Scalia Slams Juvenile Death Penalty Ruling

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Yurt, Mar 15, 2005.

  1. Yurt
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    Yurt Gold Member

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    Justice Antonin Scalia (news - web sites) 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.

    ...

    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.

    ...

    Citing the example of abortion, he said unelected justices too often choose to read new rights into the Constitution, at the expense of the democratic process.


    "Abortion is off the democratic stage. Prohibiting it is unconstitutional, now and forever, coast to coast, until I guess we amend the Constitution," said Scalia, who was appointed to the court by President Reagan in 1986.


    He blamed Chief Justice Earl Warren, who presided from 1953-69 over a court that assaulted racial segregation and expanded individual rights against arbitrary government searches, for the increased political role of the Supreme Court, citing Warren's political background. Warren was governor of California and the Republican vice presidential nominee in 1948.


    "You have a chief justice who was a governor, a policy-maker, who approached the law with that frame of mind. Once you have a leader with that mentality, it's hard not to follow," Scalia said, in response to a question from the audience.


    Scalia said increased politics on the court will create a bitter nomination fight for the next Supreme Court appointee, since judges are now more concerned with promoting their personal policy preferences rather than interpreting the law.

    "If we're picking people to draw out of their own conscience and experience a 'new' Constitution, we should not look principally for good lawyers. We should look to people who agree with us," he said, explaining that's why senators increasingly probe nominees for their personal views on positions such as abortion.


    "When we are in that mode, you realize we have rendered the Constitution useless," Scalia said.

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  2. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    Scalia sure has a clear picture of what is going on today. How many times have we witnessed what he described with our own eyes as judicial nominees were grilled by judicial committee members? They might as well post a sign: Good lawyers who respect the constitution and would abide by its precepts need not apply.
     
  3. manu1959
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    manu1959 Left Coast Isolationist

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    i look at this quite simply............

    whatever rights you take from someone when you commit a crime should be taken from you....

    i do not care how olde you are nor do i care if you are "insane"...

    by definition the commission of a crime is not the act of a sane human being thus you can not be inncent by reason of insanity....
     
  4. insein
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    insein Senior Member

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    as long as the laws that they are breaking are just. Some of these new laws as well as old ones are ridiculous. The laws are made by men. Men are fallable. Therefore laws should be ammended when seen to be wrong.

    When it comes to murder its cut and dry with me. the system we have is probably the best we'll get as far as fairness goes, unfortunately.
     

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