U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speaks at the Macky Auditorium on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder on Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. (Jeremy Papasso, Daily Camera)

Supreme Court’s Scalia gets a pot question on Colorado visit? Of course

BOULDER, Colo. — Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was asked about marijuana Wednesday after giving a speech at the University of Colorado. The conservative justice smiled, then hinted that he thinks federal drug law should trump Colorado’s vote to allow pot.

Scalia spoke about federalism in his remarks. After the speech, Scalia was asked by a high school student about Colorado’s voting in 2012 to legalize marijuana in defiance of federal drug law. The student wanted to know how Scalia thought the conflict should be resolved.

Scalia smiled and said, “I’m not going to respond to that because it would force me to have to recuse myself” if the question ever went to the high court.

But he added, “the Constitution contains something called the Supremacy Clause,” which is the provision stating that federal laws trump state laws.

Case before Colorado Supreme Court: Laws tangle in case about marijuana use and workplace

During his prepared remarks, Scalia gave a fiery takedown of the idea that the Constitution changes with time.

He joked that if the nation wanted nine judges to rewrite the U.S. Constitution, they’d never let six Catholics and three Jews do the work. That’s the religious breakdown of the current court.

Scalia criticized those who believe the Constitution can be reinterpreted to fit morals of the time.

“If there’s anything you think is really, really bad, well, it must be unconstitutional,” Scalia said.

Scalia spoke earlier in the day to about 400 people at Colorado Christian University.

Scalia was appointed by President Ronald Reagan and has served on the nation’s highest court for nearly 30 years.


Kristen Wyatt can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/APkristenwyatt