Biblical Law and Justice Antonin Scalia

photograph of the justices, cropped to show Ju...

Does Religion Motivate Justice Scalia? Or is it his view that Democracy is the Antithesis of Religious Law?

Justice Antonin Scalia has an extremely narrow and personal view of the US Constitution, he is misinterpreting his role as a Justice of the Supreme Court to presume that his moral judgements were and are in preference to the Law of the Land.  Perhaps in reading the Federalist Papers, the Papers of Madison, Jefferson, Hamilton and those who supported the Constitution understood the value of separation of Church and State Justice Scalia may have had a preconceived idea that Democracy and the Constitution were invalid substitutes for religious law.

Justice Scalia is the person who could have the greatest impact in helping the Religious Right establish its sovereignty. President Bush has talked about Scalia as the justice he admires the most.Supreme Court J

In an article published in First Things, a journal of religion and public life, in May, 2002, Scalia quotes St. Paul:

“…Government…derives its moral authority from God. It is the minister of God with powers to “avenge” to “execute wrath” including even wrath by the sword (which is unmistakenly a reference to the death penalty).”

Scalia appears hostile to Democracy: The “consensus” [that government is the minister of God]

“has been upset, I think by the emergence of democracy…It is much more difficult to see the hand of God…behind the fools and rogues…we ourselves elect of our own free will.”

He sees democracy as obscuring the divine authority:

“the reaction of people of faith to this tendency of democracy to obscure divine authority…should [be] the resolution to combat it as effectively as possible.”

Scalia views the United States Constitution as “dead” rather than as a living document that evolves along with society.

“…the Constitution that I interpret is not living but dead…It means today not what current society (much less the Court) thinks it ought to mean, but what it meant when it was adopted.”

This view of the US Constitution as “dead” could become the basis of a strategy to dismantle the separation of church and state. In a speech on January 12, 2003, at a Religious Freedom Day event, Scalia said that the principle was not imbedded in the constitution and therefore should be added democratically, which means through a constitutional amendment. An amendment to the Constitution on church-state separation would be impossible to achieve in the current political climate, so the argument is disingenuous.

Scalia, speaking to a crowd of about 150 in Fredericksburg to mark a “Religious Freedom Day,” asserted that America’s Founding Fathers never meant to “exclude God from the public forums and from political life.”

“Scalia sounds like a TV preacher, not a Supreme Court justice,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “His job is to uphold the Constitution, not promote religiosity.”

via Biblical Law.

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Bill of Rights Transcript

The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments t...

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The Bill of Rights: A Transcription

The Preamble to The Bill of Rights

Congress of the United States

begun and held at the City of New-York, on

Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.

THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.

ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.

Note: The following text is a transcription of the first ten amendments to the Constitution in their original form. These amendments were ratified December 15, 1791, and form what is known as the “Bill of Rights.”

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Amendment VII

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

via Bill of Rights Transcript.