Franken Challenges Scalia’s Constitution, Says It’s Not The One He Swore To Defend

“The document he revered looks very different from the one I have sworn to support and defend.” Sen. Al Franken (D-MN)

WASHINGTON – Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) did not attend law school, but he boldly took aim at the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s view of the Constitution this week.

During Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing, Franken called Scalia’s view of the Constitution “blind” to the LGBT community, and “hostile” to women’s reproductive rights.

“Justice Scalia was a man of great conviction and, it should be said, a man of great humor,” Franken said, “But Justice Scalia embraced a rigid view of our Constitution, a view blind to the equal dignity of LGBT people, and hostile to women’s reproductive rights, and a view that often refused to acknowledge the lingering laws and policies that perpetuate the racial divide.”

“The document he revered looks very different from the one I have sworn to support and defend,” he added.

Franken then attacked Gorsuch, who he believes shares Scalia’s “rigid” views.

“It troubles me that at this critical juncture in our nation’s history, at this moment when our country is so fixated on things that divide us from one another, that President Trump would pledge to appoint jurists whose views of our founding document seek to reinforce those divisions rather than bridge them,” Franken said.

Franken says this interpretation of the Constitution has already “infected” the bench.

“But your record suggests that, if confirmed, you would espouse an ideology that I believe has already infected the bench. An ideology that backs big business over individual Americans, and refuses to see our country as the dynamic and diverse nation that my constituents wake up in every morning,” Franken said.

Scalia was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate. He served on the Supreme Court for three decades before his unexpected death in February 2016.

Franken is not the first person to compare Scalia to his potential heir. News outlets from National Review to the New York Times agree Gorsuch mirrors Scalia’s legal philosophy.

Watch part of the exchange below:

Christine Bauman
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