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Antonin Scalia on Principles & Values

Supreme Court Justice (nominated by Pres. Reagan 1986)


Founders engaged in explicitly religious official acts

One of the best compilations of explicitly religious official acts of the Founders that I've come across comes from Supreme Court justice Anton Scalia. It appears in one of his famous dissents, in a case in which the Supreme Court ruled that the Ten Commandments could not be displayed at the McCreary County Courthouse in Whitley City, Kentucky:

The same week that Congress submitted the Establishment Clause as part of the Bill of Rights for ratification by the States, it enacted legislation providing for paid chaplains in the House and Senate.

The day after the First Amendment was proposed, the same Congress that had opposed it requested the President to proclaim "a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed, by acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the many and signal favours of Almighty God."

Source: America by Heart, by Sarah Palin, p.196-198 , Nov 23, 2010

Originalism is the way to interpret the Constitution

Scalia has no patience with so-called activist judges, who create rights not in the Constitution by interpreting the Constitution as a "living document" that adapts to changing values. "What's wrong with it [the living Constitution] is, it's wonderful imagery and it puts me on the defensive as defending presumably a dead Constitution. It is an enduring Constitution that I want to defend. It's what did the words mean to the people who ratified the Bill of Rights or who ratified the Constitution."
Source: CBS News, 60 Minutes , Feb 11, 2009

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Other Justices on Principles & Values: Antonin Scalia on other issues:
Samuel Alito
Stephen Breyer
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Elena Kagan
Anthony Kennedy
John Roberts
Antonin Scalia
Sonia Sotomayor
Clarence Thomas

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Sandra Day O'Connor
William Rehnquist
John Paul Stevens

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Page last updated: Mar 08, 2014