Justice Antonin Scalia’s death on Saturday doesn’t merely mark the death of one of the greatest justices ever to occupy a spot on the Supreme Court – a tremendous philosopher of the law, a transformative figure in the direction of jurisprudence. It could easily mark the death of the Constitution itself.
Scalia’s judicial philosophy, originalism, restored the idea that the Constitution represented and meant something real and lasting and meaningful, not merely a vessel for leftists to pour their own personal politics into. Here’s Scalia’s explanation of his philosophy:
The theory of originalism treats a constitution like a statute, and gives it the meaning that its words were understood to bear at the time they were promulgated. You will sometimes hear it described as the theory of original intent. You will never hear me refer to original intent, because as I say I am first of all a textualist, and secondly an originalist. If you are a textualist, you don't care about the intent, and I don't care if the framers of the Constitution had some secret meaning in mind when they adopted its words. I take the words as they were promulgated to the people of the United States, and what is the fairly understood meaning of those words.
In other words, the Constitution means what it meant when it was written, not some secret message in the heads of the Founders or worse, some magical poetry to be unlocked by Justice Anthony Kennedy. This should be self-evident to anyone with a shred of intellectual honesty. But the left has no intellectual honesty.
And that’s why the Constitution itself may have died with Scalia.
Here are just a few of the issues on which Scalia was the crucial fifth vote, and which will now flip if Obama is able to ram one of his nominees through the Senate.
The Second Amendment. In Heller v. District of Columbia (2003), Scalia wrote the majority opinion which made clear that the right to keep and bear arms applies to individuals. The Court will now move to reverse that, clearing the way for any and all state and federal encroachment on that right.
Freedom of Speech. Scalia was the deciding vote on Citizens United v. FEC (2009), which found that individuals could work together as corporations to engage in political speech near elections. Now the Court will look to restore any and all restrictions on political speech by organizations not favorable to leftism. Furthermore, look for hard-leftists on the Court to push for “hate speech” to be excised from First Amendment protection (Justice Elena Kagan signaled her support for this notion in 1993, for example). Plus, Scalia was the likely fifth vote on the upcoming case that would have prevented unions from seizing dues to utilize for political purposes against the wishes of those who pay the dues. The left will reverse that.
Freedom of Religion. Scalia was the fifth vote on the Hobby Lobby case, which found that closely-held corporations could be exempt from a law to which owners had religious objections. The Supreme Court will move to reverse this, restricting freedom of religion to church and home – and those will soon move to the back burner as the leftists on the Court push to extend the reach of government leftism on social issues like same-sex marriage and abortion into the home and church via education and corporate law.
The Death Penalty. The left has long wanted to ban the death penalty in the United States under the guise of the Eighth Amendment. Look for that move next.
Abortion. The Supreme Court has spent years walking back the egregiously immoral Roe v. Wade decision. That will now reverse itself. The Supreme Court will look to strike down virtually any state law restricting abortion, enshrining murder an integral right under the Constitution yet again.
Voting. The Supreme Court under Scalia has opened up the voting process to states and localities. Now the Supreme Court will reassert federal control, allowing Democrats to take control of state voting processes, striking down voter identification laws, and helping to rig elections on behalf of ideological allies.
It’s up to Congressional Republicans to stop this from happening. But given their pliability on judicial nominees in the past, they won’t. And even if they do, what happens if Hillary Clinton – or, say, Donald Trump, who says he’ll appoint his partial-birth abortion ruling judge sister to the Supreme Court – becomes president?
America was never meant to be a nation of men rather than laws. The death of Scalia represents the end of the law, and could represent the final victory of men over the principles of freedom our founders fought and died to protect.