Supreme Court justice speaks about U.S. Constitution
THE SANTA CLARA
October 29, 2015
Antonin Scalia, the longest-serving justice on the current Supreme Court of the United States, visited campus on Oct. 28 and addressed a crowd of 250 members of the Santa Clara community.
Scalia’s 35 minute talk was focused on his argument that the Constitution has become a living document, in which flexible interpretations have become more favorable. A self-described “originalist,” Scalia described the trend as unconstitutional.
By describing two court cases he presided over, Robert v. Colorado and BMW v. Gore, Scalia argued that the debate between the originalist and living interpretations is not strictly a liberal versus conservative issue.
“I have a stamp in my office, by the way, that says, ‘Stupid but constitutional,’” he said jokingly.
He went on to criticize the power that his Court has to rule on issues he said should be decided by legislators instead. Scalia said allowing the Supreme Court to change the Constitution is an illegitimate practice since it bypasses the amendment process.
Brad Joondeph, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, moderated the question and answer session that followed.
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