I ran across this quote by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia somewhere the other day and filed it away for use sometime.
“The press is never going to report judicial opinions accurately…. They’re just going to report who is the plaintiff? Was that a nice little old lady? And who is the defendant? Was this, you know, some scuzzy guy? And who won? Was it the good guy that won or the bad guy? And that’s all you’re going to get in a press report, and you can’t blame them, you can’t blame them. Because nobody would read it if you went into the details of the law that the court has to resolve. So you can’t judge your judges on the basis of what you read in the press.”
Speaking in 2006, the conservative justice expressed concern about the courts as policy makers, particularly on social issues.
Now comes Newt Gingrich, who, according to Howard Kurtz in The Daily Beast, today took off after “elitist judges imposing secularism on the country.”
Dismissing a question about whether his proposals amount to a power grab, Gingrich said the “nine appointed people” on the Supreme Court should not be “the ultimate dictators,” and that the president and Congress should jointly be able to block decisions with which they disagree.
I’m no constitutional scholar, and I’m pretty sure the separation of powers takes care of that, but I’ll let the lawyers decide that. But I do enjoy Gingrich taking Justice Scalia’s position — or at least what I surmise is his position — and extending it all the way to the Supreme Court.
I suspect the two would agree on the press, but wonder what Justice Scalia thinks about Gingrich’s opinion on the Supreme Court.