The students of Justice Scalia were not merely those who took his classes or served as his clerks. Through his opinions, he taught countless others the importance of the rule of law, republican self-government, and the virtue of courageous persistence in a good cause.
A federal court has said a student’s subjective understanding alters the meaning of an unambiguous, federal law. And it alters the meaning of the law for everyone in the Gloucester County school district and, potentially, everyone who resides in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
Supporters of “same-sex marriage” claim that its opponents are bigots, like racists or misogynists, whose views should not be tolerated in the public square. In fact, marriage traditionalists are not bigoted but rather are realistic and honest about what marriage actually is.
North Carolina’s state legislature recently passed HB2, requiring governmental bathrooms and locker rooms to be separate based on biological sex. Despite LGBT activists’ insistence that hateful animus against transgender people motivates this law, in reality the law does not discriminate against LGBT people any more than it does against other special classes, and instead offers a reasonable balancing of conflicting privacy interests.
Free-speech jurisprudence has reached a state where it is acceptable to abridge speech on matters of public concern, but not on vile or private speech. And the Supreme Court has usurped the authority of line-drawing from the people to empower itself.
The debate over the creation of a national bank reveals how Washington, Jefferson and Hamilton, despite profound disagreements, argued respectfully with prudence and fidelity to the Constitution. All three men offer valuable examples to today’s statesmen.
Liberal activists claim that the Senate must consider an Obama nomination to the Court. In fact, it would be unprecedented for a Supreme Court justice to be confirmed under a divided government during a term-limited president’s final year in office.
For his immense contributions to constitutional discourse, his sound constitutional vision, his rigorous and vigorous opinions, his fearlessness and peerlessness, Justice Scalia is one of the greatest Supreme Court justices of all time.
The Supreme Court is a vote away from unraveling years of incremental pro-life legislation as it examines the case surrounding Texas’ abortion-safety law HB2. But holding the abortion industry to a high standard of care should not be controversial, as the health of real women is at stake.
Any defense of constitutional originalism depends on accepting the principles of natural law and natural rights on which the Constitution was founded. Unfortunately, these principles no longer have meaning for most judges, politicians, and ordinary citizens today—which has troubling implications for the future of our republic.
A man of deep faith and scintillating reason, Justice Scalia had an extraordinary ability to notice obvious, important truths that many overlooked. His informal remarks a few months before his death give insight into his intellect and character.
With the death of Antonin Gregory Scalia the nation has lost one of its greatest jurists and a man who embodied the principle of fidelity to the Constitution.
The roots of today’s judicial activism stretch back one hundred years to the appointment of controversial Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, a champion of “sociological jurisprudence.”
The truth that human beings possess a natural personhood and natural rights is not incompatible with the idea of corporate personhood and rights that exist not by nature but by convention.
Corporations, and civic associations in general, are necessary bulwarks between governmental power and individual citizens—but they’re not people. Now more than ever, we must recover a clear understanding of what it means to be a human person with inherent dignity and natural rights.
Justice William Brennan’s vision of a living constitution continues to dominate contemporary constitutional interpretation, in spite of its troubling inconsistencies.
The contemporary left’s extreme anti-corporation position is hostile to the traditional legal culture of American liberty, which advances the common good by protecting the rights of both individuals and formally organized groups of people.
In debates over marriage and abortion, we should make arguments based on constitutional texts and judicial precedent. But would it be legitimate also for judges to consider overarching questions of justice and natural law?
To properly understand due process, we must grasp the key distinctions between law and decrees and between law and morality. If judges are authoritative arbiters of the “logic of morals,” we have subjected ourselves to an unelected, life-tenured legal elite whose reach exceeds our grasp.
Which Justice Sotomayor will show up in the next landmark family-law case: the Sotomayor who affirms the “precious” rights and duties of biological parents? Or the Sotomayor who insists on full "marriage equality"?
History clearly demonstrates that the legislative branch can legitimately act to counter the rulings of the judicial branch. This is as true for marriage as it was for slavery.
The Eighth Circuit Court has created the opportunity for religious freedom to win again in the Supreme Court. But it is Judge Daniel Manion of the Seventh Circuit Court who supplies the arguments that should triumph, for everyone’s freedom.
A look back at the disintegration of republicanism in the Roman Empire yields important lessons for contemporary American government. Will we demand actual liberty—including the authority truly to govern ourselves—or be content with its image?
If enacted, the deceptively titled Equality Act would punish dissenters, giving no quarter to Americans who continue to believe that marriage and sexual relations are reserved to the union of one man and one woman.
The opinions of the Supreme Court’s most recent term indicate that the court’s conservative justices are rethinking the scope and power of the administrative state.
