Patterico's Pontifications


Scalia vs. an Idiot

Filed under: Humor,Judiciary — Patterico @ 1:09 am

Still catching up on Internet surfing from the last few days, I learned that a video of excerpts from the Scalia appearance where he was heckled by a LaRouche supporter can be seen here. My favorite bit comes at the very end, where Scalia confronts an idiot who accuses him of advocating moral relativism. I was so amused by this that I have taken the time to prepare a transcript of the exchange, which starts at 5:54:

IDIOT: I wanted to iterate [sic] what that gentleman over there said, um, seeing your agility today, with these aforesaid bad people, is, uh, is quite humbling. Um, I just wanted to ask you one question, though, on this idea of moral relativism, um, and that is, how, when you’re combating such bad people, um, do you argue for moral relativism without citing such obvious anti-American sources like John Locke or [unintelligible].

SCALIA: Gee, I’m, I, I, I, I don’t th –, I don’t take your, uh, attribution of, of agility to be a compliment. [Laughter] Uh, the, the, uh, and I certainly have never . . . have never endorsed moral relativism. To the contrary, I have said that I believe in natural law.

IDIOT: But you say it’s subjective.

SCALIA: I’m not a moral relativist at all.

IDIOT: Entirely subjective.

SCALIA: I don’t say it’s entirely subjective. I do believe that there is a right and a wrong.

IDIOT: No, you —

SCALIA: The trouble is, my perception of it is not the same as yours. And therefore, I have no right to im —

IDIOT: That’s relativism!

SCALIA: No it isn’t. No it isn’t. I think there’s a right and a wrong answer. And I would say my perception of the moral law is right and yours is wrong! [Applause.] All I’m saying — all I’m saying — all I’m saying is that our perceptions are different. Yours happens to be wrong — that doesn’t make me a moral relativist.


5 Responses to “Scalia vs. an Idiot”

  1. And that kid certainly was WRONG wasn’t he?

    Scalia is so brilliant. I was embarrassed for the AEI who obviously did not do a better job of screening who gets admitted. There was barely one sensible question in the bunch.

    I could not tell from the video whether any sensible people raised their hands and Scalia deliberately choose to bring it on with the loonies, but it was a masterful performance on his part.

    Wasn’t it so like a loony that one of them claimed “you’re not answering my question” when in fact he actually had not asked one.

    I get that all the time from lefty loons.

    Mike's America (6e3285)

  2. P.S. When did John Locke, who pretty much inspired Jefferson to write the Declaration of Independence become “anti-American?”

    Mike's America (6e3285)

  3. I think that was the guy’s point — he was trying to say that John Locke was a foreigner, so why shouldn’t we rely on foreign influences for our law? It’s an idiotic position, but that was his point.

    Patterico (8ccd07)

  4. Hmmm … at the time John Locke and all Americans were part of the same nation (Britian), so the comment is still a bit off.

    Kevin Murphy (6a7945)

  5. Justice Scalia Does Professor Kingsfield Lecture

    Scalia: “I think there’s a right and a wrong answer. And I would say my perception of the moral law is right and yours is wrong!” Right on Antonin!

    He gave those lefty loons a well deserved smackdown that would make Professor Kingsfield, of “The…

    Mike's America (59ce3a)

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