Thursday, April 14, 2005

More Scalia, Please

Here is an essay by Margaret Talbot about Justice Antonin Scalia. I like this guy.
Scalia said, "People ask me, 'When did you first become an originalist?,' like they're saying, 'When did you first start eating human flesh?' 'But originalism used to be orthodoxy, he said. Only in recent times, he added, have judges become enamored of an approach based on-'Oh, how I hate the phrase!'-a'living Constitution.' Scalia uttered these last words with exaggerated disdain, as if he were holding up some particularly noxious leftovers extracted from the back of the fridge.
Scalia recited the words in the honeyed singsong voice of a well-indoctrinated child, then offered this mocking gloss: 'Every day in every way we're getting better and better. Societies only mature.' He paused. 'They never rot.'
'In 1791, the death penalty was a punishment for a felony. It was the only punishment for a felony! It was the definition of a felony!. . . .It was legal for two hundred years and nobody thought it was unconstitutional.!'
'If the Constitution is an empty bottle into which we pour whatever values-the evolving standards of decency of a maturing society-why in the world would you let it be filled by judges? I don't know what the standards of decency are out there. I'm afraid to inquire!' Scalia got a big laugh. 'Why you would want to leave these enormously important social questions to nine lawyers with no constraints, I cannot fathom.'
On 2nd thought, I LOVE THIS GUY.

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