Famous Antonin Scalia Quotes

Why in the world would you have it interpreted by nine lawyers?


As long as judges tinker with the Constitution to ‘do what the people want,’ instead of what the document actually commands, politicians who pick and confirm new federal judges will naturally want only those who agree with them politically.


The Constitution does not trust judges to make determinations of criminal guilt.


As long as judges tinker with the Constitution to ‘do what the people want,’ instead of what the document actually commands, politicians who pick and confirm new federal judges will naturally want only those who agree with them politically.


The attitude of people associating guns with nothing but crime, that is what has to be changed. I grew up at a time when people were not afraid of people with firearms.


But I also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not on the streets of our cities.


If you think aficionados of a living Constitution want to bring you flexibility, think again. You think the death penalty is a good idea? Persuade your fellow citizens to adopt it. You want a right to abortion? Persuade your fellow citizens and enact it. That’s flexibility.


There is no basis in text, tradition, or even in contemporary practice (if that were enough), for finding in the Constitution a right to demand judicial consideration of newly discovered evidence of innocence brought forward after conviction. My concern is that in making life easier for ourselves we not appear to make it harder for the lower federal courts, imposing upon them the burden of regularly analysing newly-discovered-evidence-of-innocence claims in capital cases (in which event such federal claims, it can confidently be predicted, will become routine and even repetitive).


It is difficult to maintain the illusion that we are interpreting a Constitution, rather than inventing one.


The Constitution does not trust judges to make determinations of criminal guilt.


Power tends to corrupt. But the power in Washington resides in Congress, if it wants to use it. It can do anything-it can stop the Vietnam War. It can make its will felt, if it can ever get its act together to do anything.


Persuade your fellow citizens it’s a good idea and pass a law. That’s what democracy is all about. It’s not about nine superannuated judges who have been there too long, imposing these demands on society.


A Bill of Rights that means what the majority wants it to mean is worthless.


Day by day, case by case, the Supreme Court is busy designing a Constitution for a country I do not recognize.


It’s a long, uphill fight to get back to original orthodoxy. We have two ‘originality’ on the Supreme Court. That’s something.


he enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table…. Undoubtedly some think that the Second Amendment is outmoded in a society where our standing army is the pride of our Nation, where well-trained police forces provide personal security, and where gun violence is a serious problem. That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.


The principal purpose of stare decisis is to protect reliance interest and further stability in the law.


Individuals who have been wronged by unlawful racial discrimination should be made whole; but under our Constitution there can be no such thing as either a creditor or a debtor race. That concept is alien to the Constitution’s focus upon the individual. …To pursue the concept of racial entitlement – even for the most admirable and benign of purposes – is to reinforce and preserve for future mischief the way of thinking that produced race slavery, race privilege and race hatred. In the eyes of government, we are just one race here. It is American.


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


If, even as the price to be paid for a fifth vote, I ever joined an opinion for the Court that began: ‘The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity,’ I would hide my head in a bag. The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie.