Who is drooling on the bench?
— Justice Antonin Scalia, rejecting the idea of term limits for Supreme Court justices, in remarks delivered yesterday in Montana.
(Additional highlights from Justice Scalia’s speech, after the jump.)
His crowds might be smaller than the Wise Latina’s, but Justice Scalia is called the Rock Star of One First Street for good reason. How many other justices could pack a ballroom in Montana with people eager to hear reflections on the role of the courts in society?
What did Justice Scalia have to say? Here’s an account from the Associated Press (via Politico):
The U.S. Supreme Court is making decisions that should be left to Congress or the people, from wiretapping to “inventing” new classes of minorities, Justice Antonin Scalia said Monday.
In an apparent reference to the court’s recent decisions on gay marriage and benefits for same-sex couples, Scalia said it is not the function of the courts to create exceptions outside the Constitution unless a majority of people agree with them.
“It’s not up to the courts to invent new minorities that get special protections,” Scalia told a packed hotel ballroom in Bozeman in southwestern Montana.
If Judge Cebull did attend, he would have enjoyed this exchange:
[Justice Scalia] was asked about the most wrenching decision since he’s been on the bench.
“Well, is Obamacare too recent?” he asked to laughter.
But was that really “wrenching” for Justice Scalia? It was a much tougher case for Chief Justice John Roberts, who cast the key vote (and earned 2012 Lawyer of the Year honors from the ATL readership, based largely on that historic decision).
Going back to the original “who’s drooling” question, there hasn’t been a great drooler on the bench since Justice Douglas. Despite their advanced ages, the most-senior justices of the Court remain as sharp as ever — including, but not limited to, the still witty Justice Scalia.
Antonin Scalia: Don’t invent minorities [Associated Press via Politico]