Scalia: No Right to 'Homosexual Conduct' in Constitution

Scalia told an audience of lawyers Friday that judges are in error when they find this and certain other rights in the Constitution.

BY Trudy Ring

June 22 2013 11:09 PM ET

Justice Scalia

Addressing the North Carolina Bar Association in Asheville Friday, Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia said — unsurprisingly — that judges are in error when they find rights to “homosexual conduct” or abortion in the Constitution.

In his speech, titled “Mullahs of the West: Judges as Moral Arbiters,” the ultraconservative Scalia said he believes in interpreting the Constitution as it would have been when it was adopted, the Asheville Citizen-Times reports. At that time, he said, abortion, assisted suicide, and homosexual acts “were criminal throughout the United States and remained so for several centuries.”

He was “sorry to say” that the Supreme Court, in the second half of the 20th century, began seeing the Constitution as a living, evolving document. “About nine terms ago, we held laws against private consensual sodomy, laws that existed in perfect conformity with the Constitution for over 200 years, to be impermissible,” he said.

He also said “unelected judges” are no more qualified than anyone else to make decisions about moral issues “for the entire society.”

With the court set to issue two rulings on marriage equality, most likely within the next week, there is little doubt that Scalia will vote against same-sex couples’ right to marry — even though he stated earlier this year that he had never expressed an opinion on the subject.

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