Justice Scalia: The Constitution is ‘dead, dead, dead!’

Antonin Scalia

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

While guest-lecturing students at Southern Methodist University Law School Monday, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia may have shocked some in the audience when he was asked, “Is the Constitution a living document, one which evolves with the times?”

“It is not a living document; it is dead, dead, dead!” he said, according to MSNBC.

One paradox, from the standpoint of a Supreme Court justice, is that while his political views may continue to evolve, the Constitution must always remain rigid, resolute.

“The judge who always likes the results he reaches is a bad judge,” Scalia told the students.

Scalia, appointed to the Supreme Court by then-President Ronald Reagan, is regarded as one of the more conservative of its members. As such, his views have often been questioned. According to MSNBC:

In December of 2012, a gay Princeton student challenged Justice Scalia on his legal writings on homosexuality. The student asked Scalia to defend his legal comparison of the bans on sodomy to those on bestiality, murder and incest. “If we cannot have moral feelings against or objections to homosexuality, can we have it against anything?” Scalia said in response.

Scalia clarified that he was not equating sodomy with bestiality or murder, but was presenting parallels between the two bans.

Carrying this further, I equate the U.S. Constitution to a more ancient document — the Ten Commandments.

If the Ten Commandments were a living document, it would probably read something like this:

“Thou shalt not steal, except in the interest of ‘fairness.’”

“Thou shalt not kill — unless the bastard really had it coming.”

“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife — unless, of course, she’s really, really hot and you’re both willing.”

See what I mean? All of a sudden rules are no longer rules — they’re suggestions.

The point is, if society is to remain strong and actually stand for something, it must have a core — a foundation — made of rock, not quicksand.

We may not always like an unbending Constitution, just like we may not always like a literal translation of the Ten Commandments. But we’ll always know what the hell it means. That’s why Scalia is right — “the Constitution is dead, dead, dead.”

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Comments

28 thoughts on “Justice Scalia: The Constitution is ‘dead, dead, dead!’

  1. Seazen is an example of the "low information voter." Scalia makes his point very well. Of course, the Constitution is a living document because the Founders in their wisdom (which is way over the heads of low information voters) allowed for the amendment process to always be adjsuted as necessary with changing times, new information and different cirumstances. .

  2. Lady Liberty is an apt name for her comments so reflect the freedom with responsibility message and actions of our Founders. RU is just another example of the low information voter. He won't get it. Scalia will go down in history as one of the greatest Justices for Freedom and for Revernce and Fidelity to the basic document of freedom, our Constitution.

  3. Typical hateful comment from one who has no argument, just hate. RonSr is, no doubt, an Obama low information voter who has probably never read the constitution.

  4. LawBear says:

    Dorstewitz, you and Scalia have one thing in common. You are both painfully stupid. And you can't fix stupid.

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