The Corner

More Scalia

Justice Scalia closes his Hamdi dissent with the following:

Many think it not only inevitable but entirely proper that liberty give way to security in times of national crisis-—that, at the extremes of military exigency, inter arma silent leges. Whatever the general merits of the view that war silences law or modulates its voice, that view has no place in the interpretation and application of a Constitution designed precisely to confront war and, in a manner that accords with democratic principles, to accommodate it.

On this broader point he is clearly correct. The importance of the war on terror no more justifies constitutional shortcuts than any of the worthy social causes that prompted the judicial activism of the Warren, Burger and (alas) Rehnquist courts.

Jonathan H. Adler — Mr. Adler is an NRO contributing editor and the inaugural Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. His latest book is Marijuana Federalism: Uncle Sam and Mary Jane.

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