Yesterday, America suffered a grievous loss when Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia — pro-life, Christian, Constitution originalist, conservative in every sense of the word, and a towering intellect — was found dead.
Scalia was a guest at the Cibolo Creek Ranch resort in West Texas, reportedly as part of a private group of about 40 people. When he didn’t appear for breakfast Saturday, someone went to his room to check on him and found him dead.
We are told Scalia died in his sleep on the night of February 12 or in the early morning of February 13, 2016, of natural causes. (New York Post)
Scalia would be 80 years old this March 11. He left a wife, Maureen, and nine children, and a heart-broken nation.
Chief Justice John Roberts said in a statement Saturday afternoon (LifeNews):
“I am saddened to report that our colleague Justice Antonin Scalia has passed away. He was an extraordinary individual and jurist, admired and treasured by his colleagues. His passing is a great loss to the Court and the country he so loyally served.”
On June 26, 2015, by a razor-thin margin of one, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled 5-4 in Obergefell v. Hodges, in favor of the absurd notion of same-sex marriage. Henceforth, homosexual couples must be allowed to marry in every state of the disunion. To give you an idea of what America lost yesterday, here’s the dissenting opinion penned by Justice Scalia:
I join THE CHIEF JUSTICE’s opinion in full. I write separately to call attention to this Court’s threat to American democracy….
Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court. The opinion in these cases is the furthest extension in fact— and the furthest extension one can even imagine—of the Court’s claimed power to create “liberties” that the Constitution and its Amendments neglect to mention. This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extravagant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.
Until the courts put a stop to it, public debate over same-sex marriage displayed American democracy at its best. Individuals on both sides of the issue passionately, but respectfully, attempted to persuade their fellow citizens to accept their views. Americans considered the arguments and put the question to a vote. The electorates of 11 States, either directly or through their representatives, chose to expand the traditional definition of marriage. Many more decided not to. Win or lose, advocates for both sides continued pressing their cases, secure in the knowledge that an electoral loss can be negated by a later electoral win. That is exactly how our system of government is supposed to work….
When the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified in 1868, every State limited marriage to one man and one woman, and no one doubted the constitutionality of doing so….
But the Court ends this debate, in an opinion lacking even a thin veneer of law. Buried beneath the mummeries and straining-to-be-memorable passages of the opinion is a candid and startling assertion: No matter what it was the People ratified, the Fourteenth Amendment protects those rights that the Judiciary, in its “reasoned judgment,” thinks the Fourteenth Amendment ought to protect….
Thus, rather than focusing on the People’s understanding of “liberty”—at the time of ratification or even today—the majority focuses on four “principles and traditions” that, in the majority’s view, prohibit States from defining marriage as an institution consisting of one man and one woman. This is a naked judicial claim to legislative—indeed, super-legislative—power; a claim fundamentally at odds with our system of government. Except as limited by a constitutional prohibition agreed to by the People, the States are free to adopt whatever laws they like, even those that offend the esteemed Justices’ “reasoned judgment.” A system of government that makes the People subordinate to a committee of nine unelected lawyers does not deserve to be called a democracy….
[T]his Court, which consists of only nine men and women, all of them successful lawyers who studied at Harvard or Yale Law School. Four of the nine are natives of New York City. Eight of them grew up in east- and west-coast States. Only one hails from the vast expanse in-between. Not a single Southwesterner or even, to tell the truth, a genuine Westerner (California does not count). Not a single evangelical Christian (a group that comprises about one quarter of Americans19), or even a Protestant of any denomination…. And to allow the policy question of same-sex marriage to be considered and resolved by a select, patrician, highly unrepresentative panel of nine is to violate a principle even more fundamental than no taxation without representation: no social transformation without representation.
But what really astounds is the hubris reflected in today’s judicial Putsch. The five Justices who compose today’s majority are entirely comfortable concluding that every State violated the Constitution for all of the 135 years between the Fourteenth Amendment’s ratification and Massachusetts’ permitting of same-sex marriages in 2003. They have discovered in the Fourteenth Amendment a “fundamental right” overlooked by every person alive at the time of ratification, and almost everyone else in the time since…. They are certain that the People ratified the Fourteenth Amendment to bestow on them the power to remove questions from the democratic process when that is called for by their “reasoned judgment.” These Justices know that limiting marriage to one man and one woman is contrary to reason; they know that an institution as old as government itself, and accepted by every nation in history until 15 years ago, cannot possibly be supported by anything other than ignorance or bigotry. And they are willing to say that any citizen who does not agree with that, who adheres to what was, until 15 years ago, the unanimous judgment of all generations and all societies, stands against the Constitution.
The opinion is couched in a style that is as pretentious as its content is egotistic…. Of course the opinion’s showy profundities are often profoundly incoherent. “The nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality.”23 (Really? Who ever thought that intimacy and spirituality [whatever that means] were freedoms? And if intimacy is, one would think Freedom of Intimacy is abridged rather than expanded by marriage. Ask the nearest hippie. Expression, sure enough, is a freedom, but anyone in a long-lasting marriage will attest that that happy state constricts, rather than expands, what one can prudently say.) Rights, we are told, can “rise . . . from a better informed understanding of how constitutional imperatives define a liberty that remains urgent in our own era.”24 (Huh? How can a better informed understanding of how constitutional imperatives [whatever that means] define [whatever that means] an urgent liberty [never mind], give birth to a right?) … I could go on. The world does not expect logic and precision in poetry or inspirational pop philosophy; it demands them in the law. The stuff contained in today’s opinion has to diminish this Court’s reputation for clear thinking and sober analysis.
The 5-4 Supreme Court vote actually should be 3-4 because two justices who voted in favor of same-sex marriage, Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Elena Kagan, should have recused themselves (or removed by Chief Justice John Roberts) due to conflict of interest, both having performed homosexual marriages.
The four dissenters are John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas — all Catholics. (Read more: “Judicial Tyranny: Dissenting opinions on Supreme Court’s ruling on homosexual marriage”)
Scalia’s death leaves the Supreme Court split 4-4 between conservative and liberal, raising the stakes even higher in this pivotal presidential election year.
While Obama can nominate a candidate to fill the vacancy, winning confirmation by the Republican-controlled Senate in an election year would be difficult. The communications director for Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, a member of the Judiciary Committee, posted a tweet that said the chances of the Senate approving Obama’s appointment was “less than zero.” (USA Today)
Please pray for the repose of the soul of Antonin Scalia.
To Justice Scalia:
I beseech you, pray for us! Intercede for America and ask God for His mercy on our wretched country.
H/t FOTM‘s MomOfIV