Thursday, July 21, 2005

Scalia & Few Americans

E.J. Dionne Jr.:
"Many of us would welcome the chance to have Scalia as a professor. But outside the ranks of the right wing, few Americans want their country defined consistently by Scalia's choices. In shifting the balance on the court, Roberts could give Scalia the power to impose his worldview."

Dionne asserts that outside the right wing few Americans want their country defined by Antonin Scalia. This may well be true, IF we are thinking about Scalia's personal views of life and politics. But, the issue involves the Constitution, not majority views on legislation. According to the words of the Constitution, a super-majority is required to ratify and to amend the Constitution.

So, imagine if you will, the numerous views on the role and purpose of government in our system of political economy. Which views about the role and purpose of government are likely to garner the support of a super-majority, say of 75% of the populace? I believe they are likely to be views that sound like government as the protective state, i.e., views of government that sound like a practical application of individual liberty. Would you agree? If not, then which of the views regarding the role and purpose of government do you think would garner the support of 75% of the populace?

If I'm correct, then I would think that it is much more than the far right side of the political spectrum that would be comfortable with Scalia. Scalia's views of relevance relate to defining the meaning of our written Constitution, not to defining our country or to picking specific public policies. Scalia's constitutional interpretation generally tends to be consistent with viewing our Constitution from the perspective of individual liberty and with the role of government as being that of the protective state.

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