Justice Antonin Scalia delivered his standard defense of originalism in a speech on Tuesday that included an unusual observation about the justices’ stance on capital punishment: Scalia said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the death penalty.
Scalia told students at Rhodes College he has four colleagues who believe the death penalty is unconstitutional, reports the Memphis Commercial Appeal. The Associated Press also covered the speech, but did not include Scalia’s death-penalty remarks.
In a June dissent by Justice Stephen G. Breyer, joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, he called for a briefing on whether the death penalty is constitutional. “I believe it highly likely that the death penalty violates the Eighth Amendment,” Breyer said in the dissent.
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