Antonin Scalia
California Lawyer
More Legally Speaking

Antonin Scalia

The U.S. Supreme Court's most outspoken justice rails against the "living" constitution.

January 2011


Reader Comments

Comment by Mitch Rosen - December 20, 2012
The reputation of the court has NOT survived Bush v. Gore. What an asshole!
Comment by Michael Kennedy - February 20, 2013
In discussing originalism, "Easy answers; I don't even have to read the briefs." And that quip is probably more true of his jurisprudence than we would want to know. The scary thing, from his comments about the 9th Amendment, is that he really does not understand the difference between constitutional rights and fundamental rights. The later are those inalienable things wrapped up into our existance [and discussed in the Declaration], and the former are those things enumerated [and there is some, but not total, congruency]. The 7th Amendment, the 3rd Amendment, the indictment clause, etc., are constitutional rights that are not fundamental rights. Rights to personhood, family association, marriage rights are fundemntal rights, appearing nowhere in the Constitution. Is he being glib that he does not know the meaning of the 9th and fundamentaly rights [irresponsible in this sort of presentation], or is he, more likely, truthful, and thereby exhibiting horrid ignorance? And, yes, the court did become greatly diminished by Bush v. Gore, which would not been thus decided if Gore were to be the winner - it would have been non-justiciable in that case!
Comment by Michael Kennedy - February 20, 2013
Justice Scalia said that the 2d Amendment case [Heller] was a pure originalism holding. Well, yes and no. The holding that the Framers understood there to be a fundamental right for individuals to possess guns for protection of themselves, their families, their hearth, their property, etc., is absolutely correct. But that fundamental right was..., well, fundamental, and wrapped up into the very nature of those other items - the 2d Amendment was not a verbalization of the fundamental right [which is protected by the 9th Amendment, which Scalai confesses he does not understand!], but instead was a utilitarian right to protect states rights/state sovereignty against armed incursion by the national government. The people, if part of a well-regulated milita, could own and keep their guns at home to "bear" [a martial term] when called upon. The individual right to possess firearms preceded the framing and no more needed enumertaion in the Constitution than does the right to marry, right to procreate, etc. But then if you don't know the difference between fundamental right and constitutional right, you won't understand that, huh, Justice Scalia? So, it is an originalism opinion, but the source of the original right is not correctly identified in the opinion.
Comment by Ajay Jain - March 8, 2013
The Voting Rights Act (VRA) must be upheld by the supreme court: Discrimination is alive today unfortunately; Liberty and justice for all is openly sabotaged and the Supreme Court is inviting trouble of great magnitudnal proportions if it dares to fail its ultimate mandate: to uphold everyone's constitutional rights. We not only need to keep the protections in the current Voting Rights Act (VRA), it should be expanded. The numerous despicable attempts to restrict voting made during the last election cycle are proof of that. Anyone who truly believes the VRA is obsolete needs to recognize, given last year's voter suppression efforts, the Jim Crowe era is biding its time, lurking in the shadows waiting for an opportunity to rear its head once again. If properly educated and aroused to stand up against Supreme Court activism from the bench the entire nation will speak against it because the Voting Rights Act (VRA) is not about political parties; the Voting Rights Act (VRA) is about individual rights protection. Bank on it! it is time to review; the Supreme Court's Justice Scalia's attack on VRA as " racial entitlements" will not stand the test of time. If the Supreme Court does not uphold the Voting Rights ACT it is no longer acting as an unbiased institution and that, its Justices, can be challenged in public. Supreme Court Justices, get up and do your job or we will make it happen! Count on it! Now Even if you are dumb enough to believe that all is OK with the world and there are no reasons to have the voting rights act on the books. Then why are the the parties at opposite end's on this ? Why are the Republicans in America trying to keep people from the poles ? Well I will tell you what I think. I think there may be a dozen or two, man and women (Billionaires) in America that have the means to buy the power it wants to call all shots in this Country. The only way they can obtain this right now is get the people they want in office. To buy them so to say. But they know they can be stopped at the voting polls as proven in the 2012 election. They know the more that get out and vote there chances are reduced substantially. Commentator George Will knows this and should be ashamed of his views on VRA. He says VRA is 47 years old. Is that old ? I don't think so. Look at the constitution, at that II Amendment a lot older right. SS, Medicare, still very new in the big picture. But look at who wants to change them. Not working men and women, no the big bosses. They do not like to match payments that is what this is all about. They did not like it back in the 1930s and they do not like it now. So Americans do not be fooled by the right wing opposition and all of you older people that now have this little benefit fight like h--- to keep it just as it is. It just might be all there is between eating and striving !! The argument is that VRA is discriminatory against Southern states to require them but not other states to seek pre-clearance for voting laws; I actually agree. The Voting Rights Act should require *all* states to seek pre-clearance. After what we've seen the GOP try to pass in states all across the nation prior to the last 2012 election, I see no reason this safeguard against voter suppression should be limited to just Southern states as suggested by VRA of 1965 but now should be expanded to apply to ALL 50 states. It is urgent that whoever can go to the Supreme Court and organize peaceful, non-violent civil disobedience protests in front of the Supreme Court ASAP to do so right away!
Comment by tim sesler - April 17, 2013
Attn: California Lawyer, please delete the vulgar comments in this post. They demean the profession and your site.
Comment by Bruce Enos - May 16, 2013
I enjoyed hearing Justice Scalia. As a long time criminal lawyer, both as a prosecutor and a defender, I can say that he definitely got the Crawford decision right. It is disheartening to see prosecutors and the California Supreme Court trying to distinguish and destroy its effect. I also agree that the legal academy has become irrelevant to the practice of law. Having taught as well as practiced, I can say with some certainty that I haven't seen a useful law review article in abut 40 years.
Comment by cswilliams777@att.net - May 16, 2013
Noted.
Comment by David Kroll - July 16, 2013
Any possibility for respect for Justice Scalia vanished by his Bush v. Gore decision. It is inconceivable that his professed "originalism" and his respect for stare decisis could have permitted him to thrust a poliitical election into an arena of action for the Supreme Court. With that one thunderous piece of judicial nonsense he showed his true colors as an ad hoc practitioner rather than the principled jurist he pretends to be.
Comment by Ronald A. Zumbrun - December 18, 2013
Most impressive.

We welcome your comments!

By submitting a comment, you agree to abide by our comment policy. California Lawyer reserves the right to delete any comment. We may remove comments that are off-topic, crude, or vulgar, that are of low quality, or that violate the law or common decency. California Lawyer also reserves the right to edit any letter for use in its print publication. By posting a comment, California Lawyer does not necessarily endorse the views expressed.


Please enter your name:

Please enter your E-mail: (will not be published)

Your comment



Enter the Text you see on the left: