When Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was interviewed by the publication California Lawyer he simply restated what everyone should know that he believes:
‘The U.S. Constitution is not a living document, it’s a legal document. The democratic process is supposed to fill in the gaps that the Constitution doesn’t specifically address; but when judges make interpretations contrary to what’s expressly included in the Constitution, they are making policy decisions that should be left to Congress and the people.’
The current brouhaha is about his poorly worded blanket statement in that interview:
“Neither women nor gays are promised protection against discrimination under the Constitution,”
Scalia has a reputation for being blunt and he apparently has little regard for diplomacy; if he did he might have made his point by first emphasizing the protections afforded to ALL citizens under the 14th Amendment by quoting it verbatim:
“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
. . . and then make the obvious point that something like an equal rights amendment is completely unnecessary — discrimination is already unconstitutional.
It’s true, as Scalia pointed out,that the Constitution does not specifically mention women or gays . . . but then if we assume citizenship and assume both women and gays are considered “persons” it really doesn’t need to.
CBS News: Scalia: Constitution Doesn’t Protect Women or Gays from Discrimination
Law.com: Scalia Says ‘Living Constitution’ Reduces Democracy
Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, a former president of Chicago Theological Seminary and current senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, writes in the Washington Post today that fighting against the mosque in “Lower Manhattan” translates into an attempt to deny American Moslems the basic religious freedoms guaranteed in our Constitution.
“It is crucial that Americans show the world that we have the courage of that conviction, especially when it comes to a plan to build an Islamic Center in lower Manhattan.”
Ms. Thistlethwaite, your tour guide on this guilt trip through the Constitutional intricacies of religious freedom, is twisting the facts to make her point; just as President Obama did in his speech last week.
Fundamental religious liberties are not even an issue in the “Ground Zero” Mosque controversy. Moslems have built mosques all over this great and free country and have practiced their religion without prohibition for many years.
The largest issues in the “Ground Zero” Mosque controversy are: 1) the FACT that the Imam and financial backers of the mosque have proven ties to established Islamic terrorist organizations and 2) the obvious assumptions that can be, and have been, extracted from that fact. Those, not religious liberty, are the primary issues (but obviously not the only issues) behind the opposition to the “Ground Zero” Mosque.
I personally have no doubt whatsoever that the “Ground Zero” Mosque is intended as a “victory dance” on the graves of the “infidels” who lost their lives on 9/11. The “Ground Zero” Mosque is clearly a political statement, not an expression of religious liberty. We must remember that in the Moslem world, religion does not exist outside of or separate from politics.
Here in the United States Moslems have their religious freedoms — more so than they would have in Moslem controlled theocracies — and no one is trying to take those freedoms away from them. A slap in the face, however, is not an acceptable expression of religious faith.