Chief Justice Roberts at KU

By: AP, Brian Quick Email
By: AP, Brian Quick Email

AP: U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. says he doesn't think it's helpful to describe the Constitution as "living or dead." After a speech at the University of Kansas Wednesday evening, Roberts was asked by a student about a recent interview of Justice Antonin Scalia on``60 Minutes'' in which Scalia described the Constitution as a``dead document.''

Roberts says the Constitution is a living document in the sense that its drafters meant it to be applied in the future. But he compared it to a contract in declining to characterize it as fully living. He also joked about his colleague.

``Justice Scalia gets all the good air time,'' Roberts said.

During his speech, Roberts also gave his audience of about 2,000 people a lesson about the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.

13 News: Roberts talked about the importance of freedom of speech, even when what is being said is unpopular. He joked that is why the court is appointed for life.

He also discussed the challenge of keeping personal opinions and politics out of court decisions. he said each judge knows at the end of the day if their decision reflects the law or his/her personal opinions.

He also said the court looks at every case the same, whether it is controversial or mundane.

Click the video to hear clips from the speech.


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