is good for interpreting the Bible:
Justice Scalia’s determination to take the law as it is earned him many enemies among our progressive elites. The criticism was and remains that Scalia’s textualism prevents the Constitution (and law more generally) from “growing” to meet the changing needs of the people and their government. Scalia was uncaring and a servant of injustice, we have been told, because he was not willing to use the law to do things its often privileged and corrupt authors did not intend it to do. The reprehensible hit piece sent out to faculty and students at Georgetown Law School by Professors Gary Peller and Louis Michael Seidman well illustrates the level of hatred aimed at Justice Scalia on account of his principled approach to law. It was wrong, according to these two professors, both of whom deny the legitimacy of our Constitution, for their law school to mark Justice Scalia’s passing with sympathy and respect because he was, on account of his judicial decisions, a bad man. The virtue progressive lawyers like Mr. Peller and Mr. Seidman demand of judges is quite clear. A good, virtuous judge is one who cares about the oppressed (defined by race, class, and gender), knows that law often is a tool of oppression, and sets himself the task of rewriting the law to make it a tool of justice by serving the interests of oppressed groups, as determined by progressive elites. In rejecting this hubristic model of the judge as savior, Justice Scalia earned endless calumnies, most especially the constant jibe that he was merely a tool of powerful bad actors.
The irony in these charges is thick, for it was precisely Justice Scalia’s refusal to go beyond the text of the Constitution or law that made his jurisprudence by far the most democratic and egalitarian, in the historical American sense, on the Supreme Court of his and perhaps any other time. The Supreme Court Justice who divines “emanations” from “penumbras” of various phrases and ideas in the Constitution and stitches them together into doctrines like the “right to privacy” is serving neither the law nor the people, but his own ideology.
Development of doctrine may allow interpreters of papal instruction to find coherence. But the similarities between development of dogma and a “living, breathing” Constitution are striking.