Scalia: The Soviet Union’s Constitution Was ‘Much Better Than Ours’

During a recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, conservative Justice Antonin Scalia said that U.S. Constitution is vastly inferior to that of one of our long defunct enemies:

The bill of rights of the former evil empire, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was much better than ours. I mean it literally. It was much better. We guarantee freedom of speech and of the press, big deal! The guaranteed freedom of speech, of the press of street demonstrations and anyone who is caught trying to suppress criticism of the government will be called to account.

Watch it:

Scalia’s casual disregard for our Constitution proves that he is manifestly unfit to interpret it. If Scalia would rather live under the Soviet constitution, than he should move to Russia and see how he likes trying to get a job as a judge there. Clearly, ThinkProgress has no choice but to call for this communist infiltrator to immediately resign from the federal bench.

Except that such a call would be completely dishonest, which will be clear to anyone who takes half a minute to watch the entire video embedded in this post.

Sadly, a small army of right-wing legal groups and commentators are perfectly willing to levy an equally unfounded attack against left-of-center Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Last week, Justice Ginsburg told an Egyptian audience that she would not recommend using the United States Constitution as a model for the new Egyptian Constitution. Ginsburg suggested that Egypt should learn from the full experience of the world in drafting constitutions, and because we have the world’s oldest enduring Constitution, its drafters did not benefit from all that humanity has learned about constitution drafting in the last 200 years.

It was no doubt predictable that these comments would inspire right-wing editorials headlined “Justice Ginsburg Should Resign,” but those editorials are just as ill-considered as a suggestion that Scalia must resign because of his comments about the Soviet Union. If Ginsburg’s opponents had actually bothered to watch her entire statement to the Egyptians, they would have heard her stirring praise for our First Amendment, her references to the “genius” of our Constitution, and her statement about how powerful it is that our Constitution places power in “We the People.”

But, of course, Ginsburg’s critics aren’t interested in actually doing their homework, they just want an excuse to go on the attack.