Justice Antonin Scalia told a Princeton seminar that elected bodies should be able to regulate immorality, whether it be murder or homosexuality, arguing, “If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?”
Scalia was asked about controversial comments he had made in the past that argued that the constitutionality of subjects like the death penalty, abortion or sodomy laws were all “easy” to decide by considering the Constitution as understood by its writers.
Scalia said that while he did not believe such hyperbole was “necessary,” he did think it was “effective” in forwarding his argument that legislatures should be allowed to ban acts 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 said.
Scalia insisted he did not mean to morally equate homosexuality with murder, but was simply drawing a parallel between the state’s ability to regulate either.