In the interview with the Law in Action programme on BBC Radio 4, he said it was “extraordinary” to assume that the ban on “cruel and unusual punishment” - the US Constitution’s Eighth Amendment - also applied to “so-called” torture.
“To begin with the constitution… is referring to punishment for crime. And, for example, incarcerating someone indefinitely would certainly be cruel and unusual punishment for a crime.”
Justice Scalia argued that courts could take stronger measures when a witness refused to answer questions.
“I suppose it’s the same thing about so-called torture. Is it really so easy to determine that smacking someone in the face to determine where he has hidden the bomb that is about to blow up Los Angeles is prohibited in the constitution?” he asked.
“It would be absurd to say you couldn’t do that. And once you acknowledge that, we’re into a different game.
“How close does the threat have to be? And how severe can the infliction of pain be?"
Hmmm, so the Constitution doesn’t address this question?
All debts contracted and engagements entered into, before the adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.
This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
Treaties, you mean like THIS?
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 39/46 of 10 December 1984
entry into force 26 June 1987, in accordance with article 27 (1)
1. For the purposes of this Convention, the term “torture” means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.
Of course, we all know how much attention Americans like Scalia have paid to ratified treaties, but it’s still appalling that an idiot like this occupies the highest court in the land.
Every institution in this country is broken.
Good one Madman. Scalia is an embarrassment and for him to tout these views abroad digs us further into a hole internationally. If only we’d be rid of he and Clarence in January ‘09 when Bush and Cheney shuffle off to the high-paid lecture circuit.Posted by on 02/12 at 09:10 PM
Tony “The Fixer” Scalia was Olbermann’s “Worst Person in the World” tonight. So well deserved.Posted by on 02/13 at 08:50 PM
Antonin Scalia, championed by “liberals” like Mario Cuomo, approved by a vote of 98-0.
Further proof that the corporate ruling class owns both political parties. See also, John Roberts, 78-22.
And when Scalia forged the decision to put the Bush/Cheney Junta in power, how many Democrats protested? How many even minded?Posted by on 02/16 at 01:01 PM