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Antonin Scalia
1936 -

U.S. Supreme Court Justice (1986 - ), appointed by President Ronald Reagan


... this [Supreme] Court has [assumed] the power, not merely to apply the Constitution but to expand it, imposing what it regards as useful "prophylactic" restrictions upon Congress and the States. That is an immense and frightening antidemocratic power, and it does not exist.

Jun. 26, 2000 - from his dissenting opinion in Dickerson v. United States
The Court today [changes] ... a guarantee that race or sex will not be the basis for employment determinations, to a guarantee that it often will. Ever so subtly, without even alluding to the last obstacles preserved by earlier opinions that we now push out of our path, we effectively replace the goal of a discrimination-free society with the quite incompatible goal of proportionate representation by race and by sex in the workplace.

Mar. 25, 1987 - from his dissenting opinion in Johnson v. Transportation Agency, which supported gender discrimination action under a California transportation agency's "affirmative action" plan
There is nothing new in the realization that the Constitution sometimes insulates the criminality of a few in order to protect the privacy of us all.

Mar. 3, 1987 - from the Court's decision in Arizona v. Hicks, which affirmed restraints on police search and siezure practices
The Freedom of Information Act is the Taj Mahal of the Doctrine of Unanticipated Consequences, the Sistine Chapel of Cost-Benefit Analysis Ignored.

Jun. 30, 1986 - in TIME magazine, quoted in The Quotable Conservative by Bill Adler
What secret knowledge, one must wonder, is breathed into lawyers when they become justices of this [U.S. Supreme] Court. Day by day, case by case, [the Court] is busy designing a constitution for a country I do not recognise.

The judiciary... has no direction either in the strength or wealth of the society, and can take no active resolution whatever. It may truly be said to have neither force nor will but merely judgment.

from an essay in The Federalist, No. 78
In holding that homosexuality cannot be singled out for disfavorable treatment, the Court contradicts a decision, unchallenged here, pronounced only 10 years ago, ... and places the prestige of this institution behind the proposition that opposition to homosexuality is as reprehensible as racial or religious bias. ... Since the Constitution of the United States says nothing about this subject, it is left to be resolved by normal democratic means, including the democratic adoption of provisions in state constitutions. This Court has no business imposing upon all Americans the resolution favored by the elite class from which the Members of this institution are selected, pronouncing that 'animosity' toward homosexuality is evil.

May. 20, 1996 - from his dissenting opinion in Roy Romer, Governor of Colorad vs Richard G. Evans
The virtue of a democratic system with a [constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech] is that it readily enables the people, over time, to be persuaded that what they took for granted is not so, and to change their laws accordingly. That system is destroyed if the smug assurances of each age are removed from the democratic process and written into the Constitution. ... [L]et me say a word in ... praise [of our ancestors]: they left us free to change. The same cannot be said of this most illiberal [Supreme] Court, which has embarked on a course of inscribing one after another of the current preferences of the society (and in some cases only the counter majoritarian preferences of the society's law trained elite) into our Basic Law.

Jun. 26, 1996 - from his dissenting opinion in United States vs Virginia
The permissibility of abortion, and the limitations upon it, are to be resolved like most important questions in our democracy: by citizens trying to persuade one another and then voting. ... The Court is correct in adding the qualification that this 'assumes a state of affairs in which the choice does not intrude upon a protected liberty' ... [N]o government official is "tempted" to place restraints upon his own freedom of action, which is why Lord Acton did not say "Power tends to purify." The [Supreme] Court's temptation is in the quite opposite and more natural direction--towards systematically eliminating checks upon its own power; and it succumbs.

Jun. 29, 1992 - from his partially dissenting opinion in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania vs Robert P. Casey