Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Comments Again on Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 23, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Comments Again on Abortion Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 23
, 2006

Washington, DC ( — For the second time in as many weeks, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has discussed the issue of abortion and the Constitution and indicated that there is nothing in the document that provides for abortion rights.

Scalia told an audience at a panel sponsored by the National Italian American Foundation that abortion and assisted suicide have nothing to do with the Constitution and that judges that allow those so-called rights pervert the democratic process.

He indicated that such issues are best left to the political process — ballots and state legislatures, according to an AP report.

"Take the abortion issue," he said. "Whichever side wins, in the courts, the other side feels cheated. I mean, you know, there’s something to be said for both sides."

"The court could have said, ‘No, thank you.’ The court could have said, you know, ‘There is nothing in the Constitution on the abortion issue for either side,’ " Scalia said. "It could have said the same thing about suicide, it could have said the same thing about . . . all the social issues the courts are now taking."

He said forcing the high court to decide so many social issues cases compromises its independence, AP reported.

"It is part of the new philosophy of the Constitution," he said. "And when you push the courts into that, and when they leap into it, they make themselves politically controversial. And that’s what places their independence at risk."

Justice Samuel Alito, also present for the discussion, agreed and expanded on Scalia’s comments saying that "the same thing exists, but to a lesser degree, with the lower courts."

Last week, Scalia debated ACLU president Nadine Strossen on abortion and other political issues. He argued that nothing in the Constitution supports a right to abortion and warned Strossen that her aggressive approach to using the courts to further her agenda will come back to haunt her.

During the debate, Scalia told Strossen that unelected judges have no business in formulating public policy on highly charged political issues like abortion. Instead, those decisions should be best left to lawmakers or the public.

"On controversial issues on stuff like … abortion, we debate with each other and persuade each other and vote on it either through representatives or a constitutional amendment," Scalia said.

He added that the role of a Supreme Court justice should be interpreting the law, not inventing it.

"Whether it’s good or bad is not my job. My job is simply to say if those things you find desirable are contained in the Constitution," he said.

Discussing pro-abortion judges who created a right to abortion, Scalia warned her, "Someday, you’re going to get a very conservative Supreme Court and regret that approach."

Scalia is one of the two members of the high court, including Justice Clarence Thomas, who have taken a pro-life position against the Roe v. Wade decision.

Joined by new Chief Justice John Roberts and Alito, the four are though to be the block of judges who will lead the way in overturning Roe once one more pro-life judge is added. The current Supreme Court is divided 5-4 in favor of abortion.