In a speech entitled “Mullahs of the West: Judges as Moral Arbiters,” Ulta-Conservative Justice Antonin Scalia told an audience of judges and lawyers that courts have no “scientifically demonstrable right answer” to moral issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. He decried the “judge moralist” and said communities have the responsibility to decide what is morally acceptable, not the courts.
Justice Scalia made his speech to the North Carolina Bar Association Friday night, at one point repeating a provocative comment he made during oral arguments in the case of Edith Windsor V United States, which could soon decide the fate of the Defense of Marriage Act.
“When did it become unconstitutional to exclude homosexual couples from marriage?” Justice Scalia mused. But he made no attempt to answer his own question.
Court watchers speculate, that while Justice Scalia did not directly address the DOMA and Proposition 8 Cases awaiting a decision by the Court, his remarks Friday signal his preference for same-sex marriage laws to be decided on by states, and not by the High Court. Justice Scalia said Constitutional Law is threatened by the growing pressure to have judges fill the role of moral arbiter. Quipped Scalia, “We’re not qualified.”
Justice Scalia’s photo is from his Facebook Page.
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