rights people have. There are others we haven't recognized here." In arguing against the idea of extra-constitutional rights, Scalia ignores the Constitution.

Third, there was no law against abortion when the nation was founded. Contrary to his assertion, the founders didn't think abortion was "criminal."

Speaking at the same event, Justice Stephen Breyer told the audience that by Scalia's view, the founding document "won't be a Constitution anyone will be able to live under."

Breyer's right. And Scalia's either an ignorant putz or a lying wingnut. Either way, he's provably wrong.

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