Friday, September 19, 2008

Justice Antonin Scalia vs. Judicial Activism

"Value-laden [moral] decisions ... should be made by an entire society ... not by nine unelected judges," Scalia said.

-- From "Reject 'living Constitution,' Scalia tells crowd at USU" by Aaron Falk, Deseret News 9/16/08

LOGAN — The legality of abortion, same-sex marriage and other controversial issues should be decided by the American people and not a panel of unelected judges, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told students and faculty at Utah State University on Monday.

A shift in political practices in recent years, however, has left judges to legislate from the bench as they rewrite the Constitution, the judge said.

"A change occurred in the last half of the 20th century, and I'm sorry to say that my court was responsible for it," Scalia said. "It was my court that invented the notion of a living Constitution" to keep up with what some justices call "the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society."

The evolution of the Supreme Court's duties has occurred even as Scalia has served in his current position, the justice lamented. President Ronald Reagan nominated Scalia for the Supreme Court in 1986, and Scalia was confirmed by a 98-0 vote — something that may never happen again as politics continue to make their way into the nomination process.

"It seeped into the political consciousness of the people that what is going on is a refashioning of the Constitution from term to term," Scalia said. "We're conducting a mini-constitutional convention every time we select a new justice on the Supreme Court."

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.