Actually, I’m not a fan of Justices giving speeches like this. While we have enough judicial history to gleen Justice Scalia’s judical philosophy, I still think it should remain unspoken or the kind of thing that one says after retirement.
But having said that, Scalia absolutly hits this one out the ballpark.
PONCE, Puerto Rico — People who believe the Constitution would break if it didn’t change with society are “idiots,” U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says.
In a speech Monday sponsored by the conservative Federalist Society, Scalia defended his long-held belief in sticking to the plain text of the Constitution “as it was originally written and intended.”
“Scalia does have a philosophy, it’s called originalism,” he said. “That’s what prevents him from doing the things he would like to do,” he told more than 100 politicians and lawyers from this U.S. island territory.
According to his judicial philosophy, he said, there can be no room for personal, political or religious beliefs.
Scalia criticized those who believe in what he called the “living Constitution.”
“That’s the argument of flexibility and it goes something like this: The Constitution is over 200 years old and societies change. It has to change with society, like a living organism, or it will become brittle and break.”
“But you would have to be an idiot to believe that,” Scalia said. “The Constitution is not a living organism, it is a legal document. It says something and doesn’t say other things.”
It really is simple. Why have this document called “The Constitution” if not to use it set some things in stone? If you want something that changes like the latest fashion, don’t waste time writing it down.
The people who want the Constitution to be a “living document” just don’t like what it says.
And yes, they’re idiots.