Antonin Scalia (1936-Present)

“Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.”

“In a big family the first child is kind of like the first pancake. If it’s not perfect, that’s okay, there are a lot more coming along.”

“There is nothing new in the realization that the Constitution sometimes insulates the criminality of a few in order to protect the privacy of us all.”

“[The Freedom of Information Act is] the Taj Mahal of the Doctrine of Unanticipated Consequences, the Sistine Chapel of Cost-Benefit Analysis Ignored.”

“A search is a search, even if it happens to disclose nothing but the bottom of a turntable.”

“A law can be both economic folly and constitutional.”

“The Court today completes the process of converting [Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964] from a guarantee that race or sex will not be the basis for often will.”

“What is a moderate interpretation of the text? Halfway between what it really means and what you’d like it to mean?”

“If you think aficionados of a living Constitution want to bring you flexibility, think again. You think the death penalty is a good idea? Persuade your fellow citizens to adopt it. You want a right to abortion? Persuade your fellow citizens and enact it. That’s flexibility.”

“What will happen is, for every one person who sees it on C-SPAN gavel to gavel — so that they can really understand what the court is about, what the whole process is — 10,000 will see 15-second takeouts on the network news, which I guarantee you will be uncharacteristic of what the court does, … So I have come to the conclusion that it will misinform the public, rather than inform the public, to have our proceedings televised.”

“There can be no such thing as either a creditor or a debtor race, … In the eyes of government, we are just one race, it is American.”

“Does the deck seem stacked against those who oppose abortion? … You bet.”

“Does it stop being a quota because it is somewhere between eight and 12 percent, but it is a quota if it is 10 percent? … Once you use that term ‘critical mass,’ you’re in quota land.”

“The first instinct of power is the retention of power, and under a Constitution that requires periodic elections, that is best achieved by the suppression of election-time speech,”

“The Constitution’s refusal to ‘deny or disparage’ other rights is far removed from affirming any one of them, and even farther removed from authorizing judges to identify what they might be, and to enforce the judges’ list against laws duly enacted by the people.”

“Why can’t the state accede to the public’s wishes?”

“Abortion is off the democratic stage. Prohibiting it is unconstitutional, now and forever, coast to coast, until I guess we amend the Constitution.”

“Our task is to clarify the law — not to muddy the waters, and not to exact overcompliance by intimidation. The States and the Federal Government are entitled to know before they act the standard to which they will be held, rather than be compelled to guess about the outcome of Supreme Court peek-a-boo.”

“A journalistic purpose could be someone with a Xerox machine in a basement.”

“You can make an exception without the sky falling,”

“I would think the normal assumption is if one person wants that search excluded, that search is excluded.”

“I assure you, I have no agenda.”

“There will be no majority opinion. This will be one of those unpublished opinions that will not be citable before the Supreme Court,”

“I don’t like interjecting us into a battle between the two political branches,”

“There are 900 ways the House can stymie the president, if it had the political will.”

“I am questioning the propriety – indeed, the sanity – of having a value-laden decision such as this made for the entire society … by unelected judges.”

“You could have 50 different states having 50 different regulations … until they were all litigated out.”

“Rights do not grow smaller or larger.”

“Are you saying Thanksgiving proclamations are inappropriate? … I don’t see why the one is good and the other is bad.”

“The First Amendment has not repealed the ancient rule of life, that he who pays the piper calls the tune.”

“In the public forum out in the street, can we have a law that enables people to turn off unwelcome speech?”

“Let me be clear that I have nothing against homosexuals, or any other group, promoting their agenda though normal democratic means.”

“What distinguishes the rule of law from the dictatorship of a shifting Supreme Court majority is the absolutely indispensable requirement that judicial opinions be grounded in consistently applied principle.”

“Why in the world would you have it interpreted by nine lawyers?”

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