Two Supreme Court cases. . . .
(1) A man was shot. Just before he died, he said, “Rick shot me.” So Rick was arrested. The problem is, the Constitution requires that the accused be able to face the witnesses against him so they can face cross-examination. In this case, the witness–who was also the victim–is dead. Therefore, according to the Michigan Supreme Court, the victim’s dying words identifying his killer are not admissible in a court of law.
The Supreme Court overturned that ruling, 6-2. Rick will have to pay for his crime, on the testimony of his victim. Justice Antonin Scalia, a Constitutional originalist, wrote a bitter dissent. In this case, the court favored what might be called common sense over and against the literal reading of the Constitution.
(2) Westboro Baptist church has a ministry of picketing the funerals of dead servicemen, carrying signs that say things like “Thank God for dead soldiers,” and “God hates America.” Efforts have been made to keep the picketers away from the funerals and from the families of the bereaved.The Supreme Court, with only one dissenting vote (that of Justice Samuel A. Alito), ruled that the free speech provisions of the Constitution protect the protesters, who must be allowed to show up at funerals with their offensive placards. In this case, the court favored the literal reading of the Constitution over what might be called common sense.
Conservatives are supposed to take the Constitution literally. That would suggest being against allowing a victim’s dying words to be used as testimony AND supporting the free speech rights of the funeral protesters. Is that what you believe? If not, what is your constitutional basis?