2016-02-15 04:01:57 UTC
tragedy for Constitutional philosophy - it may mark the death of American
Constitutionalism as a whole.
Scalia's philosophy of jurisprudence is well-known and shaped two
generations of conservative thinkers: the Constitution ought to be
interpreted according to its original meaning. This shouldn't have been a
groundbreaking notion given that most legislation is interpreted according
to those rules, but because leftist jurists have spent a century chiseling
away at the meaning of the Constitution based on their personal political
beliefs, Scalia's reinvigoration of traditional interpretive methodologies
made him a historic figure. Scalia's brilliant, passionate writing style
made him author of some of the most famous dissents in Supreme Court
history, and channeled the modern conservative frustration with the
continuing abandonment of the Constitution.
Scalia's jurisprudence also reminded conservatives that there is no
substitute for proven Constitutional originalism. Most conservatives ignored
that when they greenlit the appointment of cipher John Roberts for Chief
Justice of the Supreme Court, a point I made when he was appointed. But
Scalia provided a consistent reminder that Constitutional philosophy
matters. It isn't just a game of doing whatever you want politically.
Constitutional jurisprudence is about recognizing the limits of the federal
government - and recognizing the limits of the politicization of the Court
In the end, Scalia's death could mark the end of the Constitution itself.
That's because the current Supreme Court rested, until Scalia's death, on
the vague, confused, indeterminate philosophy of Justice Anthony Kennedy,
who apparently decides cases on the basis of whether he has a solid bowel
movement that morning. That means that half the time, the Constitution has a
shot, as in Citizens United; the other half of the time, the Constitution
drains away into the mists of Kennedy's magical social justice thinking, as
Unlike Kennedy, Scalia represented a consistent vote for a Constitution
beyond modern progressive power politics. But with his death, President
Obama now has the power to appoint a fifth justice to join hard-left social
engineers Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, and Ruth Bader
Ginsburg. If the Republican Senate allows President Obama to select Scalia's
successor, the left will have a complete monopoly on the Supreme Court.
Within the next few years, Citizens United will be overturned, restoring
limits on free speech; the Supreme Court will render the Second Amendment
meaningless by reinterpreting the right to bear arms as a non-personal
right; freedom of religion will be made subservient to same-sex marriage and
abortion priorities; the death penalty will be ruled unconstitutional;
unions will be allowed to continue confiscating the dollars of people who
disagree with them politically; redistricting along leftist lines will
return. Scalia ensured that the Supreme Court wasn't a transformative
institution; now it will become the chief tool in the left's arsenal.
It's a sad commentary on the state of conservative politics that the only
thing standing between the United States and the death of its founding
document was a brilliant 79-year-old jurist. But unless Republicans stand up
on their hind legs now, that will certainly be the case.