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Scalia: supporters of "living Constitution" are idiots!

Discussion in 'Legal' started by CAnnoneer, Feb 14, 2006.

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  1. CAnnoneer

    CAnnoneer Member

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    Finally somebody speaks up and calls it the way it is. Enough leftist jurislegislation! This also means enough infringements on 2A by security moms and leftist statists.




    Scalia Dismisses 'Living Constitution' By JONATHAN EWING, Associated Press Writer
    1 hour, 30 minutes ago

    PONCE, Puerto Rico - People who believe the Constitution would break if it didn't change with society are "idiots," U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says.

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    In a speech Monday sponsored by the conservative Federalist Society, Scalia defended his long-held belief in sticking to the plain text of the Constitution "as it was originally written and intended."

    "Scalia does have a philosophy, it's called originalism," he said. "That's what prevents him from doing the things he would like to do," he told more than 100 politicians and lawyers from this U.S. island territory.

    According to his judicial philosophy, he said, there can be no room for personal, political or religious beliefs.

    Scalia criticized those who believe in what he called the "living Constitution."

    "That's the argument of flexibility and it goes something like this: The Constitution is over 200 years old and societies change. It has to change with society, like a living organism, or it will become brittle and break."

    "But you would have to be an idiot to believe that," Scalia said. "The Constitution is not a living organism, it is a legal document. It says something and doesn't say other things."

    Proponents of the living constitution want matters to be decided "not by the people, but by the justices of the Supreme Court."

    "They are not looking for legal flexibility, they are looking for rigidity, whether it's the right to abortion or the right to homosexual activity, they want that right to be embedded from coast to coast and to be unchangeable," he said.

    Scalia was invited to Puerto Rico by the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies. The organization was founded in 1982 as a debating society by students who believed professors at the top law schools were too liberal. Conservatives and libertarians mainly make up the 35,000 members.
     
  2. GTSteve03

    GTSteve03 Member

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    Indeed! Leave it up to people like Scalia and the .fedgov will say that intra-state, non-commercial commerce is still somehow not allowed to be regulated by the state. :fire:

    Wish I knew why he conveniently ignores the 10th Amendment to the Constitution he so loves... :barf:
     
  3. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    I'd love to hear the originalist roots of his Raich decision or his dissent in the recent Oregon decision. Maybe I'm just not as up on Scalia as I should be; but I haven't seen him having much trouble reaching the decisions he wants to reach.
     
  4. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Member

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    What he said is right, but application may be another matter.
     
  5. Drewtam

    Drewtam Member

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    I recently heard this question brought up on Scalia on C-Span. Some author was discussing a book about the guy.
    Anyway, he said that Scalia is more interested in questions of maintaining separation of [federal] powers rather than federalism. The reason why it seems is because Scalia feels that federalism is dead. The cause of death was said to be the New Deal, plus the fact that since America has accepted the New Deal, and therefore have no interest in defending Federalism anymore then he isn't going to spend to much time and effort on it.

    This logic frightens me, and its conclusions sadden me.

    Drew
     
  6. Augustwest

    Augustwest Member

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    Is this the same Justice Scalia who believes that growing a plant at home for solely personal use is engaging in interstate commerce?

    "Originally written and intended" my eye!
     
  7. Herself

    Herself member

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    Justice Scalia, bless his heart, has reached that point many Supremes come to: he has realized that a lifetime appointment means it is okay to be a bit...nutty. Inconsistent. Whatever. (Get used to it. They all go rogue eventually).

    He talks a great fight. His rulings do not always support his talk. Welcome to the imperfect workings of the legal system; that's why there are eight more Justices. The bet is that not more than four will be feeling too whimsical on any given case.

    Not sayin' we don't sometimes lose that bet.

    --H
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2006
  8. Molon Labe

    Molon Labe Member

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    In Scalia's World,

    1. If you grow your own food, and sell it out-of-state, you are engaged in interstate commerce.

    2. If you grow your own food for your own consumption, you have chosen not to sell out-of-state, which means you are affecting interstate commerce.

    Neat, huh? :rolleyes:
     
  9. Helmetcase

    Helmetcase Member

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    Good question. Scalia is pretty famous for being a strict constructionalist...unless it doesn't suit his personal agenda. The term "judicial activism" is so overused as to be meaningless anymore.
     
  10. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Free the weed, man! Like, you know, the plant is part of Nature, man, and Nature is all around us, man. How can Nature be commerce, man? George Washington smoked 13 in a wooden bong, man. Don't hassle me with your rules, Scalia dude. Ah, come on, mom, I don't wanna get a job.:D

    Smoking dope and watching the Wizard of Oz while listening to Pink Floyd in your parents' basement is not a Constitutional right.;)

    Preach on, Justice (should have been Chief) Scalia!:neener:
     
  11. cbsbyte

    cbsbyte Member

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    Scalia scares me, talk about judicial activism. He is the pinnical of right wing judical activism.
     
  12. Helmetcase

    Helmetcase Member

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    I know you're kidding around, but take a quick gander at Amendment number 9. ;)
     
  13. Biker

    Biker Member

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    Got a link?

    Biker
     
  14. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    Scalia would only change the Constitution through an Amendment
    ratified by 2/3rds of the States. What a right wing radical idea! :eek:
     
  15. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Helmet, I see nothing in the Constitution concerning your parents' basement, dope, eating Cheetoes and watching television.

