Scalia says: According to the constitution, women aren’t equal

6 Jan

I can’t believe that a Supreme Court Justice would  say that the 14th Amendment does not apply to all PEOPLE in the USA. Just to be clear, this is what went down in the interview with California Lawyer Magazine:

Q. In 1868, when the 39th Congress was debating and ultimately proposing the 14th Amendment, I don’t think anybody would have thought that equal protection applied to sex discrimination, or certainly not to sexual orientation. So does that mean that we’ve gone off in error by applying the 14th Amendment to both? A. Yes, yes. Sorry, to tell you that. … But, you know, if indeed the current society has come to different views, that’s fine. You do not need the Constitution to reflect the wishes of the current society. Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t.

For those of you who don’t remember what the 14th Amendment actually says, here is an excerpt of the relevant section:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

The bold persons is my doing. But since when do we pretend to live in 1868 when “person” meant “man?” How in the world does any smart, educated person say that the 14th Amendment does not protect women’s rights? As some might imagine, there has been an uproar about Scalia’s comments. Of course, women’s groups and Democrats are blasting Scalia for his comments. On the HuffPost an article about the interview has almost 800 comments on it. I’m not surprised.

Really? This is what Scalia thinks he should comment on? Maybe he is too old and thinks he too was born in 1868. Someone should remind him he is actually living in 2011.

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One Response to “Scalia says: According to the constitution, women aren’t equal”

  1. Jen January 6, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

    Is Scalia really proposing that “person” meant “man”? It doesn’t make sense. The society was not “PC” and it was openly sexist, so the framers didn’t shy away from saying “man” when they meant “males.” To whit, “…that all men are created equal…”

    That’s a place where they said “men” and they (unfortunately) did mean only males, and white males, at that.

    Why would they suddenly use “persons” when they were accustomed to say “men” to mean “males”? *Sigh*

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