The following Wespeak was collectively authored by a number of involved students, including the following: Virgil Taylor ’15, Ross Levin ’15, Nico Vitti ’12, Paul Blasenheim ’12, Zak Kirwood ’12, Cheryl Walker ’12, Meggie McGuire ’12, Mariama Eversley ’14, Isabelle Gauthier ’14, Josh Krugman ’14, Joseph Cribb ’13, Hannah Rubin ’13, Cesar Chavez ’15, Dan Fischer ’12, and Mica Taliaferro ’12. Though it may be written from a first-person perspective, it should be taken as a collective statement of these signers and the larger collective organizing dissent for Scalia’s arrival.

It is ridiculous for Wesleyan to bring Antonin Scalia to speak at a lecture devoted to freedom of speech. He doesn’t believe that prisoners captured as part of the “War on Terror” have the right to legal representation. He supports physical torture as an interrogation tactic. He is openly committed to diminishing reproductive health rights. I can only wonder whose freedom of expression he is interested in protecting through his work with the Supreme Court. Those who can become unintentionally pregnant, those who are disempowered by colonialist political and military actions, and those who find themselves in conflict with law enforcement officers are not being served. Yet as citizens they have all entrusted the interpretation of their country’s laws to the Supreme Court. Scalia has directly implicated himself in this history. We live in a world of extreme disparities, along lines of race, class, sexuality, ability, and gender that constantly blend into and intersect each other. As a country we deserve to have these structures recognized and contested.

This university deserves a speaker who can open up discourse about bettering the United States and the world, about confronting the status quo with optimism and ingenuity. I assume contracts have already been signed, so I can only hope for better next year. Though I am about to graduate, I urge members of the classes of 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and beyond: remember the power of your voices. Though this lecture is paid for by an alumnus, it is taking place on your campus. You deserve speakers who will inspire and challenge you. To those who have tickets: give him hell. President Roth says he hopes this will be an educational opportunity, so it’s up to you to give Scalia the opportunity to learn something about Wesleyan, and about freedom of expression.

  • Jzaman

    I think this is ridiculous. While I agree with your point of view about Scalia making some rather controversial decisions, the fact that you assume your views are inherently correct is what bothers me. Justice Scalia is a brilliant man who came to his conclusions upon careful and deliberate thought.

    At the end of the day, by protesting Scalia’s presence in Wesleyan, you are being close-minded. Wesleyan has a reputation of being an open-minded school. So if you would prefer to have liberal judges or speakers all the time that do not challenge your views, in a way you yourself are being conservative and closed minded, something you are accusing Scalia of being when you say he has no right to speak about free speech.

    Just because Scalia is coming to Wesleyan to speak to Wesleyan students about his interpretation of the Constitution, which I believe he has more knowledge of than anyone else in this campus, does not mean that you are supporting his actions. The protest against Scalia is really a protest against free speech, because you are advocating Wesleyan should have a certain type (most likely liberal) of individual who should be allowed to speak and should not invite opposite viewpoints.

  • anonymous

    Originalism, as a method of interpretation, not only is Scalia’s consistent lens for reading the text of the constitution, implying not a political agenda but rather a method of constitutional interpretation that he views as superior. And I am interested in hearing why he believes that is the case, as each and every citizen and justice must use some method of deciphering the meaning of our somewhat vague governmental charter. Accusing him of having a hidden agenda is ignorant as he consistently uses the same logic to respond to each case, whether or not you find this method meritorious, you should debate with him. not shut him out because it leads him down a different road than yours would. or have you not even tried to answer the constitutional questions for yourself? i don’t think you have

  • Anonymous

    What an honor it is to have Supreme Court Justice Scalia to speak at Wesleyan or anywhere for that matter; a true constitutionalist of the court. Too bad that can’t be said for some like Justice Ginsberg who believe it’s important to give heed to foreign law which is contrary not only to the ‘Rule of Law’ but to her oath to uphold the Constitution. It’s a sad day in America when such ‘students’ write such closed minded views that leads one to question the quality of education when put to the test of being open to other views which our nation once led the world.

    To disrupt is anarchy and displays the mentality of a child. You should listen and do something you obviously don’t do very often: THINK.

    • Stephenclarke

      Perhaps you should know that Justice Scalia has a well documented respect for Justice Ginsberg. The two approach cases from often diametrically opposed viewpoints, but that has not prevented them from recognizing each other’s legal abilities. Both are brilliant. There can be no serious question that both follow their oath to uphold the Constitution.

      Civility has great virtue. It allows the message to be heard through the noise.Insulting those with whom we disagree coarsens the public discourse. In this particular case, I’m not even sure why J. Ginsberg is even mentioned. Respect does not require agreement.

      • Anonymous

        Why is Ginsberg mentioned? Are you serious? Supreme Court Justice Scalia & Ginsberg took an oath to UPHOLD the Constitution; Scalia does; Ginsberg doesn’t by virtue of using foreign law for interpretation of cases before the court. That’s wrong. Yet the column advocates disruption of the speech by Scalia; he should be applauded for putting country first before self interests as Ginsberg does. It has nothing to do with whether or not Scalia has respect for Ginsberg or not; that a false argument and bears nothing to the debate.

        Read the Constitution before it’s ripped to shreds by the likes of Ginsberg and others who have been given nearly carte blanche in legislating from the bench and in doing so, there goes our freedoms and liberties so many fought and died for.

  • Sekito Kisen

    Freedom of speech means that we can listen to those with whom we disagree and then present our own speech in disagreement. It does not mean we do not listen to those with whom we disagree. We must live by example, which means by showing that we can listen to those who might not listen to us. That is the true liberal ideal.

  • Jeber

    Fuck Antonio scalia