27 Captivating Antonin Scalia Quotes

Considered to be one of the leading conservative voices on the high court, Antonin Scalia was one of the most vocal Supreme Court Justices in modern times. Serving as an Associate Justice from 1986 until his death in 2016, Scalia was appointed by Ronald Reagan and was well respected among his peers. Here is a look at some of the most captivating Antonin Scalia quotes ever recorded.

“A Bill of Rights that means what the majority wants it to mean is worthless.”

“As long as judges tinker with the Constitution to ‘do what the people want,’ instead of what the document actually commands, politicians who pick and confirm new federal judges will naturally want only those who agree with them politically.”

“Bear in mind that brains and learning, like muscle and physical skill, are articles of commerce. They are bought and sold. You can hire them by the year or by the hour. The only thing in the world not for sale is character.”

“Campaign promises are – by long democratic tradition – the least binding form of human commitment.”

“Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t.”

“Could you define the market — everybody has to buy food sooner or later, so you define the market as food, therefore, everybody is in the market; therefore, you can make people buy broccoli.”


“Day by day, case by case, the Supreme Court is busy designing a Constitution for a country I do not recognize.”

“Devout Christians are destined to be regarded as fools in modern society. We are fools for Christ’s sake. We must pray for courage to endure the scorn of the sophisticated world.”

“For in order for capitalism to work — in order for it to produce a good and a stable society — the traditional Christian virtues are essential.”

“God assumed from the beginning that the wise of the world would view Christians as fools… and he has not been disappointed.”

“I don’t care who is doing the speech — the more the merrier. People are not stupid. If they don’t like it, they’ll shut it off.”

“I think the main fight is to dissuade Americans from what the secularists are trying to persuade them to be true: that the separation of church and state means that the government cannot favor religion over nonreligion.”

“If it were impossible for individual human beings (or groups of human beings) to act autonomously in effective pursuit of a common goal, the game of soccer would not exist.”

“If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?”

“If you’re going to be a good and faithful judge, you have to resign yourself to the fact that you’re not always going to like the conclusions you reach. If you like them all the time, you’re probably doing something wrong.”

“In the eyes of government we are just one race here. It is American.”

“It is difficult to maintain the illusion that we are interpreting a Constitution, rather than inventing one.”

“It’s not up to the courts to invent new minorities that get special protections.”

“On this day, when we’re celebrating our constitutional heritage, I urge you to be faithful to that heritage – to impose on our fellow citizens only the restrictions that are there in the Constitution, not invent new ones, not to invent the right because it’s a good idea.”

“Persuade your fellow citizens it’s a good idea and pass a law. That’s what democracy is all about. It’s not about nine superannuated judges who have been there too long, imposing these demands on society.”

“That’s the argument of flexibility and it goes something like this: The Constitution is over 200 years old and societies change. It has to change with society, like a living organism, or it will become brittle and break.”

“The Court’s decision reflects the philosophy that judges should endure whatever interpretive distortions it takes in order to correct a supposed flaw in the statutory machinery.”

“The mere possession of monopoly power, and the concomitant charging of monopoly prices, is not only not unlawful, it is an important element of the free-market system.”

“There is no basis in text, tradition, or even in contemporary practice (if that were enough), for finding in the Constitution a right to demand judicial consideration of newly discovered evidence of innocence brought forward after conviction.”

“This is an execution, not surgery. Where does that come from, that you must find the method of execution that causes the least pain?”

“What is a moderate interpretation of the text? Halfway between what it really means and what you’d like it to mean?”

“Words have meaning. And their meaning doesn’t change.”

Dying at the age of 79, here is a look at the life of Justice Antonin Scalia in this brief biography.

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