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IN THE COURTS | Scalia Says Constitution Does Not Prohibit, Permit Abortion Rights

IN THE COURTS | Scalia Says Constitution Does Not Prohibit, Permit Abortion Rights
[April 28, 2008]

When asked about abortion and other topics during an interview with Lesley Stahl on CBS' "60 Minutes" Sunday, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia confessed "to being a social conservative" but said it "does not affect [his] views on cases," USA Today reports (USA Today, 4/25). "On the abortion thing, for example, if indeed I were ... trying to impose my own views, I would not only be opposed to Roe v. Wade, I would be in favor of the opposite view, which the antiabortion people would like to see adopted, which is to interpret the Constitution to mean that a state must prohibit abortion," Scalia said. When Stahl asked, "And you're against that?" Scalia replied, "Of course," adding that there is "nothing" in the Constitution to support that view (AP/, 4/24).

In a speech to University of Baltimore School of Law students last Thursday, Scalia said that interpreting the Constitution to prohibit things such as abortion denies citizens the right to decide such issues for themselves. Referring to abortion rights, he asked, "Why should the court have the power to remove this from the democratic process?" (AP/, 4/24). Allowing the court the power to interpret the country's "standards of decency" is "genuinely anti-democratic," Scalia said. According to the Baltimore Sun, Scalia's public appearances coincided with the release of his new book, titled "Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges" (Harris, Baltimore Sun, 4/25).

Video of the "60 Minutes" interview and expanded CBS News coverage are available online (Stahl, "60 Minutes," CBS, 4/27).

In addition, NPR's "Morning Edition" on Monday included the first of a three-part interview with Scalia (Totenberg, "Morning Edition," NPR, 4/29).