Well, at least we know how Justice Antonin Scalia will be leaning as new cases arrive at the Supreme Court this year. He offered a glimpse into his decision-making process during an event at the American Enterprise Institute. RightWingWatch has an excellent run-down on AEI here.
Scalia calls himself a “textualist” and, as he related to a few hundred people who came to buy his new book and hear him speak, that means he applies the words in the Constitution as they were understood by the people who wrote and adopted them.
So Scalia parts company with colleagues who have come to believe capital punishment is unconstitutional.
“The death penalty? Give me a break. It’s easy. Abortion? Absolutely easy. Nobody ever thought the Constitution prevented restrictions on abortion. Homosexual sodomy? Come on. For 200 years, it was criminal in every state,” Scalia said at the American Enterprise Institute.
Scalia also took issue with justices who try to be true to the values of the Constitution as he applies them to a changing world. This imaginary justice goes home for dinner and tells his wife what a wonderful day he had, Scalia said.
This imaginary justice, Scalia continued, announces that it turns out “’the Constitution means exactly what I think it ought to mean.’ No kidding.”
According to the Washington Examiner, Scalia was asked by an audience member how he stays hopeful in the face of the Obama administration's "failure to leave lawmaking to Congress."
Scalia first responded, "Who says I'm hopeful?" before saying he soldiers on.
"I feel like I'm Frodo in 'Lord of the Rings,' " he said. "The evil eye will get us sooner or later, but it's worth the fight."
Personally, I think Scalia got into the wine for the wine and cheese reception before his speech. His remarks are bolder than his usual partisan, pompous rhertoric. And my aren't we lucky with this windbag on the bench that we're not still burning witches, or any number of "crimes" and their punishments that been vanquished from the books in our changing world.
Justice Scalia's reference to the Obama administration as "the evil eye" is an exclamation point on his career of allowing his right-wing leanings to influence his rulings, and there have been multiple calls for his impeachment. It's well past time we got it done, then he can go peddle his books and criticize anyone he wants, and leave outdated laws in the past where they belong.
Late addition: As noted by The General, at least Scalia may be more "moderate" than Mitt Romney.