On the other hand, Scalia’s further comments on the display of the Ten Commandments are wrongheaded. His appeal to majority opinion is not only Constitutionally unsound — there is no question that the Constitution establishes the country and the laws thereof based upon the consent of the governed, and a strict constructionalist should not assert that the Constitution and our laws are derived from God — but poorly argued. He says “The minority should be tolerant of the majority expressing its belief that this government comes from God.” Perhaps so, but the government is not an instrument to express majority views. The majority of the country voted Republican in this last election; that does not mean the government is empowered to place displays extolling the virtues of the Republican Party in courthouses.
And it surprises me, really, that such a profoundly intelligent man could be so casual about ignorance: “probably 90 percent of the American people believe in the Ten Commandments and 85 percent couldn’t tell you what the ten are.” But perhaps it’s contempt for the groundlings.