Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia did his best yesterday to sound like the constructionist the mass media insists that he is.that Scalia, referring to himself in third person during a speech sponsored by the Federalist Society, explained:
“Scalia does have a philosophy, it’s called originalism,” he said. “That’s what prevents him from doing the things he would like to do,”
It appears that he was telling this for the truth, not as a joke as it would appear. The reality is that Scalia agrees with the Constitution only when the agreement aligns with his own personal and religious opinions. He is a barrel of contradictions: deferring to state authority when to do otherwise would advance personal freedom, and reaching far outside the limitations of the Constitution to federalize things like self-medication.
Long vilified as “a strict constructionist,” Scalia’s frequent fondness for evermore government power goes completely ignored. Although the justice’s schizophrenic rulings occasionally favor David over Goliath, his strict interpretation apparently stops well short of the 10th Amendment to the Constitution Scalia purportedly believes
is not a living organism, it is a legal document. It says something and doesn’t say other things.
One thing the Constitution doesn’t say is that its commerce clause trumps every other law on the planet and that an appeal to said clause grants Washington autocrats unlimited power over their subjects.
Liberty would have a true friend indeed were Scalia the constructionist he is perceived to be. Instead, we get only lip service to “state’s rights” and limited government. Parading himself as a champion of freedom and referring to non-constructionists (like himself) as idiots, Scalia’s speech was pure hypocrisy.
With many of the Washington power-whores, you know what you’re getting — they don’t bother to claim any understanding of or respect for the Constitution. But with dissembling antinomians like Bush and Scalia, the insistence that they are what they are not damages the image of true constructionists, what few exist.