Scalia: Tough Cases—Like “Homosexual Sodomy”—Are Easiest To Rule On
WASHINGTON, DC – For a “textualist” like Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, interpreting the Constitution is a no-brainer.
“The death penalty? Give me a break. It’s easy,” said Scalia during an address and book-signing at the American Enterprise Institute. “Abortion? Absolutely easy. Nobody ever thought the Constitution prevented restrictions on abortion. Homosexual sodomy?
Come on. For 200 years, it was criminal in every state,” he added. The 76-year-old Scalia said that he applies the Constitution’s words as they were understood by their framers, contrasting that style of jurisprudence with those of colleagues who apply them through the values of a changing world. For such a hypothetical colleague, “the Constitution means exactly what [he thinks] it ought to mean,” rather than what the Founders intended.
Scalia, who is the longest-served member of the current Supreme Court, said that citizens should turn to their elected officials, instead of judges, when it comes to public policy changes like ending capital punishment or securing reproductive rights.
Same-sex marriage is expected to be a major issue for the high court this term. It seems likely that the justices won’t decide whether to take up marriage equality until after next month’s presidential election, which means arguments won’t take place until spring.