ANTONIN SCALIA

The court makes an amazing amount of decisions that ought to be made by the people.
Antonin Scalia

If you think aficionados of a living Constitution want to bring you flexibility, think again. You think the death penalty is a good idea? Persuade your fellow citizens to adopt it. You want a right to abortion? Persuade your fellow citizens and enact it. That’s flexibility.
Antonin Scalia

I attack ideas. I don’t attack people. And some very good people have some very bad ideas. And if you can’t separate the two, you gotta get another day job. You don’t want to be a judge. At least not a judge on a multi-member panel.
Antonin Scalia

The Court today completes the process of converting Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 from a guarantee that race or sex will not be the basis for often will.
Antonin Scalia

The American people have determined that the good to be derived from capital punishment – in deterrence, and perhaps most of all in the meting out of condign justice for horrible crimes – outweighs the risk of error.
Antonin Scalia

Originalism is sort of subspecies of textualism. Textualism means you are governed by the text. That’s the only thing that is relevant to your decision, not whether the outcome is desirable, not whether legislative history says this or that. But the text of the statute.
Antonin Scalia

What secret knowledge, one must wonder, is breathed into lawyers when they become Justices of this Court that enables them to discern that a practice which the text of the Constitution does not clearly proscribe, and which our people have regarded as constitutional for 200 years, is in fact unconstitutional?
Antonin Scalia

And what I would say now is, yes, if a state enacted a law permitting flogging, it is immensely stupid, but it is not unconstitutional. A lot of stuff that’s stupid is not unconstitutional.
Antonin Scalia

There are those who contend that it does not benefit African-Americans to get them into the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a slower-track school where they do well.
Antonin Scalia

In a big family the first child is kind of like the first pancake. If it’s not perfect, that’s okay, there are a lot more coming along.
Antonin Scalia

If you are sentenced to torture for a crime, yes, that is a cruel punishment. But the mere fact that somebody is tortured is – is unlawful under – under our statutes, but the Constitution happens not to address it, just as it does not address a lot of other horrible things.
Antonin Scalia

I am something of a contrarian, I suppose. I feel less comfortable when everybody agrees with me. I say, ‘I better reexamine my position!’ I probably believe that the worst opinions in my court have been unanimous. Because there’s nobody on the other side pointing out all the flaws.
Antonin Scalia

There exists in some parts of the world sanctimonious criticism of America’s death penalty, as somehow unworthy of a civilized society.
Antonin Scalia

If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?
Antonin Scalia

The main business of a lawyer is to take the romance, the mystery, the irony, the ambiguity out of everything he touches.
Antonin Scalia

I used to say that the Constitution is not a living document. It’s dead, dead, dead. But I’ve gotten better. I no longer say that. The truth is that the Constitution is not one that morphs. It’s an enduring Constitution, not a changing Constitution. That is what I’ve meant when I’ve said that the Constitution is dead.
Antonin Scalia

Indeed, follow your star if you want to head north and it’s the North Star. But if you want to head north and it’s Mars, you had better follow somebody else’s star.
Antonin Scalia

It’s absolutely clear that whatever cruel and unusual punishments may – may mean with regard to future things, such as death by injection or the electric chair, it’s clear that – that the death penalty, in and of itself, is not considered cruel and unusual punishment.
Antonin Scalia

I do accept that, with – with respect to those vague terms in the Constitution such as equal protection of the laws, due process of law, cruel and unusual punishments. I fully accept that those things have to apply to new phenomena that didn’t exist at the time.
Antonin Scalia

There is nothing new in the realization that the Constitution sometimes insulates the criminality of a few in order to protect the privacy of us all.
Antonin Scalia

Burning the flag is a form of expression. Speech doesn’t just mean written words or oral words. It could be semaphore. And burning a flag is a symbol that expresses an idea – I hate the government, the government is unjust, whatever.
Antonin Scalia

The court makes an amazing amount of decisions that ought to be made by the people.
Antonin Scalia
Decisions, Amazing, People
As a young man, you’re dazzled by the power of the White House and all that. But power tends to corrupt.
Antonin Scalia
Power, Man, You
The Constitution that I interpret and apply is not living, but dead, or as I prefer to call it, enduring. It means, today, not what current society, much less the court, thinks it ought to mean, but what it meant when it was adopted.
Antonin Scalia
Today, Constitution, Society
Words have meaning. And their meaning doesn’t change.
Antonin Scalia
Change, Words, Meaning
A search is a search, even if it happens to disclose nothing but the bottom of a turntable.
Antonin Scalia
Search, Nothing, Bottom
If there’s anything you absolutely hate, why, it must be unconstitutional. Or, if there’s anything you absolutely have to have, it must be required by the Constitution. That’s where we are. That is utterly mindless.
Antonin Scalia
Hate, Constitution, You

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