Image Credit: Stephen Masker, CC
Today the United States lost one of the great jurists, not only in our time but in all of American history. Antonin Scalia had been a consistent and tenacious defender of the Constitution. He stood up for the Rule of Law and was an unrelenting protector of states’ rights, freedom of speech, religious liberty, the separation of powers, personal liberties, and, most notably, "the right to keep and bear arms."
In his most famous majority opinion in D.C. v. Heller where he defended our Constitutional rights, making certain they remained unmolested from judicial activism, he wrote:
"A constitutional guarantee subject to future judges’ assessments of its usefulness is no constitutional guarantee at all. Constitutional rights are enshrined with the scope they were understood to have when the people adopted them, whether or not future legislatures or (yes) even future judges think that scope too broad."
Scalia was known mostly for his dissenting opinions. (There’s even a book dedicated to this, Scalia Dissents: Writings of the Supreme Court's Wittiest, Most Outspoken Justice.) For almost 30 years, law students, lawyers, and judges around the nation--of all political persuasions--eagerly anticipated reading his scathing rebukes. Scalia's style and humor captivated all those who read his opinions. The man is a transformative figure in American history and Constitutional law. His contribution to the conservative movement is unrivaled.
Beyond his public persona and his professional legacy, Scalia, a devout Catholic, embodied family values. He leaves behind his wife, Maureen, after 55 years of marriage. Together they raised 9 children and inspired 28 grandchildren.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Scalia's family, friends, and colleagues. He will be missed.
Your Executive Board,
Young Republican National Federation