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Scalia visit
sparks protests by gays at U. of Connecticut

Scalia visit
sparks protests by gays at U. of Connecticut

Scalia_200604

A visit by conservative U.S. Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia to the University of Connecticut law school in Hartford on Wednesday sparked protests by gay students who set up tables--and a same-sex kissing booth--and passed out pamphlets on the lawn near the building where Scalia spoke.

A visit by conservative U.S. Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia to the University of Connecticut law school in Hartford on Wednesday sparked protests by gay students who set up tables--and a same-sex kissing booth--and passed out pamphlets on the lawn near the building where Scalia spoke. The students said they believe some of Scalia's opinions amount to attacks on gays, women, and other minorities. "His visit opened a lot of conversation on this campus," said third-year law student Colby Smith, who was wearing an "I Kiss Boys" T-shirt. "We want to make sure people understand what the concerns are with him and why his views are particularly offensive." Although Scalia did not address the protesters in his speech, he did have some advice for those who questioned his impartiality after he refused to recuse himself from a case involving his hunting buddy, Vice President Dick Cheney. "For Pete's sake, if you can't trust your Supreme Court justice more than that, get a life," Scalia said. He said recusing himself from the 2004 case, which focused on an energy task force that Cheney led, would only have given fuel to newspaper editorial writers and other detractors who have said he is too close to the vice president. "I think the proudest thing I have done on the bench is not allowed myself to be chased off that case," Scalia said. The case in question involved Cheney's request to keep private the details of closed-door White House strategy sessions that produced the Administration's energy policy. The Administration fought a lawsuit brought by watchdog and environmental groups that contended that industry executives, including former Enron chairman Ken Lay, helped shape that policy. The Supreme Court upheld the Administration's position on a 7-2 vote. Scalia, 70, was appointed in 1982 by President Reagan to the U.S. court of appeals for the District of Columbia circuit. Four years later Reagan nominated him to the U.S. Supreme Court, filling the opening that occurred when William Rehnquist became chief justice. Scalia takes a very literal approach to the Constitution, telling the audience Wednesday that he strongly disputes the idea that the wording selected by the Constitution's framers should be viewed in light of society's evolving morals and political leanings. "You can't take the position that these words are expandable in one direction and not expandable in the other," he said. "They obviously meant to set some standards to control future generations." (AP)

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