Sunday, January 10, 2010

Scalia talk

I wanted to highlight this article in the online Jackson Free Press that talks about the visit Antonin Scalia made to Jackson last week. Because of my job I was able to go and hear him speak and this article does a pretty good job of honestly recapping the talk.

Admittedly for me the talk was a little bit boring as he discussed the same topic as he discussed about 5 years ago when I heard him but the question / answer part of the talk and some of his more tangental comments (not concerning foreign legal materials) were interesting.

I will also note that on some level I agree with several of the cliffnotes versions of Scalia's ideas, these include:
  • the Constitution is not living, it should be read as it was written and we should try and understand what the framers meant, not apply our own ideas after the fact
  • legislative history is a terrible, terrible thing to use from a legal research perspective and cares no weight whatsoever in my opinion, and Scalia's
  • it doesn't matter what other countries think on an issue when it comes to how we should think of it "Constitutionally" - the best example of this is the death penalty that many nations have banned and b/c these other nations have banned we should to (because this bigger international idea is what cruel and unusual should be), whatever, we are the leaders of the world we should be determining our ideals from laggers behind.

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