WASHINGTON - 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.
In a 35-minute speech Monday, Scalia said unelected judges have no place deciding issues such as abortion and the death penalty. The court's 5-4
ruling March 1 to outlaw the juvenile death penalty based on "evolving notions of decency" was simply a mask for the personal policy preferences of
the five-member majority, he said.
"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.
Scalia, who has been mentioned as a possible chief justice nominee should Chief Justice William Rehnquist (news - web sites) retire, outlined his
judicial philosophy of interpreting the Constitution according to its text, as understood at the time it was adopted.
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
"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.
The black robed bunch is out of control based on one of its most brilliant members. Scalia points out that the so called "justices" are making
"political" rules based on personal ideology. As in the moronic under 18 anti-death penalty ruleing.
This is a "political" conspiracy at the highest level because "Liberalisim" has subverted the will of the "people" by stacking the court system
with 'Political" hacks instead of judges. Making "law" from the bench.
Impeach each and every "judge" that makes "law' or the injects the juducuary into the war on terror.
Seperation of powers.......................the judicuary is out of control.