Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Justice on the Hill

Justice Scalia has accepted an invitation by Tea Party heroine Michele Bachmann to speak before incoming House members about the Constitution and separation of powers. The idea of a Supreme Court Justice speaking to a bipartisan assemblage of new members of Congress seems not only inoffensive, but highly commendable. As a matter of education, a Justice may provide insight both into the Constitution and the inter-relation of the diverse branches of government. And as to fraternity, a Justice welcomed to Congress presents a desirable example of the cordiality and respect due among peers.

Yet the left is in an uproar. A law professor at GW called it "exceedingly poor judgment" on Scalia's part. One must wonder, if the Supreme Court is the only interpreter of the Constitution (as the left contends), why is it offensive for Justices to explain the methods of their arbitration to legislators? Should Congress not only eschew constitutional interpretation, but also constitutional familiarity? Is ignorance a new congressional virtue?

Of course, the left is simply miserable with all the recent talk of the Constitution - and they have responded accordingly to Scalia's indication that he intends not merely to keep reading the over-100-years-old document, but to actually teach its meaning to others (in government, no less). Nothing is so dangerous to modern liberalism as education.

Categories > Courts

Discussions - 7 Comments

Oh goody - we get to watch and hear another meltdown from the left. Gosh this is fun!

Oh, but if the Democrats still controlled congress and they got their queen-gods Ginsburg, Sotomayor or Kagan to come in and do the exact same thing, we'd see praising to the rooftops about how appropriate, just, compassionate and holy it was.

The left is completely unanchored from any sense of consistency or logic.

Just last night my mother-in-law told me "we wouldn't have any deficits if it weren't for the Republicans."

I swear ... her quote exactly.

She watches CBS Evening New exclusively and gets all her "knowledge" from Katie Couric.


And it's precisely that kind of person -- the Katie Couric's on the left and the impressionable lefties who sop up that spittle that act with indignation when sensible people don't agree.


Justin, you properly point out the irony of the criticism of Scalia's discussion of the Constitution. Scalia, however, is only a good starting point as a constitutional literalist. In "A Matter of Interpretation," he rightfully admonishes judges to base their jurisprudence on the text of the Constution, though he ignores law-making and jurisprudence based upon the natural law principles of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and reason. The natural rights republic demands more than just a strict interpretation, though as I have said, that would indeed be a great starting point for those living-Constitution advocates who believe that it can be interpreted to allow nearly any action by the federal government, except when that conflicts with their view. In other words, I hope that Hadley Arkes or Robert George or Ken Masugi or Justice Thomas was there for a follow-up lecture.

"Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia will speak on Monday on the separation of powers at an event organized by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and her Tea Party Caucus."

"The idea of a Supreme Court Justice speaking to a bipartisan assemblage of new members of Congress seems not only inoffensive, but highly commendable."

Say again, Justin???

"There are 52 members of the Tea Party Caucus, all Republicans."

(Wiki's source: the odious (haha) Bachmann's website)

The event is organized by the Tea Party Caucus. It is open for attendance by all. Hence, bipartisan.

That's ridiculous, and I think you know it.

(Again, you wrote before of a "a bipartisan assemblage of new members" - the new members being, of course, the Tea Party Caucus.)

You'd be all in favor of, say, Glenn Greenwald, or Jonathan Turley speaking before the same group, right (actually, you probably would, knowing that the Tea Party Caucus would likely just cover their ears and respond to such speakers with "I can't hear you!!!!")?? Maybe Cass Sunstein? Or how about a liberal SCOTUS justice?

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