The troubling territory Justice Scalia has entered

Updated
File Photo: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speaks at the University of Wyoming in Laramie Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. Passing through Laramie after...
File Photo: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speaks at the University of Wyoming in Laramie Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. Passing through Laramie after...
Ben Neary/AP Photo/File

Let me finish tonight with this.

Antonin Scalia.

For those who grew up like I did, he’s a familiar guy. All those years my dad was in the Knights of Columbus, there were guys like Justice Scalia around. They were at the picnics. They were at the Christmas parties. As I remember, Mr. Cacoza played Santa Claus. My dad’s best friend Gene Shields played his helper—the guy who did that stunning, unforgettable somersault coming down the aisle of the old church hall declaring in his loud voice, “Santa Claus is coming!”

Yes, I know guys like Antonin Scalia—Knights of Columbus guys from the 1950s, faithful guys who hung out with the boys for whom Monday night was Holy Name and Friday night was bowling night followed by practically all-night card games.

They were old-fashioned guys, good guys, family men, and while they were Democrats and Republicans, they were not the kind of guys to drive foreign cars, go to foreign movies, or watch public television.

And that is the culture I’ve got to figure Justice Scalia see things from when he talks about same-sex marriage, when he talks about gay people.

So far, so good…but it’s when he talks about the Constitution—when he talks about the law, when he talks about basic human freedom in a free country—that he crosses into troubling territory.

Why? Because the culture he came up in and through is not everybody’s, nor is required to be in this country.

He sees his job through the same eyes he remembers and adheres to his own culture, and that is not the same as deciding on what is constitutional in a free society that values liberty and equality under the law.

Explore:

The troubling territory Justice Scalia has entered

Updated