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A literal interpretation

Re “A fool for a lawyer,” editorial, June 28

Justice Antonin Scalia’s recent opinions, including in the Edwards case, reflect his well-known view that when courts read the Constitution, they may look only to the literal meaning of the words and not to the “values behind” those words -- in other words, not to what the Constitution was intended to accomplish.

As your editorial says, Scalia’s premise for this is that our rights are rooted in our dignity as individuals. But Scalia’s dissent in the Edwards case would have resulted in the pathetic spectacle of a mentally ill defendant demonstrably incapable of doing so being allowed to defend himself. Where is the dignity in that?

Arnold Simon

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Los Angeles


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