Scalia Bashes Banning of Juvenile Death Penalty
Supreme Court Justice Anton Scalia gave a speech Monday. I can envision massive protests in the streets if Bush has the audacity to name him Chief Justice when Justice Rehnquist retires.
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.
He might as well say the Constitution is a piece of flotsam, to be flushed away whenever a majority of a state's voters decide to enact a law that refuses to recognize the rights embedded within it. If he doesn't think he should be protecting the Constitution, he should retire, not lobby for a promotion to Chief Justice.
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