Quotations by Scalia, Antonin


There is nothing new in the realization that the Constitution sometimes insulates the criminality of a few in order to protect the privacy of us all.

Antonin Scalia (1936-2016) US Supreme Court justice
Arizona v. Hicks, 480 U.S. 321 (1987)

Majority (6-3) Supreme Court opinion that refused to expand police power to search or seize evidence they suspected might be stolen.
Added on 23-Aug-07 | Last updated 23-Aug-07
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The government’s ability to enforce generally applicable prohibitions of socially harmful conduct, like its ability to carry out other aspects of public policy, “cannot depend on measuring the effects of a governmental action on a religious objector’s spiritual development.” To make an individual’s obligation to obey such a law contingent upon the law’s coincidence with his religious beliefs, except where the State’s interest is “compelling” — permitting him, by virtue of his beliefs, “to become a law unto himself” — contradicts both constitutional tradition and common sense.

Antonin Scalia (1936-2016) US Supreme Court justice
Employment Division v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872, majority opinion (1990)
    (Source)

Opinion holding that the state could prohibit religious-based peyote use.
Added on 31-Jul-18 | Last updated 31-Jul-18
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I must note, however, that, in my view, it is quite impossible to come to an objective assessment of (at least) literary or artistic value, there being many accomplished people who have found literature in Dada, and art in the replication of a soup can. Since ratiocination has little to do with esthetics, the fabled “reasonable man” is of little help in the inquiry, and would have to be replaced with, perhaps, the “man of tolerably good taste” — a description that betrays the lack of an ascertainable standard. If evenhanded and accurate decisionmaking is not always impossible under such a regime, it is at least impossible in the cases that matter. I think we would be better advised to adopt as a legal maxim what has long been the wisdom of mankind: De gustibus non est disputandum. Just as there is no use arguing about taste, there is no use litigating about it.

Antonin Scalia (1936-2016) US Supreme Court justice
Pope v. Illinois, 481 US 497 (1987)

Source.
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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