Antonin Scalia

(Antonin Gregory Scalia)

Antonin Scalia
Antonin Scalia
  • Born: March 11, 1936
  • Died: February 13, 2016
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Judge









Antonin Gregory Scalia was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1986 until his death in 2016. Appointed to the Court by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, Scalia was described as the intellectual anchor for the originalist and textualist position in the Court's conservative wing.

Quote Topics Cited
… the mansion of constitutionalized abortion law, constructed overnight in Roe v. Wade, must be disassembled doorjamb by doorjamb. Privacy, Abortion & Family Planning
A law can be both economic folly and constitutional. Constitution / Bills & Declarations of Rights ;Social Sciences
Day by day, case by case, the Supreme Court is designing a constitution for a country that I do not recognize. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Every banana republic has a Bill of Rights. Every President for Life had a Bill of Rights. Constitution / Bills & Declarations of Rights
Everything that is hateful and odious is not necessarily against some part of the Constitution. Constitution / Bills & Declarations of Rights
For the believing Christian, death is no big deal….For the nonbeliever, on the other hand, to deprive a man of his life is to end his existence. What a horrible act! Capital Punishment, Dealth Penalty & State Execution
Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity Human Nature
I don’t attack people. I attack ideas. And some very good people can have some very bad ideas. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
I think it is up to the judge to say what the Constitution provided, even if what it provided is not the best answer, even if you think it should be amended. If that's what it says, that's what it says. Constitution / Bills & Declarations of Rights
I wouldn’t mind having the proceedings of the court sent out on television covering it gavel to gavel. But by the time most of the media do their editing and broadcasting, I’m afraid that the public will see an atypical sampling of the court. It will misinform the public rather than inform. Propaganda & Disinformation
If it can be thought that a Supreme Court Justice can be bought so cheap then the nation is really in trouble. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
If you're going to be a good and faithful judge, you have to resign yourself to the fact that you're not always going to like the conclusions you reach. If you like them all the time, you're probably doing something wrong. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
I'm not for it [waterboarding torture] but it doesn't have anything to do with the Constitution .... Just as the Constitution is silent about lots of other horrible things. Constitution / Bills & Declarations of Rights
In law school, I never understood [antitrust law]. I later found out, in reading the writings of those who now do understand it, that I should not have understood it because it did not make any sense then. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Individuals who have been wronged by unlawful racial discrimination should be made whole; but under our Constitution there can be no such thing as either a creditor or a debtor race. That concept is alien to the Constitution's focus upon the individual. ...To pursue the concept of racial entitlement - even for the most admirable and benign of purposes - is to reinforce and preserve for future mischief the way of thinking that produced race slavery, race privilege and race hatred. In the eyes of government, we are just one race here. It is American Minorities & Women ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
It has never been the case, that if you capture an enemy combatant in war, you have to give him a Jury trial. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
It seems to me that stare decisis ought to be applied even to the doctrine of stare decisis, and I confess never to have heard of this new, keep-what-you-want-and-throw-away-the-rest version. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Many Supreme Court justices got their job precisely because they were friends with the President or other high officials. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Many think it is not only inevitable but entirely proper that liberty give way to security in times of national crisis. Whatever the general merits of the view that war silences laws or modulates its voice, that view has no place in the interpretation and application of a Constitution designed precisely to confront war and, in a manner that accords with democratic principals, to accommodate it. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Most of the rights that you enjoy go way beyond the Constitution. Constitution / Bills & Declarations of Rights
Nothing in the opinion, should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Guns & Gun Control
Now the Senate is looking for 'moderate' judges, 'mainstream' judges. What in the world is a moderate interpretation of a constitutional text? Halfway between what it says and what we'd like it to say?
Political gerrymanders existed in colonial times and continued through the framing. The Framers provided a remedy for the problem: the Constitution gives state legislatures the initial power to draw federal election districts, but authorizes Congress to “make or alter” those districts Voters, Voting & Elections
The campaign finance law is so intricate that I can’t figure it out. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The Censorship we now confront is vast in its reach. The government has muffled the voices that best represent the most significant segments of the economy. Freedom & Liberty
The government has muffled the voices that best represent the most significant segments of society. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The greatest defect in legislative history is its illegitimacy. We are governed not by legislative intention but by laws… the text should control even if the Congress intended a different result Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
The imperial judiciary lives. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
The reaction of people of faith to this tendency of democracy to obscure the divine authority behind government should not be resignation to it, but the resolution to combat it as effectively as possible…. The Lord…did justice – through His minister, the state. Religion & God
There are laws against threats and intimidation; and harsh criticism, short of unlawful action, is a price our people have traditionally been willing to pay for self-governance. Requiring people to stand up in public for their political acts fosters civic courage, without which democracy is doomed. For my part, I do not look forward to a society which ... campaigns anonymously … and even exercises the direct democracy of initiative and referendum hidden from public scrutiny and protected from the accountability of criticism. This does not resemble the Home of the Brave. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising ;Secrecy & Transparency
This Court seems incapable of admitting that some matters - any matters - are none of its business. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
When did it become unconstitutional to exclude homosexual couples from marriage. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Words do have a limited range of meaning, and no interpretation that goes beyond that range is permissible. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
You can’t go to a movie—or watch a television show … without hearing the constant use of the F-word, including … ladies using it. It’s very sad Freedom & Liberty
A journalistic purpose could be someone with a Xerox machine in a basement.
A search is a search, even if it happens to disclose nothing but the bottom of a turntable.
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.
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. Government
But I'm not pro death penalty. I - I'm just anti the notion that it is not a matter for democratic choice, that it has been taken away from the democratic choice of the people by a provision of the Constitution. Death
By formally declaring anyone opposed to same-sex marriage an enemy of human decency, the majority arms well every challenger to a state law restricting marriage to its traditional definition. Families, Children & Parenting
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.
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. Time ;Respect
I think Thomas Jefferson would have said the more speech, the better.
I try to be an honest originalist! I will take the bitter with the sweet!
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. Truth
I would not like to be replaced by someone who immediately sets about undoing what I've tried to do for 25-26 years.
If I have brought any message today, it is this: Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity. Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world.
If we're picking people to draw out of their own conscience and experience a 'new' Constitution, we should not look principally for good lawyers. We should look to people who agree with us. When we are in that mode, you realize we have rendered the Constitution useless.
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.
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. Death
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. Families, Children & Parenting
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. Future ;Death
It's not up to the courts to invent new minorities that get special protections.
My view is regardless of whether you think prohibiting abortion is good or whether you think prohibiting abortion is bad, regardless of how you come out on that, my only point is the Constitution does not say anything about it. It leaves it up to democratic choice.
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. History
Originalism says that when you consult the text, you give it the meaning it had when it was adopted, not some later modern meaning.
Power tends to corrupt. But the power in Washington resides in Congress, if it wants to use it. It can do anything - it can stop the Vietnam War, it can make its will felt, if it can ever get its act together to do anything. Power ;War & Peace
The court makes an amazing amount of decisions that ought to be made by the people.
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.
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.
What is a moderate interpretation of the text? Halfway between what it really means and what you'd like it to mean?
Why can't the state accede to the public's wishes?
Why in the world would you have it interpreted by nine lawyers?
Words have meaning. And their meaning doesn't change.
You could have 50 different states having 50 different regulations... until they were all litigated out.

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