Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The last intelligent Supreme Court justice

Why can't everybody figure out what Justice Scalia so clearly and accessibly states here:

Justice Antonin Scalia criticized the Supreme Court's recent decision to strike down the juvenile death penalty, calling it the latest example of politics on the court that has made judicial nominations an increasingly bitter process. In a 35-minute speech Monday, Scalia said unelected judges have no place deciding issues such as abortion and the death penalty. The court's 5-4 ruling March 1 to outlaw the juvenile death penalty based on 'evolving notions of decency' was simply a mask for the personal policy preferences of the five-member majority, he said. 'If you think aficionados of a living Constitution want to bring you flexibility, think again,' Scalia told an audience at the Woodrow Wilson Center, a Washington think tank. 'You think the death penalty is a good idea? Persuade your fellow citizens to adopt it. You want a right to abortion? Persuade your fellow citizens and enact it. That's flexibility.' 'Why in the world would you have it interpreted by nine lawyers?' he said.
Scalia also knows where to point the finger of blame for the Court's shift from interpreting the law (a judicial function) to making the law (a legislative function):
He blamed Chief Justice Earl Warren, who presided from 1953-69 over a court that assaulted racial segregation and expanded individual rights against arbitrary government searches, for the increased political role of the Supreme Court, citing Warren's political background. Warren was governor of California and the Republican vice presidential nominee in 1948. "You have a chief justice who was a governor, a policy-maker, who approached the law with that frame of mind. Once you have a leader with that mentality, it's hard not to follow," Scalia said, in response to a question from the audience.
And here's what he has to say about the increasingly political nominations process and the end of the Constitution:
"If we're picking people to draw out of their own conscience and experience a 'new' Constitution, we should not look principally for good lawyers. We should look to people who agree with us," he said, explaining that's why senators increasingly probe nominees for their personal views on positions such as abortion. "When we are in that mode, you realize we have rendered the Constitution useless," Scalia said.
The man's a prophet.