October 1, 2004

"I even take the position that sexual orgies eliminate social tensions and ought to be encouraged."

Justice Scalia is quite good at getting press coverage, isn't he? I was going to complain the other day that he keeps getting press write-ups for saying things that he always says, but I've got to hand it to him: he came up with a new one this time. I don't have the text of the whole speech, but I see from the article that he was "challenged about his views on sexual morality," after giving a talk at Harvard, and I assume his talk said the usual things about how judges need to follow the Constitution as it is written and not turn it into a vehicle for imposing their own values on everyone. That position naturally leads to the question he was asked at Harvard, which is, don't you really have that conservative morality that your opinions, limiting the scope of constitutional rights, allow states to impose on people? Don't your constitutional opinions thus work for you as a vehicle to get what you want because, by finding no constitutional rights in a particular area (such as gay rights or abortion rights), you are leaving in place state laws that do things that you like? His response, which I take to be somewhat jocose, essentially says: I may very well approve of all sorts of things things that would shock you. You don't know me, because I don't reveal what I personally think through my constitutional law opinions.

UPDATE: The AP version of the story sledgehammers that Scalia was, as indicated above, being jocose.

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