Bench Memos

Keep At It, Justice Scalia

Ed Whelan may come back to dismantling the fevered foolishness of Adam Cohen, a project he began below. But in the meantime, a story out of St. Louis clears up any question about why the left in general, and in particular the liberal establishment in the legal professoriate and their enablers in the mainstream media, hate Justice Antonin Scalia and wish he would shut up.

As paraphrased by a reporter, Scalia told a local bar association audience yesterday that “too much regulatory power has shifted to the judicial branch,” and, referring specifically to Roe v. Wade, that “such decisions can’t be made without a moral judgment, and should therefore be left to voters or the politicians they elect.”

On the surface of most of the hit pieces that target Scalia is the charge that he somehow brings the Court into disrepute by what he says. But what if the Court deserves to be held in low esteem? Beneath the surface of these complaints about Scalia is liberal rage at the fact that he says no more than the simple truth, that the institution in which he serves has accumulated too much power over American life. When you aren’t winning elections, where are you gonna go?

Matthew J. Franck is the Director of the William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, New Jersey.

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