Justice Antonin Scalia wants everyone to just keep their panties on, everyone, because “We can disagree with one another on the law without taking it personally.” Totally! So when he says that laws forbidding abortion, the death penalty and buttseks are clearly constitutional, don’t take it personally, gays and criminals and pregnant ladies. After all, figuring what is unconstitutional is a “no-brainer,” so don’t blame him, blame the Founders, who didn’t see fit to specifically enumerate rights for anyone other than educated, white, male landowners living in the early modern period.
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 in Washington the other day, that means he applies the words in the Constitution as they were understood by the people who wrote and adopted them.
“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.
Fun fact for Justice Scalia: abortion was actually legal in in most states until the mid-nineteenth century. Another fun fact: sodomy was punishable by death. In fact, there is an argument to be made that prohibitions on abortion and prohibitions on sodomy are grounded by the assumption that non-procreative sex in and of itself is subject to regulation, but the Founders didn’t put that in the Constitution so it is CLEARLY not relevant here. But anyway, isn’t it a relief to discover that Justice Scalia’s appreciation for our rights are defined by what a bunch of 18th century slave-owning, wealthy men might have thought of them?