Scalia: 'This Court' is a ‘Threat to American Democracy’

By Terence P. Jeffrey | June 26, 2015 | 10:52 AM EDT
Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Anthony Kennedy, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(CNSNews.com) - In his dissent from the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which declared that same-sex marriage was a right, Justice Antonin Scalia declared that this Supreme Court has become a “threat to American democracy.

“I write separately to call attention to this Court’s threat to American democracy,” Scalia said.

“This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected commit­tee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extrav­agant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most im­portant liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.”

Here is an excerpt of a key passage from Scalia’s decion:

I write sepa­rately to call attention to this Court’s threat to American democracy.

The substance of today’s decree is not of immense per­sonal importance to me. The law can recognize as mar­riage whatever sexual attachments and living arrange­ments it wishes, and can accord them favorable civil consequences, from tax treatment to rights of inheritance.

Those civil consequences—and the public approval that conferring the name of marriage evidences—can perhaps have adverse social effects, but no more adverse than the effects of many other controversial laws. So it is not of special importance to me what the law says about mar­riage. It is of overwhelming importance, however, who it is that rules me. Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court. The opinion in these cases is the furthest extension in fact—and the furthest extension one can even imagine—of the Court’s claimed power to create “liberties” that the Consti­tution and its Amendments neglect to mention. This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected commit­tee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extrav­agant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most im­portant liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.