Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the judicial standard-bearer of the conservative movement and the court’s most provocative member, died Saturday. He was 79.
In 2010, Justice Scalia spoke to the graduating class of Langley High School. This is part of what he said,
“Movement is not necessarily progress. More important than your obligation to follow your conscience, or at least prior to it, is your obligation to form your conscience correctly. Nobody — remember this — neither Hitler, nor Lenin, nor any despot you could name, ever came forward with a proposal that read, ‘Now, let’s create a really oppressive and evil society.’ Hitler said, ‘Let’s take the means necessary to restore our national pride and civic order.’ And Lenin said, ‘Let’s take the means necessary to assure a fair distribution of the goods of the world.’
“In short, it is your responsibility, men and women of the class of 2010, not just to be zealous in the pursuit of your ideals, but to be sure that your ideals are the right ones. That is perhaps the hardest part of being a good human being: Good intentions are not enough. Being a good person begins with being a wise person. Then, when you follow your conscience, will you be headed in the right direction.”
Scalia was a conservative and Constitutional originalist. He didn’t believe in the “living document” school of thought regarding the Constitution.
It’s unlikely that there will be an appointment to the court during the term of the current President. With less than a year to go, while any President would be eager to leave a lasting mark on the highest court in the land, the Senate is unlikely to consider any nomination put forth.
Which makes this an even more vital election than it was before yesterday.