Justice Scalia loved the Constitution exclusively

February 13, 2016

Ilan Funke-Bilu


I will miss Justice Scalia and so will my clients. Many see him as an originalist guided by conservative, law and order principles. I disagree and I have so advised my clients. Justice Scalia loved the Constitution exclusively. He never cheated on it. He never disrespected it.

If only all of our judges would treat our Constitution with that same devotion and fealty!

I practice criminal law because I, like Justice Scalia, love our Constitution. In my practice, rarely a day passes without consideration of the First or Second or Fourth or Fifth or Sixth or Eighth or Fourteenth Amendments. It is a living document that has been strengthened by Justice Scalia’s interpretations. I doubt if President Reagan would have nominated him to the Supreme Court if the late president would have known the opinions that eventually flowed from his scholarship.

The right of confrontation was eroding for years until Justice Scalia healed it back to health. Justice Scalia reinvigorated juries by arming them with the power to weigh in at sentencing. In other words, Justice Scalia took away some powers traditionally reserved for judges and delivered them to juries.

Can you imagine a judge ordering his fellow judges to back off the way they have been doing business for years and share their responsibilities with 12 lay folks?

The right to be free from unreasonable searches or seizures is stronger today because of Justice Scalia. The police today need to be more mindful of the Fourth Amendment. It is not that Justice Scalia has made their job more difficult. Rather, through his profound understanding of our Constitution, he has made them better better stewards of the rights of the people.

If one were to read Justice Scalia’s opinions superficially in the field of criminal law, one might conclude that he was a leftist, socialist, who disdained the police and desired to expand the rights of the individual at all costs. We know that he was a devout Catholic, with nine children who hobnobbed with Republicans. He was, after all, appointed by President Reagan. He was considered to be part of the conservative wing of the Supreme Court. His opinions in cases outside of criminal law may be more consistent with that assessment.

But in my profession, in the practice of criminal law, there was none more influential. His opinions transcended political labels. I will miss Justice Scalia, as will my clients, as will all Americans. Today the Constitution is crying.



  1. SLO_Johnny says:

    What do the words in the Constitution mean and how does that apply to us now? The basic point where Scalia began every legal analysis. The search for original intent is sometimes like following Alice down the rabbit hole. That is the reason that many countries require that their Constitutions be rewritten or re-ratified periodically. Scalia was resisting the urge to constantly redefine the interpretation of the Constitution to suit the desires of the current generation. He understood that if the words can be twisted to mean anything that they end up meaning nothing.

    (7) 11 Total Votes - 9 up - 2 down
    • Ted Slanders says:


      “Scalia was resisting the urge to constantly redefine the interpretation of the Constitution to suit the desires of the current generation. He understood that if the words can be twisted to mean anything that they end up meaning nothing.”

      This statement is in the same vein as pseudo-christians trying in vain to insidiously reinterpret the Hebrew-Christian bible to save face on what it literally says at times, where it becomes an embarrassment to any critical thinking whatsoever in the 21st Century.

      “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” (2 Timothy 4:3)

      (3) 9 Total Votes - 6 up - 3 down
  2. Ted Slanders says:

    Scalia Quote: “God has been very good to us,” Scalia said at a speech at a Catholic high school in Louisiana. “One of the reasons God has been good to us is that we have done him honor.”

    We have to excuse this former Supreme Court Judge by making such an ignorant statement because he was a Catholic, and all true Christians are aware that Catholics are not Christians. That being said, first thing, in Mr. Scalia’s quote above, he forgot to mention which God he was referring too? Was it Yahweh, Jesus, Allah, Zeus, or? So many ignorant Christians that espouse a God concept forget this simple premise. Mr. Scalia also forgot to inform the audience of how we allegedly did one of the aforementioned gods any honor, for obvious reasons?

    Furthermore, how was one of the God’s, that were not defined by their actual Bronze and Iron Age name, good to us on September 11, 2001 under George W. Bushes watch? History of keeping the United States “safe” does not begin on 9-12-01.

    Hopefully Mr Scalia is resting in peace, and we further hope that he is not being tortured for eternity by picking the wrong God concept, or by not following said God’s written word to the letter, while his existence rode this planet around the Sun until his demise.


    (-14) 28 Total Votes - 7 up - 21 down
  3. Pelican1 says:

    Play that Funke music white boy
    play that Funke music right
    Play that Funke music white boy
    Lay down the boogie
    and play that Funke music till you die
    ( till you die )
    (uh huh, yeah yeah)

    (-6) 18 Total Votes - 6 up - 12 down
  4. scoopone says:

    Funke-Bilu is no more than a high-priced mouthpiece; I doubt he follows the rules of the constitution every time when getting his murderers/rapists off easy. Give him his due, though, he earns his exorbitant fees.

    (3) 23 Total Votes - 13 up - 10 down

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