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Thursday, March 16, 2006 

Scalia: Let Joe Six-Pack Decide

Justice Antonin Scalia

In a speech Wednesday at the New England School of Law, Justice Antonin Scalia criticized the idea of the "judge-moralist," saying judges are no better qualified than "Joe Sixpack" to decide moral questions such as abortion and gay marriage. Justice Scalia said...
"Anyone who thinks the country's most prominent lawyers reflect the views of the people needs a reality check,"
This may shock some people, but they don't teach us in law school to be brilliant arbiters of great social issues. I agree with Justice Scalia that questions of morals, ethics, and philosophy should be decided by the public, not by the small minority of us who battle through three years of law school.

Having judges decide these issues has another effect...
"Judicial hegemony" has replaced the public's right to decide important moral questions, he said. Instead, he said, politics has been injected in large doses to the process of nominating and confirming federal judges.
If anyone (like Senator Joe Biden) wants to know why the confirmation system is "broken", it's because the litmus test for judges on these controversial issues has become question number one. Judges should be doing lawyerly work (reading and interpreting texts), not crafting policy for an entire nation.

You know, I really like and respect that man.

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