Worst. Justice. Ever.

Here is what Section 1 of the 14th Amendment says:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Contrast this with what Justice Scalia believes.

Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t. Nobody ever thought that that’s what it meant. Nobody ever voted for that. If the current society wants to outlaw discrimination by sex, hey we have things called legislatures, and they enact things called laws.

Actually, someone did vote for that: the 1971 Supreme Court. But then Scalia, in a purely political effort to support his all-around bigotry, is an originalist. For those paying attention, that’s just code that lets him pretend the principles espoused in the Constitution are only to apply to the times when they were first written. But then if that was true, we wouldn’t really be talking about principles anymore, now would we?

Worst. Justice. Ever.

10 Responses

  1. From everything I have seen or heard about him, your characterization fits just right.

  2. Justices are not supposed to rewrite laws, only the written word and a thing called legislative intent.

    No where in his comments did he say women should not have equal rights. He only outlined what he believes the role of the judiciary is.

    Again that is not to expand or redefine what a law does or doesn’t do but to find whether that law has been violated or whether it stands constitutional muster.

    I don’t believe he made any kind of normative statement did he? If not than what is there to criticize here? Love him or hate him but his statements are no more misguided than Sotomayor saying judges must have empathy.

  3. The entire purpose of the supreme court is to interpret the constitution and laws in reference to the constitution.

  4. Really? Where does it say that in the constitution?

    I don’t think anyone takes issue with your point, but it was a right established by the court itself. At what point does the court go from interpreting to expanding? The courts should not be expanding anything. As the Justice says, Legislatures makes laws.

  5. Where did I say expanding?

  6. You didn’t. Reviewing the constitution should not include expanding rights to groups that were never intended to be covered by a given amendment or law, regardless of the justness of it.

    At least in a perfect world. I realize that isn’t always the case.

    I have to agree that that is what the legislatures are for, congress included in that group.

  7. The Constitution was intentionally written so that it could move and breathe with a growing nation. If we’re to believe Scalia’s purely politically-motivated interpretation, then the 14th Amendment would explicitly include black people.

  8. You think it is a coincidence that the 14th was written right after a court ruling that blacks could not be citizens?

  9. What I’m saying is that if it was true that the Constitution was meant to be static like Scalia believes, then the 14th Amendment would explicitly mentioned blacks. That it did not is evidence that the amendment was not meant to necessarily only and/or ever be interpreted just for the sake of blacks.

  10. Hey, the constitution is whatever the Supreme court says it is, for better or worse. He takes one view, you take another, neither one of you are wrong.

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