When voters and legislators act on religiously informed moral convictions in making the law, it may entail a blending of religion and politics that is disquieting to the secular liberal mind, but it closes no gap in the “separation of church and state.”
228 years ago today, the Framers at the Constitutional Convention decided the power to declare war would be reserved to Congress, and the power to conduct war and make peace would be reserved to the president. Presidents and congresses have not always followed the Constitution in matters of war, but that doesn’t mean the Constitution has changed.
The Free Exercise Clause creates a unique type of constitutional liberty—a substantive freedom that limits the extent to which government can interfere with religious freedom.
Decisions of the Supreme Court that go beyond power delegated to the judicial branch or are contrary to the Constitution are null and void. To protect our constitutional republic, citizens, states, and the other branches of the federal government must resist any such decision.
A true republic respects religious speech. Such speech represents a different authority from governing power and affirms its limited nature.
The Supreme Court’s ruling is a significant setback for all Americans who believe in the Constitution, the rule of law, democratic self-government, and marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Will the right of Americans to speak and act in accord with the truth of marriage be tolerated?
As a legal opinion, Obergefell is an utter failure, relying as it does on a tenuous and historically ungrounded jurisprudence of “dignity.” The debate over same-sex marriage is not over. A constitutional ruling so shoddily reasoned, so completely and easily dismantled by the dissents, must paper over a cause that cannot ultimately win in an open debate.
If good morals are essential for a free republic to endure, and if a certain group of institutions successfully promote those morals, then it follows that a well-governed state may be friendly to those institutions—even if they are churches.
There are some problems in the reasoning of Justice Scalia’s opinion in the 1990 religious freedom case. But in its holding, and in its rejection of a quarter century of jurisprudence that could not be squared with the First Amendment, the judgment was correct.
Whether or not Locke would approve of it, there is a fundamental marriage right. It is ancient, not recent, and it secures the integrity of the natural family. In fact, nothing is more fundamental to our legal edifice than the ancient liberty of the natural family.
It’s easy to confuse fundamental rights with intensely-desired goods—and thus to wrongly invest the latter with the moral urgency and primacy of the former.
“Constitutional law” is not the exclusive domain of the courts, or even of government officials. Faithful interpretation is the duty and responsibility of faithful citizens.
Reading and understanding the Constitution is not an especially complicated intellectual exercise. It takes lawyers, judges, and law professors to turn it into something difficult and convoluted.
Although there were many good arguments and questions at the Supreme Court last week, there were also some significant errors.
For the Court to strike down laws defining marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife would be to abolish the idea that men and women matter—equally—in the lives of the children they create. And it would be both a judicial usurpation of legislative authority and a federal intrusion into a matter left by the Constitution in the hands of the states.
Rather than rush to a fifty-state “solution” on marriage policy for the entire country, the Supreme Court should allow the laboratories of democracy the time and space to see how redefining marriage will impact society as a whole.
According to a recent amicus brief by scholars of liberty, same-sex marriage is not only counter to the Supreme Court’s long line of personal liberty cases, it may even be prohibited by them.
Those suing to overturn state marriage laws are not merely asking the Court to recognize a new right. They are asking the Court to declare that the Constitution removes this issue from democratic deliberation.
Fewer than 9 percent of the countries belonging to the United Nations have redefined marriage to include same-sex relationships—and only one of those did so via its judiciary. A judicial redefinition of marriage would make the United States an extreme outlier on the global stage.
More than fifty million people have, by their votes, demonstrated that they continue to understand the profound importance of marriage. They deserve better than to have the decision to protect or redefine marriage taken out of their hands by the Supreme Court.
Antonin Scalia is one of the most brilliant, principled, sound, and thoughtful jurists ever to sit on the Supreme Court. But twenty-five years ago today, his legal skills utterly failed him.
A group of distinguished conservative public servants, policy makers, and political operatives has signed an amicus brief saying the US Constitution requires the states to redefine marriage. They argue that this is the truly conservative position—but it takes quite a bit of logical contortion to accept their argument.
The metamorphosis of marriage from a gendered to a genderless institution would send the message that society no longer needs men to bond to women to form well-functioning families or to raise happy, well-adjusted children. That would be bad news for children of heterosexuals on the margins: the poor, the relatively uneducated, the irreligious, and others who are susceptible to cultural messages promoting casual or uncommitted sex.
Why should a federal judge expect citizens, lawyers, and officials to obey her orders when she ignores the cases before her, and when she holds facts, law, and reason in such obvious contempt?
Judge Callie Granade ignored the case in front of her, then decided a hypothetical case involving facts that she made up, many of which directly contradicted the undisputed facts in the actual case before her.