To a crowd of students at the University of Tennessee College of Law, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said if taxes ever get too high maybe they should revolt.
Scalia’s statement was made after a law student asked him about the constitutionality of the federal income tax.
While Scalia responded that the government is authorized to implement the tax, he is quoted by CBS DC with saying, “but if it reaches a certain point, perhaps you should revolt.”
“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,” Scalia told the crowd.
Appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan, Scalia is the longest-serving justice currently on the bench. He was invited by the University to present the annual Rose Lecture and to discuss his career.
Think Progress reports that statements similar to Scalia’s have become “a common rhetorical flourish for conservatives nationwide during the Obama presidency.”
This type of rhetoric is usually refrained from by Supreme Court justices, but Scalia has in recent years shifted further to the right since his appointment.
During his speech, Scalia also noted that justices “are not swayed by partisan political spats” and that he does not care which political party controls the White House.