Monday, December 17, 2007

Scalia's Funny Side

Posted on Mon, Dec 17, 2007 at 4:00 AM

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made a strong case for being the wittiest member of the court in a speech at The Peabody Monday to the Memphis Bar Association.

Scalia, often called the court's most conservative member, was as informal and engaging as a talk-show host or politician. He spoke without a prepared text and punctuated his remarks about the Constitution and other topics with one-liners.

He said the view that the Constitution is "a living organism" is "idiotic" and compared it to clichés about the stock market having a mind of its own.

"The stock market is not a mountain climber and the Constitution is not a living organism," he said.

He referred to abortion, same-sex marriage, and the death penalty in the framework of his "originalist" view of the Constitution.

"It provides what a Constitution always provides, and that is rigidity," he said.

He jokingly referred to his wife as "sort of a right-winger" and said that although he was confirmed 98-0 by the Senate 22 years ago, "I couldn’t get 60 votes today."

--John Branston


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