It is one of the unhappy incidents of the federal system that a self-righteous Supreme Court, acting on its Members' personal view of what would make a 'more perfect Union' (a criterion only slightly more restrictive than a 'more perfect world') can impose its own favored social and economic dispositions nationwide.His death heightens the danger to our Republic in an already dangerous time.
United States v. Virginia (1996)
We Americans have a method for making the laws that are over us. We elect representatives to two Houses of Congress, each of which must enact the new law and present it for the approval of a President, whom we also elect. For over two decades now, unelected federal judges have been usurping this lawmaking power by converting what they regard as norms of international law into American law. Today's opinion approves that process in principle, though urging the lower courts to be more restrained. This Court seems incapable of admitting that some matters - any matters - are none of its business.
Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain et al., 542 U. S. 692 (2004)
Now the Senate is looking for 'moderate' judges, 'mainstream' judges. What in the world is a moderate interpretation of a constitutional text? Halfway between what it says and what we'd like it to say?
Address to Chapman University students (2005).
Our lame-duck President knows any appointment he makes should be blocked in the Republican Senate. This means he will make the most outrageous political selection he can imagine. He will rejoice in the spectacle of confirmation hearings in the midst of a presidential election. He will accuse the Senate of not doing its job. He will invoke a vast array of straw men calculated to promote division by race, class and sex. He may threaten some sort of bizarre Executive Order.
Nonetheless, if we are to have a Justice who will support overturning Citizen's United and Heller - chipping away at the 1st and 2nd Amendments - let him at least be the appointee of a Sanders, Clinton or Trump.