Entries in Chief Justice John Roberts (2)


Scalia: ‘I Haven’t Had a Falling Out with Justice Roberts’

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia dismissed reports that the recent health care decision created a rift between him and Chief Justice John Roberts.

“Who told you that?” Scalia asked CNN’s Piers Morgan, who said he had read the allegations in news reports. The interview aired Wednesday night.

Roberts sided with the liberals on the Court to uphold the individual mandate under the taxing clause and Scalia, Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito wrote a blistering joint dissent.

“You should not believe what you read about the Court in the newspaper,” Scalia said. “Because the information has either been made up or given to the newspapers by somebody who is violating a confidence, which means that person is not reliable.”

Morgan asked him, “So you have had no falling out with Justice Roberts?”

“No, I haven’t had a falling out with Justice Roberts,” Scalia replied.

Scalia said that in general there are clashes in the Court “on legal questions, but not personally. The press likes to paint us you know, nine scorpions in a bottle, and that’s just not the case at all.”

Although he wasn’t asked about the cases decided in the term that just ended, Scalia did not shy away from other controversial cases.

Morgan asked him about Citizens United and campaign spending.

“I think Thomas Jefferson would have said the more speech, the better. That’s what the First Amendment is all about. So long as the people know where the speech is coming from,” Scalia said.

But it is Bush v. Gore, the contentious decision that put George W. Bush in the White House in 2001, that Scalia said most people ask him about.

“It comes up all the time and my usual response is ‘get over it‘,” Scalia said. He added that he had no regrets about the decision. “Especially because it’s clear that the thing would have ended up the same way anyway. The press did extensive research into what would have happened if what Al Gore wanted done had been done county by county, and he would have lost anyway.”

He reiterated his long held belief that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided.

“My view is regardless of whether you think prohibiting abortion is good or whether you think prohibiting abortion is bad, regardless of how you come out on that, my only point is the Constitution does not say anything about it. It leaves it up to democratic choice. ”

The interview came as Scalia is launching a book tour for Reading the Law: the Interpretation of Legal Texts co-authored with Bryan A. Garner. The book explains Scalia’s textual approach to the law.

The law, Scalia said, “should be based on the text of the Constitution, reasonably interpreted.”

Morgan also asked Scalia about the secret to his successful 52 year marriage with his wife Maureen and their nine children and 33 grandchildren. “What was the secret? Maureen made it clear if we split up I would get the children,” Scalia quipped.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Can a State Ban the Sale of Violent Video Games to Children?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Several Justices on the Supreme Court expressed skepticism Tuesday regarding a California law banning the sale of violent video games to minors.

“California asks this Court“ said California Deputy Attorney General Zackery P. Morazzini “to adopt a rule of law that permits states to restrict  minors' ability to purchase deviant, violent video games that the legislature has determined can be harmful.”

But justices struggled with the scope of the law and if it could be stretched to apply to other violent mediums.

“Some of Grimm’s Fairy Tales  are quite grim to tell you the truth,” said Justice Antonin Scalia. “Are you going to ban those too?”

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, “I mean, if you are supposing a category of violent  materials dangerous to children, then how do you cut it off at video games? What about films? What about comic  books?”

Chief Justice John Roberts was clearly troubled by the impact of the games on minors.  In describing one game he said,“We do not have a tradition in this country of telling children they should watch people actively hitting schoolgirls over the head with a shovel so they'll beg with mercy, being merciless and decapitating them, shooting people in the leg so they  fall down.”

Paul Smith, a lawyer for the makers of the videos, told the Court it is the role of parents, not the government, to protect the children from the games. “Parents have been doing that since time immemorial," he said. The question before this Court is whether you are going to create an entirely new  exception under the First Amendment.”

Smith dismissed concerns that violent video games need special attention because they are a relatively new medium.

“We do have a new medium here,” he said, “ but we have a history in this country of new  mediums coming along and people vastly overreacting to them, thinking the sky is falling, our children are all going to be turned into criminals.”

The law was passed in 2005 but legal challenges have stopped it from ever taking effect. It provides for up to a $1,000 fine to retailers who sell violent video games , although the fine does not apply to sales clerks if they have no ownership interest in the business. The California legislature, in passing the law, considered numerous studies that established a link between playing the violent games with an increase in aggressive thoughts, anti-social behavior and desensitization to violence in both minors and adults.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio