October 15, 2006

Scalia Enters the Snakepit

On Sunday, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia participated in a televised debate with American Civil Liberties Union head Nadine Strossen, before an audience of ACLU supporters.

From the Associated Press:

Scalia, a leading conservative voice on the high court, sparred in a one-hour televised debate with American Civil Liberties Union president Nadine Strossen. He said unelected judges have no place deciding politically charged questions when the Constitution is silent on those issues.

Arguing that liberal judges in the past improperly established new political rights such as abortion, Scalia warned, "Someday, you're going to get a very conservative Supreme Court and regret that approach."

"On controversial issues on stuff like homosexual rights, abortion, we debate with each other and persuade each other and vote on it either through representatives or a constitutional amendment," the Reagan appointee said.

Strossen countered by playing the race card:

Strossen countered that such a legal approach would have barred the landmark 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, a unanimous decision outlawing racial segregation in public schools.
Scalia turned the tables:
"The Constitution very clearly forbids discrimination on the basis of race," Scalia said in response to a question by moderator Pete Williams of NBC. "It doesn't seem to me to allow Michigan to say we think it's good to discriminate on the basis of race when you want to make sure everyone is exposed to different backgrounds. We cannot use race as the test of diversity."
This dealt neatly with Strossen's argument, while pointing out that racial discrimination is fine with her, so long as it's a form of which she approves.

Via Jay at Stop the ACLU, who has more commentary.

By Bluto10:11 PM | Comments |