6 Most Absurd Statements by Justice Scalia

On the eve of his 27-year anniversary as a jurist, conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had quite a lot to say on a range of topics from homosexuality to politics in a colorful interview with New York magazine.  Here are six of his most absurd quotes:


1. On homosexuality

When asked about his views on homosexuality and judicial opinion on the topic he said, "I have friends that I know, or very much suspect, are homosexual. Everybody does” but added that none of his friends had ever come out to him personally. 

Interviewer Jennifer Senior then asked Scalia whether his views on homosexuality had softened to which he replied: “I still think it’s Catholic teaching that it’s wrong. Okay? But I don’t hate the people that engage in it. In my legal opinions, all I’ve said is that I don’t think the Constitution requires the people to adopt one view or the other."

2.         On the devil

Following his discussion on homosexuality and his strong beliefs in Christianity, Scalia leaned in to Senior and whispered, “I even believe in the Devil…he’s a real person. Hey, c’mon, that’s standard Catholic doctrine! Every Catholic believes that. … In the Gospels, the Devil is doing all sorts of things. He’s making pigs run off cliffs, he’s possessing people and whatnot.  And that doesn’t happen very much anymore…What he’s doing now is getting people not to believe in him or in God. He’s much more successful that way…”

In response, Senior expressed her utter disbelief at his literal acceptance of the Bible to which Scalia scornfully replied: “You’re looking at me as though I’m weird. My God! Are you so out of touch with most of America, most of which believes in the Devil? I mean, Jesus Christ believed in the Devil! It’s in the Gospels! You travel in circles that are so, so removed from mainstream America that you are appalled that anybody would believe in the Devil! Most of mankind has believed in the Devil, for all of history. Many more intelligent people than you or me have believed in the Devil".

3.         On his media diet

When quizzed on where he obtained his morning daiy news, Scalia said he skimmed the Wall Street Journal and Washington Times but that he chose to boycott the Washington Post because of its allegedly leftist line:

“We used to get the Washington Post, but it just … went too far for me. I couldn’t handle it anymore. It was the treatment of almost any conservative issue. It was slanted and often nasty. And, you know, why should I get upset every morning? I don’t think I’m the only one. I think they lost subscriptions partly because they became so shrilly, shrilly liberal".

4.         Society and women dropping the F-bomb.

The jurist had quite a mouthful about manners in society and the Internet “coarsening” our culture, but not before indirectly insulting women with his sexist undertone about language:

 “I am glad that I am not raising kids today. And I’m rather pessimistic that my grandchildren will enjoy the great society that I’ve enjoyed in my lifetime. I really think it’s coarsened. It’s coarsened in so many ways. … One of the things that upsets me about modern society is the coarseness of manners. You can’t go to a movie — or watch a television show for that matter — without hearing the constant use of the F-word — including, you know, ladies using it. People that I know don’t talk like that!”

5.         On his tone

Scalia made no apologies for his bold expressions, saying that it “never cost me a majority” and adding that no justice of the Supreme Court would ever make a case come out the other way just to spite him:

“Nobody would do that…. My tone is sometimes sharp, but I think sharpness is sometimes needed to demonstrate how much of a departure I believe the thing is".

6.         On his friendship with the liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg

When asked whether his odd-couple friendship with Ruth Bader Ginsburg was difficult in light of their differences in political ideology, the provocative Scalia took a cheap shot at his esteemed colleague:

“If you have low expectations, you’re not disappointed. When it’s somebody who you think is basically on your side on these ideological controversies, and then that person goes over to the dark side, it does make you feel bad."

Read more of his interview here.

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