Scalia Defends Views in Rare Interview

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Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia defended his view of the Constitution, in a rare interview on "60 minutes" Sunday night.

"I mean, I confess to being a social conservative, but it does not affect my views on cases," Scalia said in excerpts released Thursday.

Scalia believes the Constitution should be interpreted according to what the founders intended, rather than calling it a "living Constitution" with ever-changing interpretations.

Scalia says such a concept is seductive to judges, who can craft it to their tastes. But it has also politicized the nominee process for the high court, he said.

"It's a mini constitutional convention every time you select a nominee today," because of the potential for the nominee to shape the Constitution to their views, Scalia said.

When CBS's Leslie Stahl pointed out that societies and values change, Scalia agreed. But he says it's up to lawmakers to make those changes.

"Fine, then so do laws change," he said. "Because values change, legislatures abolish the death penalty, permit same-sex marriage. Abolish laws against homosexual conduct, that's how the change in a society occurs. Society doesn't change through a constitution."

Scalia says he does not impose his own views on the Constitution.

Last week, Scalia told law students from the University of Baltimore that interpreting the Constitution to ban things such as abortion denies citizens to right to decide such matters for themselves.

"Why should the court have the power to remove this from the democratic process?" Scalia said.

The "60 Minutes" interview coincides with Scalia's new book, "Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges," which he wrote with legal writing expert Bryan Garner

Source: CBN News, The Associated Press

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