Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has made a reputation for himself as one of the most extreme conservatives the Court has ever seen. He is regularly under attack for aggressive stances on the civil rights of homosexuals, women and minorities. Some believe he's just a straight-talker while others deride him for fueling prejudice.
Let's take a look at seven of the most outrageous Justice Scalia quotes, and you can make up your own mind.
1. We Have "Adopted Racial Entitlements" For Black Americans:
What is this entitlement one might ask? Oh, voting rights.
Congress renewed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by an overwhelming majority, attracting the criticism of Scalia, who argued:
"Now, I don’t think that's attributable to the fact that it is so much clearer now that we need this. I think it is attributable, very likely attributable, to a phenomenon that is called perpetuation of racial entitlement. It's been written about. Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes."
2. States Should Be Able to Criminalize Sodomy:
"Many Americans do not want persons who openly engage in homosexual conduct as partners in their business, as scoutmasters for their children, as teachers in their children's schools, or as boarders in their home. They view this as protecting themselves and their families from a lifestyle that they believe to be immoral and destructive."
You got it — go to jail for being gay. He made this statement while arguing that state laws de-criminalizing sodomy should be reversed in the court case Lawrence v. Texas.
3. "If We Cannot Have Moral Feelings Against Homosexuality, Can We Have It Against Murder? Can We have It Against Other Things?":
Sure we want to equate homosexuality to murder? This is based on the logic that since society disapproves of murder and also of homosexuality (of which he has already informed us), they are pretty much the same.
Well, I guess except for someone dying. That person kind of lost their rights.
4. Tough Issues Are Easy:
"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."
Minor issues — bring on the tough stuff!
5. Female Students, Don't Take "Frill" Classes Like Women in Justice:
"Take the bread and butter courses," Scalia told a female University of Wyoming student when she asked which classes she should take. "Do not take 'law and women,' do not take 'law and poverty,' do not take 'law and anything.'" He added, some professors like to "teach their hobbies."
If studying laws on women and the poor are hobbies, what does that make scrapbooking?
6. Homosexual Partners Are "Roommates":
In Romer v. Evans, the court made it clear that Colorado laws could not be passed based solely on anti-homosexual sentiments. Scalia (surprise) opposed it, arguing,
"The amendment prohibits special treatment of homosexuals, and nothing more. It would not affect, for example, a requirement of state law that pensions be paid to all retiring state employees with a certain length of service; homosexual employees, as well as others, would be entitled to that benefit. But it would prevent the State or any municipality from making death benefit payments to the 'life partner' of a homosexual when it does not make such payments to the long time roommate of a nonhomosexual employee."
I know a few people who might beg to differ.
7. "A Man Who Has Made No Enemies is Probably Not a Very Good Man":
"I think I'm a pretty nice fella," Scalia asserted, claiming that the only reason he has so many enemies is because he is consistent on his beliefs.
Something tells me that's not quite it ...