While Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is viewed by many liberals as a right-wing ideologue bent on overturning Roe v. Wade and other progressive decisions they favor, he enjoys a far more exalted status among a growing cadre of conservative law students, lawyers, professors, and judges. They see him as an intrepid legal warrior seeking to put rules back into the rule of law, reports the Christian Science Monitor.
His is an approach to law that seeks to limit the ability of judges to use judicial power to impose their own value judgments and policy preferences on the nation. It is a form of judicial restraint embraced by President Bush, who has said he will seek to appoint future Supreme Court justices in the mold of Scalia and Clarence Thomas. In a recent speech, Scalia offered a detailed description of his approach to constitutional interpretation. In his view, Supreme Court justices overstep not only their authority but also their expertise when they try to answer some of society’s most divisive moral questions in legal cases such as abortion. He says moral issues should be resolved by elected political leaders, not unelected judges.