Hey, SCOTUS — quit making up new classes of minorities. That was the message from Justice Antonin Scalia to his judicial colleagues on Monday during a presentation in a packed hallway at a Bozeman, Mont., hotel.
The Supreme Court is making decisions that belong in the hands of Congress or the constituents, Justice Scalia said, citing wiretapping and “inventing” new classes of minorities, The Associated Press reported.
He seemed to be referring to the court’s recent rulings on gay marriage when he said it wasn’t the proper role of the courts to carve out exemptions from the Constitution absent the majority will of the people; that is, legislation and law, AP reported.
“It’s not up to the courts to invent new minorities that get special protections,” Justice Scalia said, speaking of the same-sex marriage cases that came before the court. The justices ultimately struck down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which cleared the way for gay federal workers to demand same-sex-marriage benefits, and the court also opened the doors for California to resume gay marriages. Justice Scalia voted against both these measures.
He also said in Bozeman that the court is the least prepared of the three branches of government to decide questions of national security — and ought to take a submissive role when deciding cases in these matters.
“Of all the three branches, we are the one that knows the least about the nature of the threats to the country, and we have the least ability to find out about it,” Justice Scalia said, as AP reported.