But, more than that, he displays why he should be forced to retire
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia ridiculed his court's recent ruling legalizing gay sex, telling an audience of conservative activists Thursday that the ruling ignores the Constitution in favor of a modern, liberal sensibility.
The ruling, Scalia said, "held to be a constitutional right what had been a criminal offense at the time of the founding and for nearly 200 years thereafter."
Scalia adopted a mocking tone to read from the court's June ruling that struck down state antisodomy laws in Texas and elsewhere.
Scalia wrote a bitter dissent in the gay sex case that was longer than the ruling itself.
On Thursday, Scalia said judges, including his colleagues on the Supreme Court, throw over the original meaning of the Constitution when it suits them.
"Most of today's experts on the Constitution think the document written in Philadelphia in 1787 was simply an early attempt at the construction of what is called a liberal political order," Scalia told a gathering of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.
"All that the person interpreting or applying that document has to do is to read up on the latest academic understanding of liberal political theory and interpolate these constitutional understandings into the constitutional text."
Scalia's feelings about homosexuality aside, his words betray that his politics go beyond Conservatism to Reactionary. The Founding Fathers intentionally left the Constitution open-ended. They were wise enough to know that they could not forsee every issue that might arise to future generations, and knew that the document would have to adapt to suit the times. Scalia would have us adhere to so strict of an interpretation, in order to deny to a select group a private right which others take for granted, that we would effectively hamstring our republic. There would be no adaptation, no dynamism. Judicial Review would be reduced to a rubber stamp. That is not an attitude befitting a leader and certainly not an attitude befitting one who is supposed to judge. Scalia should be retired. Once retired, he can pine all he wants for the "purity" of days past, and the rest of us can actually continue moving forward in the great experiment that is this country.