Justice Scalia Has Gone too Far this Time

Justice Scalia has always been a lightning rod prone to inflammatory states. When Justice Scalia wrote that the majority opinion in Lawrence v. Texas would result in laws against masturbation (which did not actually exist) being found unconstitutional, some wondered if he had lost his grip on reality. And when he rewrote the history of the exclusionary rule by contending that “[s]uppression of evidence, however, has always been our last resort, not our first impulse,” many thought he was reading a different set of cases than the rest of us. His separate opinion in Arizona v. United States discovering inherent state sovereignty beyond constitutional guarantees while injecting Obama’s immigration policy statement made after oral argument in the case certainly raised a few eyebrows. Many thought he was a little over the top in stating that: “The death penalty? Give me a break. It’s easy. Abortion? Absolutely easy. Nobody ever thought the Constitution prevented restrictions on abortion. Homosexual sodomy? Come on. For 200 years, it was criminal in every state…” The list could go on.

But this time Justice Scalia has gone too far. He has crossed a line that cannot be uncrossed. In a public forum, he stated that Chicago-style pizza is not “pizza” at all joining  Jon Stewart in the unjust and unwarranted attack on one of the greatest foods on Earth.

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3 Responses

  1. Joe says:

    The only thing that comes to mind as to masturbation is some sort of public masturbation that might fit into some overall indecent exposure [or perhaps in some public facility like some traditional ban on masturbation at an orphanage or mental institution?] or as some sort of sex show which would not count as “prostitution” because the person is just touching themselves and not engaged in a sex act with the customer. I take it he had something in mind there.

    Scalia is from NYC, the pizza capital of the U.S., so his comment is somewhat understandable.

  2. Corey Yung says:

    Hi Joe,

    I think the difficulty with that defense of Justice Scalia is that he lists public indecency and prostitution as other categories of laws that the majority opinion would invalidate.

  3. Joe says:

    Maybe so. But, this is the list: “bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity.” The reference to “public indecency” is separate. There appears to be some history of laws against masturbation in this country, particularly in public places. Wikipedia has some links: