Last edited: October 29, 2003

Scalia Falsely Portrayed as Scoffer, Group Says

Focus on the Family, October 27, 2003

By Keith Peters, Washington, D.C., correspondent

SUMMARY: The Associated Press headline said it all—“Scalia Ridicules Court’s Gay Sex Ruling.” But was that what really happened?

Justice Antonin Scalia was one of the speakers at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s 50th Anniversary in Washington. AP reported that Scalia adopted a “mocking” tone while reading from the Lawrence v. Texas ruling striking down anti-sodomy laws.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State spokesman Robert Boston said it was another example of stepping where no judge should go.

“You don’t win any friends on the high court by getting up and reading from a majority opinion and ridiculing it,” Boston said.

But Jeff Nelson, vice president of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, was there during the speech and said nothing of the sort took place.

“(Justice) Scalia was at no point last night, mocking,” Nelson said. “He read carefully from the recent decision to illustrate an academic, educational point he was trying to make about the dangers our constitutional order faces when young people are not exposed to the traditional teachings of the Constitution.”

Scalia not only spoke about the importance of the Constitution, he encouraged young Americans—as Nelson recounted it—to go back and discover their roots “and read and think and ponder about the great genius and the really providential moment in world history that occurred in Philadelphia with the writing of the United States Constitution.”

Scalia also called for a strict adherence to the actual text of the Constitution. He warned that contemporary judges throw out the original meaning of the Constitution when it suits them, and included some of his colleagues on the U.S. Supreme Court in his criticism.

The court is currently deciding whether the phrase ‘under God’ will be thrown out of the Pledge of Allegiance. Scalia has recused—or disqualified—himself from that case because of remarks he made in a speech to the Knights of Columbus.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: The Intercollegiate Studies Institute Web site contains more about Scalia’s visit.

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