During a November 17 speech to the Federalist Society’s National Lawyers Convention, Justice Samuel A. Alito said part of the consideration that will go into gun rights decisions should be “What would Scalia do?”
Alito said the same question should be asked in arriving at all decisions regarding matters of liberty and government overreach.
According to The Washington Post, Alito summed up the such matters as “constitutional fault lines,” saying, “Sometimes the earth starts to tremor and people get worried about what’s coming.”
He pointed to District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) as one of the times when the tremors could be felt. Americans watched and waited and the court ruled that “the Second Amendment actually means what it says,” according to Alito. It reaffirmed that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right possessed by Americans from birth.
Alito cited Justice Stephen G. Breyer’s dissent in Heller, which he said “provides a road map for denaturing Heller without actually overruling it.” He said such a guide for gutting the ruling is alarming, as is the opposition Democrat Senators have shown via their “[willingness] to amend the Constitution to overturn the court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, which held that restrictions on corporate and union political spending violated free-speech rights.”
He rhetorically asked, “What would that amendment do? It would have the effect of granting greater free-speech rights to an elite group — those who control the media — than to everybody else.”
Alito said he spoke to a Federalist Society chapter at Columbia University and was given a t-shirt with the letters, “WWSD?” (What Would Scalia Do). He said the phrase has stuck with him and become more important over time. That it is now a crucial question in decisions relating to liberty.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.