Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia seemed to lay the blame for the Holocaust at the feet of judicial activism.
Speaking to a gathering of the Utah State Bar Association at the Westin Resort in Snowmass Village, the longest-serving justice on the nation’s highest court lamented a trend among federal judges, including his colleagues on the Supreme Court, to read and interpret the U.S. Constitution as a “living document” that changes over time.
Scalia described himself as an “originalist” in his reading of legal texts.
“I believe that texts should be read to mean what they were understood to mean when they were adopted,” he explained.
In other words, he sees the Constitution as a “static document” that means the same thing now as it did at the time of its creation.
When judges begin to reinterpret founding documents like the Constitution and make value-laden decisions about individual rights and liberties, Scalia said, they distort the workings of a democratic society.
Scalia opened his talk with a reference to the Holocaust, which happened to occur in a society that was, at the time, “the most advanced country in the world.” One of the many mistakes that Germany made in the 1930s was that judges began to interpret the law in ways that reflected “the spirit of the age.” When judges accept this sort of moral authority, as Scalia claims they’re doing now in the U.S., they get themselves and society into trouble.
So if a majority of the Supreme Court justices decide — just this once — to appoint a president that belongs to a party that they happen to agree with and in doing so steps all over states rights and local legal interpretaion, that’s neither “activism” or “the spirit of the age”?
Yeah, right. Someone needs to see Judgment at Nuremberg.