Justice Scalia Silent on Healthcare at Breakfast Q&A

Supreme Court Justice speaks at breakfast event in Mineola.

It isn’t often that a United States Supreme Court Justice visits Mineola much less when those not admitted to the bar and riding landmark cases get the opportunity to lob questions at them when they step out from under their black robes.

Justice Antonin Scalia was a guest of the Long Island Federalist Society at the Tuesday morning and quite naturally got served a question dealing with the pending healthcare law now in front of the nine-member court.

His reply to if he thought the Supreme Court would – as President Barack Obama put it – be engaging in “judicial activism” if the affordable health care law was to be struck down?

A simple, curt ‘nope’ according to Congressman Peter King.

According to Capital New York, the Medford Republican said that he did not ask Scalia direct questions about the case, instead only about the surrounding media coverage and the various interpretations of the law’s constitutionality.

"He just sort of smiled when I said it," King said of Scalia's reaction.

For the most part, King said, the table engaged in small talk. Scalia grew up in Elmhurst, and King in Sunnyside, and another retired judge at their table had been at Georgetown with the future justice.

Scalia's address to the group was his usual stump speech about the role of the court and how best to interpret the Constitution.

"It was interesting and it was extremely intelligent, but it was pretty much a standard Scalia speech," King said.

The main argument of the act surrounds the constitutionality of a requirement that all Americans be required to purchase healthcare beginning in 2014.


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