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Justice Scalia Speaks Against Equal Protection for Women

In an interview with California Lawyer, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia stated that the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment does not prohibit discrimination against women and gays on the basis of gender or sexual orientation. He told the legal magazine, “Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t. Nobody ever thought that that’s what it meant. Nobody ever voted for that.”

Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation, clarified, “Justice Scalia’s opinion on women not having Constitutional protection is tragic but not surprising. Scalia’s theory of original intent is devastating to equal rights and ultimately must not prevail. His concept of majority rule is equally devastating to civil rights and minority rights.”

Scalia was a strong opponent of the Supreme Court’s 2003 ruling in Lawrence v. Texas, which overturned laws prohibiting sodomy. At the time, he compared these laws to regulations against incest and bestiality. Scalia was also the sole Supreme Court Justice to vote in favor of the Virginia Military Institution barring women from attending and is firmly opposed to Roe v. Wade.

Sources:

Feminist Majority Foundation 1/4/11; Washington Post 1/4/11; California Lawyer 2011; Huffington Post 1/3/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 9/22/10

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