The Scalia Mold: A Dangerous Future for the Nation's Highest Court

By Cherrin, Amanda | National NOW Times, Fall 2003 | Go to article overview

The Scalia Mold: A Dangerous Future for the Nation's Highest Court


Cherrin, Amanda, National NOW Times


With four Supreme Court justices nearing retirement, the nation's highest court is in danger of losing its delicate balance, especially if George W. Bush serves another term as president. Bush has cited Justice Antonin Scalia as one of his most admired Supreme Court Justices, and a presumptive model for future nominees. Scalia's opinions on cases involving abortion, affirmative action, discrimination and homosexuality indicate that women's rights and civil rights will be threatened if his reactionary beliefs become the majority opinion.

Scalia is known for writing scathing dissents when his opinion is not on the prevailing side of the court. These dissenting opinions serve as windows into the ultraconservative Scalia mind. Here, in the justice's own words, is a look at what a Scalia-dominated Supreme Court could spell for this country:

Scalia dissenting from the 5-to-4 Court decision that reaffirmed Roe v. Wade, but upheld most of a Pennsylvania law which placed heavy restrictions on abortion access, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 1992:

"National politics were not plagued by abortion protests, national abortion lobbying, or abortion marches on Congress, before Roe v. Wade was decided . . . Roe's mandate for abortion on demand destroyed the compromise of the past, rendered compromise impossible for the future, and requires the entire issue to be resolved uniformly, at the national level. At the same time, Roe created a vast new class of abortion consumers and abortion proponents by eliminating the moral opprobrium that had attached to the act."

Scalia dissenting from the 6-to-3 decision that struck down Texas' sodomy laws, Lawrence v. Texas, 2003:

"Today's opinion is the product of a Court, which is the product of a law-profession culture, that has largely signed on to the socalled homosexual agenda... Many Americans do not want persons who openly engage in homosexual conduct as partners in their business, as scoutmasters for their children, as teachers in their children's schools, or as boarders in their home. They view this as protecting themselves and their families from a lifestyle that they believe to be immoral and destructive ... So imbued is the Court with the law profession's anti-anti-homosexual culture, that it is seemingly unaware that the attitudes of that culture are not obviously 'mainstream'; that in most States what the Court calls 'discrimination' against those who engage in homosexual acts is perfectly legal; that proposals to ban such "discrimination" under Title VII have repeatedly been rejected by Congress . …

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