Judge Scalia On How “Easy” It Is to Deny You Your Rights

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has again treated us to his “textualist” reading of the Constitution, telling an American Enterprise Institute audience that unfettered abortion access, “homosexual sodomy” and the retiring of the death penalty are all “easy” to decide against.

Reports Seattle Pi:

“The death penalty?  It’s easy.  Give me a break.  It’s easy.  Abortion? Absolutely easy,” Scalia told the AEI faithful.


“Nobody ever thought the Constitution prevented restrictions on abortion,” Scalia added.  “Homosexual sodomy?  Come on.  For 200 years, it was criminal in every state.”

Scalia’s mantra is that the Constitution is not to be treated as a living, breathing document whose promise of Liberty evolves with its people, but rather an iron-clad relic that should be read as it was set down, and in only that way.

This illuminating talk from Scalia comes as several marriage equality cases stand ready to be taken up by the Supreme Court, a number that will directly challenge the federal law that bans the government from recognizing same-sex marriages, the Defense of Marriage Act.

Another case on the Supreme Court’s docket in the coming months, likely after the November elections it would now seem, will be the Proposition 8 case where a federal judge and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided that the voting majority of California violated state and federal guarantees of equal protection in 2008 by defining away the right to marry a same-sex partner.

Scalia, a Reagan appointee, has sat on the bench for much of the life of the gay rights struggle. He has consistently found cause to rule against gay rights. Most notably, Scalia dissented in Lawrence v. Texas, the case that would serve to eventually make unenforceable state level bans on sodomy.

In the dissent Scalia, while terming the sodomy ban “facially neutral” even though the Texas ban applied solely to homosexual acts, wrote:

Today’s opinion is the product of a Court, which is the product of a law-profession culture, that has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda, by which I mean the agenda promoted by some homosexual activists directed at eliminating the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct…. [T]he Court has taken sides in the culture war, departing from its role of assuring, as neutral observer, that the democratic rules of engagement are observed.

While this may give us a rather face-slapping clue as to Scalia’s overall opinion of gay rights, the case may be of particular interest in that, with his dissent, Scalia found room to criticize the Court’s majority for its concern over the criminalization of sodomy leading to discrimination, citing that this ignored the will of the people:

So imbued is the Court with the law profession’s anti-anti-homosexual culture, that it is seemingly unaware that the attitudes of that culture are not obviously “mainstream”; that in most States what the Court calls “discrimination” against those who engage in homosexual acts is perfectly legal.

Proposition 8′s defenders have harped, seemingly to play a tune to which a conservative judiciary might hum, that the voting people of California, through the democratic process, decided against gay marriage and therefore the will of the people should stand — this of course sidesteps the fact that minority rights will nearly always and by their nature find disfavor at a majority poll.

While Scalia’s approach to law, his “textualist” attitude, seems to give him easy answers on topics like abortion restriction and, to quote again “homosexual sodomy,” one can’t help but feel that a judge who knows how he will rule before he has heard the individual cases at hand might be going in with a level of bias that is, to say the least, concerning.

However, for those of us familiar with Scalia’s views on a variety of topics, none perhaps more eyebrow-raising than his refrain that sex discrimination is Constitutionally sound, Scalia’s latest volley against reason and equality, and his apparent admission that being a Supreme Court justice is “easy” when it comes to issues like these, will not be a surprise.

Equal rights proponents were never looking to Scalia for affirmation, but then Scalia’s celebrity has already been cemented among religious conservatives, legislators like Scott Brown, and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney who has said he would be looking to appoint similarly minded judges.

Scalia’s latest AEI talk serves, then, as a healthy reminder of what that would mean for America.


Related Reading:

Scalia Dissent Reads More Like Blog Post

Scalia: Don’t Like SuperPAC Ads, Turn Off Your TV

Scalia Openly Mocks Tentherism

Image credit: Stephen Masker


Neal Gay
Neal Gay6 years ago

When did the word "Sodomy" become associated with anal sex which is something that SOME not all but SOME hetrosexauls engage in? SOME gays not all but SOME gays engage in anal sex. Sodomy comes from the root word Sodom which was a fictional city in the highly fictional "Holey Buy-Bull" so the word needs to be wiped out of the English langauge. Nothing about that book is real.

Bill Eagle
Bill Eagle6 years ago

Scalia is a Fascist. He should not be a sitting justice.

Elaine A.
Past Member 6 years ago

A document is a document and it holds true from it's inception!

char l.
Past Member 6 years ago

There seems to be a merging of Dominionist strains of both protestantism and Catholicism. Scalia is a good example of the latter. And, Brittany, Scalia would probably like to see women's vote rescinded and slavery re-instituted.

Anne Ortiz Talvaz

Yep, the kind of person who believes verbal abuse is "free speech".

Karen Howard
Karen H6 years ago

Time for somebody to retire...

Brittany Roche
Brittany R6 years ago

“Nobody ever thought the Constitution prevented restrictions on abortion,” Scalia added. “Homosexual sodomy? Come on. For 200 years, it was criminal in every state.”

Yes, and SLAVERY was LEGAL and women were not allowed to vote for many years too! Just because something is "legal" or "illegal" for a period of time does NOT make it right or wrong. The fact that Scalia made such a statement (like the one above) proves what an unthinking idiot he really is...

Jan W.
Jan W6 years ago

" For 200 years, it [abortion] was criminal in every state.”

Yeah and I think it was also illegal to spit on the sidewalk. There are still many laws on the books that are silly and called 'blue laws' because they are ignored.

More and more, Scalia sounds like a grumpy old man that should be ignored because he is getting a bit senile. Too bad someone thought him judicial enough to give him a job for life. This man needs to retire. He isn't capable of doing his job anymore.

paul m.
paul m6 years ago


Charlene Rush
Charlene Rush6 years ago

Justice Scalia believe he, and he alone could be the arbiter of dispensing justice to all. He is as narcissistic as one can be.
He makes decisions, according to his own beliefs and not the law.
He believes anyone who doesn't agree with him, is indecent, ungodly, and erroneous.

HE IS A DISGRACE to our judicial system.

To Tamara P.: I concur with you, that term limitations should be imposed. I find that 2 terms in and 2 terms out, with the possibility of being reinstated could work.
By the way, I believe this systen should be instituted for our legislators, as well.