Scalia on the death penalty. How about this for a crystal clear line of reason:
If I subscribed to the proposition that I am authorized (indeed, I suppose compelled) to intuit and impose our "maturing" society's "evolving standards of decency," this essay would be a preview of my next vote in a death penalty case. As it is, however, the Constitution that I interpret and apply is not living but dead - or, as I prefer to put it, enduring. It means today not what current society (much less the Court) thinks it ought to mean, but what it meant when it was adopted. For me, therefore, the constitutionality of the death penalty is not a difficult, soul-wrenching question. It was clearly permitted when the Eighth Amendment was adopted ... And so it is clearly permitted today.
(python:) 'E's not dead! 'E's enduring!
Nonetheless, Scalia is no anarchist. He's not even a democrat (which is a bit surprising to me). Check this out:
The mistaken tendency to believe that a democratic government, being nothing more than the composite will of its individual citizens, has no more moral power or authority than they do as individuals has adverse effects in other areas as well. It fosters civil disobedience, for example, which proceeds on the assumption that what the individual citizen considers an unjust law - even if it does not compel him to act unjustly - need not be obeyed.
Whoa. Well, it is a well-argued piece in any case, even if proceeding from some rather weird bases.