U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia recently spoke at the New England School of Law. As expected he was ready with a raft of quotable quotes, all pointing to the crisis of the American judiciary — which is a crisis of constitutional government.
From the report by the Associated Press:
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia railed against the era of the “judge-moralist,” saying judges are no better qualified than “Joe Sixpack” to decide moral questions such as abortion and gay marriage.
“Anyone who thinks the country’s most prominent lawyers reflect the views of the people needs a reality check,” he said during a speech to New England School of Law students and faculty at a Law Day banquet on Wednesday night.
The 70-year-old justice said the public, through elected legislatures — not the courts — should decide watershed questions such as the legality of abortion.
“Judicial hegemony” has replaced the public’s right to decide important moral questions, he said. Instead, he said, politics has been injected in large doses to the process of nominating and confirming federal judges.
Scalia has made similar, if less strident, comments during past public appearances.
The jurist, well-known as a strict constructionist in his interpretation of the Constitution, opened his remarks by saying, “I brought three speeches, and I decided to give the most provocative one, because this seems to be too happy a crowd.”