Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told a group of law students that it might be a good idea to revolt if taxes become too high in the future.
While speaking at the University of Tennessee College of Law on Tuesday, Justice Scalia was asked by a student about his interpretation of the constitutionality of the income tax, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.
The longest-serving justice currently on the bench answered the student by saying that the government has the constitutional right to implement the tax, “but if it reaches a certain point, perhaps you should revolt.”
Justice Scalia continued to tell the students that they have every right to express criticism of the government.
“You’re entitled to criticize the government, and you can use words, you can use symbols, you can use telegraph, you can use Morse code, you can burn a flag,” he said, according to the News Sentinel.
The Justice was invited to deliver the annual “Rose Lecture” and the Tennessee law school. He discussed pivotal events in his time in the Supreme Court including the decision in 1989 to rule that flag-burning was constitutionally protected speech.
President Ronald Reagan appointed Justice Scalia to the Supreme Court in 1986.
He told the law students that the justices do not give credence to partisan politics, and that he doesn’t care which party controls the White House. He stands by a theory of originalism, meaning that the Constitution is a fixed law and not open to change or interpretation over time.
“The Constitution is not a living organism for Pete’s sake,” he said. “It’s a law. It means what it meant when it was adopted.”