Supreme Court Justice Scalia: Nothing Qualifies Judge to Create Abortion Right
by Steven Ertelt
September 16, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Justice Antonin Scalia is one of the most outspoken jurists on the Supreme Court when it comes to talking about abortion. Scalia repeated the mantra on Monday that he’s presented to college students and community forums about how the high court doesn’t have the power to declare a right to abortion.
During a speech at Utah State University’s Taggart Student Center, where 1,700 people came to hear the respected judge tell it like it is, Scalia criticized those jurists who engage in what he called "abstract moralizing."
In addition to faulty decisions like Roe v. Wade, Scalia said it results in a corrupt political process where citizens and politicians expect new judges to "rewrite" the U.S. Constitution and make policy decisions normally reserved for legislatures.
"These are social preferences that can only be handled in a political process," he said.
According to a Salt Lake Tribune report, Scalia said the cure for the problem is for Americans to view the Constitution as a "static" document and support judges who won’t make up the law from the bench.
Scalia touted his "originalist" views whereby he says the Constitution has a fixed and knowable meaning established at the time of its drafting.
That applies to pro-life issues like abortion and assisted suicide, he explained.
"I’m questioning the sanity of having value-laden decisions being made by unelected judges," he said. "Nothing I learned at Harvard or in my practice of law qualifies me to decide whether there is a right to abortion or to assisted suicide."
Scalia’s comment reinforce previous statements he’s made.
In April, he told students at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island that the so-called right to abortion is not found in the Constitution.
If abortion advocates wanted to create a legitimate abortion right, they should rely on passing laws in the legislature rather than asking courts to unilaterally create one, he said.
You want the right to abortion? Create it the way most rights are created in a democracy. Persuade your fellow citizens it’s a good idea and pass a law, Scalia said.
And in March, he made the same point in a speech at the University of Central Missouri.
"The reality is the Constitution doesn’t address the subject at all," Scalia said of abortion. "It is one of the many subjects not in the Constitution which is therefore left to democracy."
"If you want the right to an abortion, persuade your fellow citizens its a good idea and pass a law. If you feel the other way, repeal the law," he said.
During the speech, Scalia also rejected the idea that the Supreme Court is bound by precedent — such as in the Dred Scott or Roe v. Wade cases.
"For me, perhaps most important of all, does the precedent allow me to function as a lawyer, which is what a judge is supposed to do?" he asked.
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