Monday, December 15, 2014

Scalia: Constitution Doesn’t Prohibit Torture.

Put no trust in princes, in children of Adam powerless to save.

Psalm 146:3

I should have known better.

I had always looked upon Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia as someone who takes his Catholicism seriously, and therefore someone who would set the standard for the Supreme Court.

After learning of Scalia's recent interview on Swiss National Radio,I've changed my opinion. Contrary to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which states that torture is a sin under all circumstances, Scalia said,"I don't think it's so clear at all."

"I think it is very facile for people to say 'Oh, torture is terrible,'" he said. "You posit the situation where a person that you know for sure knows the location of a nuclear bomb that has been planted in Los Angeles and will kill millions of people."

The idea that torturing someone to prevent a nuclear explosion may appeal to others, and while Scalia agrees, he does not believe that information that a carload of terrorists heading to Los Angeles with an atomic bomb would be enough to justify police stopping the car, if the tip came from an anonymous source.

"I want you to say, 'Let the car go. Bye-bye, LA,'" Scalia said.

So, in his view, cops cannot stop a car driven by folks who might blow up LA in a nuclear explosion, if the cops' information comes from an anonymous source, but it's OK to torture the same guys to stop the bomb.

As it turned out, in a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court went against Scalia's contention that a car cannot be pulled over because of an anonymous tip. No word from the Supreme Court as to whether the drivers can be tortured.

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