INCOME TAXES? 'If it reaches a certain point, perhaps you should revolt,' Justice Scalia tells students
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
4/20/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
It came as a most bit of unorthodox advice, from a lawmaker to an audience of impressionable minds. While speaking at the University Of Tennessee College Of Law last week, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was asked by a student about his interpretation of the constitutionality of the income tax. Few expected what came next.
Justice Scalia told the students that the justices do not give credence to partisan politics, and that he doesn't care which party controls the White House. He stands by a theory of "originalism," which means that the Constitution is a fixed law and not open to change or interpretation over time.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Scalia, the longest-serving justice currently on the bench said that the government has the constitutional right to implement the tax, "but if it reaches a certain point, perhaps you should revolt."
In the same vein, Scalia told the students that they have every right to express criticism of the government.
"You're entitled to criticize the government, and you can use words, you can use symbols, you can use telegraph, you can use Morse code .
". you can burn a flag," he said, according to the News Sentinel.
Invited to deliver the annual "Rose Lecture" at the Tennessee law school, Scalia discussed pivotal events in his time in the Supreme Court. This included the decision in 1989 to rule that flag-burning was constitutionally protected speech.
Outside the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, Gregory Lee Johnson burned a flag in protest against President Ronald Reagan's policies. He was arrested under Texas' flag desecration statute. In its 5-4 ruling in Texas v. Johnson, the Supreme Court struck down flag desecration laws in 48 states by ruling that flag desecration is a constitutionally protected form of free speech.
In 1989, the U.S. Congress protested the Johnson decision by passing the Flag Protection Act, a federal version of the already-struck state flag desecration statutes. Thousands burned flags in protest of the new law, and when two protesters were arrested, the Supreme Court affirmed its previous ruling and struck down the federal statute.
President Ronald Reagan appointed Justice Scalia to the Supreme Court in 1986.
Scalia also told the students that the justices do not give credence to partisan politics, and that he doesn't care which party controls the White House. He stands by a theory of "originalism," which means that the Constitution is a fixed law and not open to change or interpretation over time.
"The Constitution is not a living organism for Pete's sake," he said. "It's a law. It means what it meant when it was adopted."
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