Hard to believe (not!) but Justice Scalia doesn't believe in a right of privacy (unless you are Dick Cheney of a major corporation trying to defeat Democrats by funding astro-turf PACs -- see, for example, the recent Citizens United decision). He also believes the Founders intended for "religion" (I wonder which one?) to play an important role in Government.
He made these comments yesterday to a bunch of law students. He said we are free to discriminate against Gays and Lesbians if our legislatures choose to do so. I swear it's all perfectly true:
(via Booman Tribune)
The U.S. Constitution does not outlaw sex discrimination or discrimination based on sexual orientation, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told a law school audience in San Francisco on Friday.
"If the current society wants to outlaw discrimination by sex, you have legislatures," Scalia said during a 90-minute question-and-answer session with a professor at UC Hastings College of the Law. He said the same was true of discrimination against gays and lesbians. [...]
He also described the legal underpinnings of the court's 1965 ruling declaring a constitutional right of privacy - the basis for Roe vs. Wade - as a "total absurdity."
Yes, your privacy rights are at risk. Your right to choose with whom to have sexual relations, who you can marry, whether you may use birth control or not, whether you can have have an abortion or not, and perhaps even the religion you are allowed to practice (if it isn't a "Christian" denomination) are considered "absurd" in Scalia's eyes. Corporations and other "fictional persons, may have the right to contribute unlimited amounts of money to astro-turf Political Action Committees to defeat the candidates they don't like (primarily Democrats), and then hide the fact that they made those contributions (and the amount they contributed) from the public, but you, a real human being are merely an object for Scalia's scorn, and your rights are subject to the whims of the "majority" (i.e., whatever nutcases can get themselves elected to local, state and federal offices).
Here's what Scalia had to say about religion's proper role in our government:
"You do not need the Constitution to reflect the views of current society," he said during a wide-ranging interview with Hastings professor Calvin Massey. "I interpret it the way it was understood by society at the time." [...]
His answers provided a glimpse into the opinions that have made him a target for liberal groups. Early U.S. leaders intended religion to play a major part in the government, Scalia said.
"Don't tell me that the framers of the American Constitution never had that in mind," he said, adding that the United States is superior to some other countries because it "does God honor."
"It's not unconstitutional," he said.
I suspect he was only talking about religions based on a faith in Jesus Christ and maybe Jews. After all, he said you can only look to the views of the people at the time the Constitution was drafted and ratified, and in his mind (if not in fact) they were all Christians of some sort.
And don't kid yourself that Scalia is the only one who holds these views who sits on the Supreme Court. Alito, Roberts and Thomas all believe the same things, they just don't mouth off about them as much. Yet of the four, only Thomas faced a serious attempt to derail his nomination, and that had nothing to do with his extremist judicial philosophy.
The GOP, on the other hand attacks mercilessly every Democratic President's appointee to the court, whether liberal or moderate. Something for you Dem elected officials (and voters too) to think about if you want to protect your rights. Because, as Scalia makes clear in these comments and in the Court's recent Citizens United decision, Corporations are more important than real people in the eyes of the four most extreme justices on the court.
This is why it pays to fight to retain Dems in the House, Senate and especially in the Oval Office. You may not like how undisciplined the Dems are as a Party, or their flirtations with corporate interests. You may not like the many instances where conservative Dems failed to support the President's agenda or the times that he himself failed to fully support the goals of the progressive base of the party. You probably still remember the way Dem Senators rolled over during the Bush presidency to allow the Alito and Roberts' nominations to go through with hardly a fight.
However, allowing Republican control of any branch of government is detrimental to the safety and security of our nation and most especially to the rights and freedoms of individuals who don't have an "Inc." after their name. We have all seen the candidates the Republicans are running this Fall. Do you really want Rand Paul and Christine O'Donnell and Sharron Angle, extremists all and all of them opposed to our civil liberties (except those guaranteed by the Second Amendment it seems), in the Senate?
If you really want to protect your freedoms (and not merely those of AT&T, BP, Exxon, Bank of America or Goldman Sachs, for example) we the people have to choose Representatives, Senators and Presidents that respect our right to privacy. Right now we are one vote away in the Supreme Court from losing what little privacy rights we still have because four Justices believe that the Government has the right to legislate what you can and cannot do as a "free" citizen of this nation.
Maybe that doesn't matter to the "Restore America" crowd, but it matters to me. And it should matter to you.