For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him. Genesis 18:19
Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice, was born in Trenton, New Jersey, March 11, 1936. He married Maureen McCarthy and has nine children: Ann Forrest, Eugene, John Francis, Catherine Elisabeth, Mary Clare, Paul David, Matthew, Christopher James, and Margaret Jane. He received his A.B. from Georgetown University and the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, and his LL.B. from Harvard Law School, and was a Sheldon Fellow of Harvard University from 1960–1961. He was in private practice in Cleveland, Ohio from 1961–1967, a Professor of Law at the University of Virginia from 1967–1971, a Professor of Law at the University of Chicago from 1977–1982, and a Visiting Professor of Law at Georgetown University and Stanford University. He was chairman of the American Bar Association’s Section of Administrative Law, 1981–1982, and its Conference of Section Chairmen, 1982–1983. He served the federal government as General Counsel of the Office of Telecommunications Policy from 1971–1972, Chairman of the Administrative Conference of the United States from 1972–1974, and Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel from 1974–1977. He was appointed Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1982. President Reagan nominated him as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and he took his seat September 26, 1986. (Bios: Official; ScotusBlog; Wiki).
A brilliant scholar, Scalia has expressed his views boldly in word and in print from his career as a student to the present day. A conservative Roman Catholic, he practices his faith religiously. As a Supreme Court Justice, he can be relied upon to take a conservative stand. Liberals celebrate his jumping sides occasionally, but it only occurs in a few, mostly obscure cases.
Justice Scalia is a textualist (one who believes laws and the Constitution should not be reinterpreted by judges but applied according to the plain words that are written) and an originalist (one who believes the Constitution means today, precisely what the Founders meant it to mean when they wrote it.) He is highly critical of those who hold to the idea of a “Living Constitution” often referring to the “rule of law.” He believes the Constitution can only be changed by amendment, ratified by ¾ of the states, not by judges choosing to change its meaning by reinterpreting it.
On constitutional questions about life, he has upheld laws restricting abortion and declared that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and should be overturned. He voted in favor of protecting Hobby Lobby’s right to maintain its religious conscience and not provide abortifacient contraceptives to its employees. And he dissented in NIFB v. Sebelius, which upheld Obamacare. On questions of self-defense, he upheld the Second Amendment right of individuals to bear arms, including in his vote to overturn DC’s infamous gun control law, which did nothing to reduce the then highest murder rate in America.
Regarding marriage, observers feel confident Scalia will uphold the states’ rights to determine marriage standards. He dissented from the majority in the Lawrence v. Texas (2003),which declared null and void laws forbidding consensual sodomy in all fifty states. He dissented in U.S. v. Windsor, which struck down the federal part of the Defense of Marriage Act. Scalia is a federalist, which means he believes in a federal government with powers limited by the Constitution and highly regards the rights of the individual states to govern in all matters, including marriage laws, except for those limited powers granted to the national government.
- God, thank you for Justice Scalia, who has been shaped by his faith and who believes that the Constitution and Bill of Rights were intended to protect people of all faiths from an overreaching federal government. (Hebrews 11:6)
- Thank the Lord for helping this Justice to stand strong for the rule of law and the Constitution and against the liberal winds of cultural change. (1 Cor 3:10-13; 1 Tim 1:8-10)
- Guide him in hearing and analyzing the arguments on Tuesday, 28th. Help him ask precisely the right questions that will elicit answers proving our case. May Scalia influence every Justice when they confer after arguments. May the Spirit of God impact his thinking and all of his colleagues and may Scalia’s strength be a support to others to stand on principle. (Eph 6:19-20; Jas 1:8)
- May Justice Scalia, the father of nine and grandfather of 28, be a champion for children. May God awaken every Justice to the true cost to children and generations unborn. (Gen 18:19; Matthew 18:6)
- May every Justice bow their knee before Jesus, the Supreme Judge of the World, to whom they will give account. (Acts 17:31)
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