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Scalia, civil rights, and murder

Scalia, civil rights, and murder
Scalia, civil rights, and murder

Last week, the Supreme Court set the stage for a historic moment on American civil rights, agreeing to hear challenges to both the Defense of Marriage Act and to California's Prop. 8. It will be the justices' most important foray into the debate over marriage equality, and has the potential to overturn a series of discriminatory laws.

But while we wait for the judicial process to unfold, it appears one justice's vote is already pretty obvious.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia spoke at Princeton last night, and a student asked why the far-right jurist equates laws banning sodomy with those barring bestiality and murder.

"I don't think it's necessary, but I think it's effective," Scalia said, adding that legislative bodies can ban what they believe to be immoral. [...]"It's a form of argument that I thought you would have known, which is called the 'reduction to the absurd,'" Scalia told Hosie of San Francisco during the question-and-answer period. "If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?"

The justice added that he wasn't equating sodomy with murder.

No, of course not. What could possibly give people that idea?

It's too soon to say how the justices will rule on the gay-rights cases, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say Scalia's vote is not in doubt.