From The Sacramento Bee:
The government has room to scale back individual rights during wartime without violating the Constitution, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said Tuesday.
“The Constitution just sets minimums,” Scalia said after a speech at John Carroll University in suburban Cleveland. “Most of the rights that you enjoy go way beyond what the Constitution requires.”
Scalia, one of the court’s most conservative judges, was responding to a question about the Justice Department’s pursuit of terrorism suspects and whether their rights are being violated.
Scalia did not discuss what rights he believed are constitutionally protected, but said that in wartime, one can expect “the protections will be ratcheted right down to the constitutional minimum. I won’t let it go beyond the constitutional minimum.”
Scalia was interrupted once briefly by a protester who shouted an anti-war statement. The protester was removed from the room by security officers but was not arrested.
Scalia stopped speaking during the scuffle, then joked that the protest probably was more interesting than his topic, which was the constitutional protection of religions.