Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was extra fiery during a talk at Santa Clara University in California this week, saying in no uncertain terms that the court had been making a lot of bad decisions.
In his speech, Scalia said he believes the “liberal” Supreme Court is heralding the “destruction of our democratic system,” according to an account from the SF Gate.
According to Scalia, the court is giving citizens rights the Constitution doesn’t specifically guarantee, like gay marriage and federally subsidized health insurance.
Scalia noted that this interpretation of the Constitution as a so-called living document arose in the 1920s, when Supreme Court justices at the time interpreted the, “guarantee of due process of law to protect fundamental rights not explicitly mentioned in constitutional text,” according SF Gate.
To Scalia, this was the beginning of a slippery slope that the US will struggle to recover from.
At the bottom of this slippery slope, according to Scalia, is the now famous Obergefell v. Hodges case that legalised gay marriage across the country. In his dissent, his position is crystal clear: “To allow the policy question of same-sex marriage to be considered and resolved by a select, patrician, highly unrepresentative panel of nine is to violate a principle even more fundamental than no taxation without representation: no social transformation without representation.”
In both of the landmark cases the Supreme Court has decided this year, Scalia has found himself in the minority. In King v. Burwell, the decision that upheld the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), Scalia derided his fellow justices’ interpretation of the law as, “jiggery-pokery,” and called the eventual decision in favour of the ACA as, “pure applesauce.”
With three current judges over the age of 79 (the average age of retirement for Supreme Court justices is 78), the next president will have a lot of appointments to make. If the Democrats take the White House in 2016, Scalia will certainly have more applesauce to look forward too.
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