Associate Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on March 4, 2008 in Warrensburg, Missouri:
[Do you believe that there is a right to privacy under the United States Constitution?]
Oh, there certainly is and it us, uh, contained in the Fourth Amendment. And it says “that the people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures.” Period. There is not a generalized right of privacy, whatever that means. What is a generalized right of privacy [garbled]? One of our, one of our, one of our opinions says it means “the right to be left alone”. [laughter] Right. This is anarchy…
…[wire tapping] So, there is no, what should I say, exclusion from democratic debate of – conversations. It’s something for the people to decide whether you should have wiretapping or not….[as practice now]…This generalized right of privacy which comes from, what is it, penumbras and emanations from the Fourth and a lot of other ridiculous stuff. Uh, you know the consequences of that? Surely one of the major policy issues around these days is whether, uh, the Federal government can listen in on these international phone calls to find what the bad guys are doing. It used to be up to the Congress to decide whether the danger was high enough and the risk of invading people’s privacy high enough to permit that. No longer. It’s a question for me now. It’s a question for me. That’s what happens when you, when you read more and more stuff into the Constitution – you reduce democracy.
This is now:
Posted Apr 29, 2009, 01:58 pm CDT
By Martha Neil
Last year, when law professor Joel Reidenberg wanted to show his Fordham University class how readily private information is available on the Internet, he assigned a group project. It was collecting personal information from the Web about himself.
This year, after U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made public comments that seemingly may have questioned the need for more protection of private information, Reidenberg assigned the same project. Except this time Scalia was the subject, the prof explains to the ABA Journal in a telephone interview…
…And, as Scalia himself made clear in a statement to Above the Law, he isn’t happy about the invasion of his privacy:
“Professor Reidenberg’s exercise is an example of perfectly legal, abominably poor judgment. Since he was not teaching a course in judgment, I presume he felt no responsibility to display any,” the justice says, among other comments…
It must all depend on whose ox is getting Gored.