Sunday, February 14, 2016

Antonin Scalia

"The world must construe according to its wits. This court must construe according to the law."
--Sir Thomas More (A Man for All Seasons)

Justice Antonin Scalia died in his sleep early Saturday morning. He was 79. Scalia was appointed to the Court by President Reagan in 1986.

Until my 'awakening' to the notions of liberty and truth, I had little interest in Supreme Court rulings and could not name one sitting justice (or past one for that matter). This, of course, has changed as a search of these pages demonstrates.

I have consumed dozens of Supreme Court opinions during my journey. The writings of no contemporary justice has stood out more to me than Antonin Scalia's. Although he occasionally strayed from the mark, his opinions aligned closer to natural law as expressed by the Constitution than any other sitting justice.

Personally, I thought Scalia was at his best in his dissents, where he was not afraid to skewer his colleagues for their negligence in the law (see, for example, immigration and Obamacare). His 'SCOTUScare' dissent, aimed primarily at Chief Justice Roberts, is a classic screed on the consequences of judicial activisminterested courts, and rewriting law from the bench.

In 1840, Abel Park Upshur wrote that an interested court would be the icing on the cake that destroys the checks and balances designed by the Framers to protect liberty. With Justice Scalia's passing, the Supreme Court has lost much of what little checking and balancing capacity that it had left.

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