    Desires become wants become needs become rights. The rights manufacturing industry destroys our real constitutional rights.
     
  16. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

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    Yeah! We need judicial/Constitutional moderates! :rolleyes: Like Scalia said, a judicial/Constitutional moderate is some one who interprets the Constitution halfway between what it really says and what they wish it said.
     
  17. Augustwest

    Augustwest Member

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    And since there's nothing there, decisions on the legality/illegality of said actions are "reserved to the states respectively, or to the people," no?

    Don't much care for reefer, Cheetos, and mom and dad's basement is pretty damp.
     
  18. GTSteve03

    GTSteve03 Member

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    So what happened to "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?"

    Since when did someone pursuing their own happiness to no detriment of any other person suddenly become something regulated by the government and not a God-given right of free people? :banghead:
     
  19. cosine

    cosine Member

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  20. publius

    publius Member

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    It does make some sense out of his recent votes in commerce clause cases....
     
  21. Biker

    Biker Member

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    Thanks cosine.
    Biker
     
  22. Don't Tread On Me

    Don't Tread On Me Member

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    Scalia is right. A living breathing constitution is an OXYMORON.


    Laws, or documents of such type were called Constitutions because they were firm, unchanging, cemented..unyielding. Now the word constitution is not seen to mean what it once was, but is thought of as simply defining legal documents used to found nations.
     
  23. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    Sad to say, you're right.
     
  24. roscoe

    roscoe Member

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    Justices Side With Gun Owner Who Concealed Arrest in Japan
    By DAVID STOUT
    Published: April 26, 2005

    WASHINGTON, April 26 - When Gary Small walked into a sports store in his hometown of Delmont, Pa., to buy a pistol, he probably did not see himself as the central figure in a Supreme Court case. But that is what he became.

    Before walking out of the store with his 9-millimeter pistol on June 2, 1998, he filled out the mandatory federal form. It asked whether he had ever been convicted "in any court" of a crime punishable by a year or more in prison. Fatefully, he answered "no."

    In fact, Mr. Small had never been convicted of any crime - in the United States. He had, however, run afoul of the law in Japan. The Customs authorities there became suspicious of him in 1992, when he shipped three electric water heaters from the United States to Japan, supposedly as gifts.

    When he picked up the third water heater at the Okinawa airport, the authorities opened it and found two rifles, eight pistols and more than 400 rounds of ammunition, according to court papers. Mr. Small was convicted in Japan in 1994 of smuggling guns and sentenced to five years in prison there.

    Paroled in the spring of 1998, he returned to the United States and his rendezvous with legal history.

    His conviction in Japan turned up in a routine survey by the federal authorities of purchases at gun dealers. Not long after he bought the 9-millimeter pistol, a search of his southwestern Pennsylvania home, business premises and car turned up another pistol and more than 300 rounds of ammunition.

    Indicted in 2000 on charges of making false statements and for possessing guns and ammunition as a convicted felon, Mr. Small moved through his lawyers to have the charges thrown out, arguing that the term "any court" meant any American court.

    A federal district court rejected his argument, and Mr. Small entered a conditional plea of guilty, receiving an eight-month sentence but remaining free on bail while he appealed the district's court's refusal to dismiss the charge. The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, based in Philadelphia, agreed with the district court.

    But today, the Supreme Court sided with Mr. Small, ruling 5 to 3 that the phrase "convicted in any court" applies only to convictions in the United States. "Congress ordinarily intends its statutes to have domestic, not extraterritorial, application," Justice Stephen G. Breyer wrote for a majority that also included Justices John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O'Connor, David H. Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

    To include foreign convictions, the majority reasoned, would raise the possibility of tainting a person who had been caught up in a legal system lacking American standards of fairness. Singapore imprisons people for up to three years for vandalism, the majority noted by way of example.

    In dissent, Justices Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia and Anthony M. Kennedy said, among other things, that "any" means what it says. "Indisputably, Small was convicted in a Japanese court of crimes punishable by a prison term exceeding one year," Justice Thomas wrote. "The clear terms of the statute prohibit him from possessing a gun in the United States."

    As for foreign court procedures, the dissenters said, the majority "constructs a parade of horribles" and "cherry-picks a few egregious examples" like the Singapore vandalism law.

    "And it is eminently practical to put foreign convictions to the same use as domestic ones," the dissenters said. "Foreign convictions indicate dangerousness just as reliably as domestic convictions."

    Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist did not take part in the case of Small v. United States, No. 03-750, which was argued last fall while he was undergoing treatment for cancer.

    The Supreme Court accepted Mr. Small's case because federal circuit courts had come to different conclusions on the relevance of foreign convictions in cases like his. Today, the five justices in the majority resolved those conflicts - while noting that theirs might still not be the last word.

    Even though they held that the phrase "convicted in any court" applies to any domestic court, the majority said, "we stand ready to revise this assumption should statutory language, context, history or purpose show the contrary."

    "Congress, of course, remains free to change this conclusion through statutory amendment," the majority added pointedly.
     
  25. Molon Labe

    Molon Labe Member

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    I don't want a rightwing, leftwing, or moderate Supreme Court justice. I just want someone who knows how to read the damn Constitution.
     
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