Last edited: October 25, 2003

Scalia Skewers Fellow Supremes, October 24, 2003

By Paul Johnson, Newscenter Washington Bureau Chief

Washington, D.C.—In a scathing attack on his fellow Supreme Court Justices, Antonin Scalia Thursday night accused them of ignoring the Constitution whenever it suits their liberal purposes.

Scalia ridiculed the court’s majority decision overturning the Texas sodomy law in a speech before an extreme right wing group, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

The majority ruling “held to be a constitutional right what had been a criminal offense at the time of the founding and for nearly 200 years thereafter,” he said.

Scalia then read portions of the decision in a mocking tone of voice.

Scalia, who wrote his own objecting opinion to the ruling told the Washington-based Institute that judges routinely throw-over the original meaning of the Constitution when it suits them.

“Most of today’s experts on the Constitution think the document written in Philadelphia in 1787 was simply an early attempt at the construction of what is called a liberal political order,” Scalia said.

“All that the person interpreting or applying that document has to do is to read up on the latest academic understanding of liberal political theory and interpolate these constitutional understandings into the constitutional text,” he said to thunderous applause.

The Institute, founded 50 years ago, is a private conservative education organization which says its mission is to “enhance the rising generation’s knowledge of our nation’s founding principles—limited government, individual liberty, personal responsibility, free enterprise and Judeo-Christian moral standards.”

Scalia is a leading champion of the right. He was nominated to the Supreme Court by Ronald Reagan in 1982. In a New York Times profile, Justice Scalia was quoted as saying that the problem with judicial activism is “a modern trend called democracy,” adding, “It is simply not compatible with democratic theory that laws mean whatever they ought to mean and that unelected judges decide what that is.”

Democrats took aim at Scalia’s remarks Friday. Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe said that “by mocking the court’s ruling, Justice Scalia is showing that his intolerance also makes him unable to respectfully disagree with his colleagues.”

“President Bush has made it clear that Justice Scalia will be the model for any future nominations to the Supreme Court that he will get to make,” noted McAuliffe.

“And, if that president is George W. Bush, the recent decision overturning sodomy laws, as well as Roe v. Wade, will likely be reversed.”

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