Scalia: Sex discrimination may be 'stupid' but it isn't unconstitutional

By Kimberly Atkins

The Daily Record Newswire

There is no constitutional right not to be discriminated against on the basis of gender or sexual orientation, Justice Antonin Scalia said recently.

The Supreme Court's most senior associate justice told an audience at the UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco that outlawing such discrimination is up to lawmakers, not the Constitution.

''If the current society wants to outlaw discrimination by sex, you have legislatures,'' Scalia said, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

Although the Court has used Fourteenth Amendment as a basis for protecting against sex discrimination, Scalia said he does not believe that interpretation was intended by the amendment's drafters.

''Nobody thought it was directed against sex discrimination,'' Scalia said, adding that while he doesn't believe such discrimination should happen, the constitutional bar interpreted by courts is ''a modern invention.''

Scalia also said that other activity, such as the burning of the Quran, is protected by the Constitution - a sentiment echoed last week by fellow high court jurist Justice Stephen Breyer.

''It may be a very bad idea, but a lot of stupid stuff is perfectly constitutional,'' Scalia said, according to SF Appeal.

Published: Mon, Sep 27, 2010

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