27 Oct Supreme Court Justices are trying to manufacture new rights
Or so Justice Antonin Scalia claimed at an appearance Monday at The University of Arizona College of Law. According to an article by Howard Fischer, Scalia argued that the more liberal Justices are “trying to manufacture new constitutional rights that were never intended by the drafters.”
The brief summary of Scalia’s appearance in the Phoenix East Valley Tribune is actually a really interesting and short read. It perfectly punctuates the difference between more conservative judges who take a literalist approach to the constitution and more liberal justices who take what Scalia called an “originalism” approach.
Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, who accompanied Scalia, explained this more liberal approach: “You don’t look to the details. You look to the value.” Which means, judges identify the values they believe the writers of the constitution intended to encapsulate in the document and then apply those values to current circumstances according to their interpretation.
Scalia warned against taking such a liberal approach to interpreting the document, arguing that loose interpretation could just as easily constrain rights as provide them.
“It goes both ways,” he said.
“The only thing you can be sure of is the Constitution will mean whatever the American people want it to mean today,” Scalia continued. “And that’s not what a constitution is for. The whole purpose of a constitution is to constrain the desires of the current society.”
It is this loose interpretation of the constitution that allows pro-abortion and anti-family groups to side-step the legislative process and force their agenda upon the nation.
You can read more about Scalia’s defense of constitutional restraint here.