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Scalia and Breyer testify, debate before Congress

After oral arguments concluded at the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday, Justices Antonin Scalia and Stephen Breyer had another appearance to make – before Congress.

The justices traveled across the street from the Supreme Court building to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday, where Scalia lamented the declining in quality of federal judges. That decline, he said, was caused by Congress’ overzealous criminal lawmaking, which created the need for so many more judges.

“Federal judges ain’t what they used to be,” Scalia told the committee, according to Mark Sherman of the Associated Press. The federal judiciary is “not as elite as it used to be.”

The justices, never afraid to publicly disagree, expressed their different views of constitutional interpretation.

“I’m hoping that the ‘living Constitution’ will die,” Scalia said at one point, according to the Huffington Post’s Mick Sacks. Breyer responded by repeating a nearly 200-year-old quote by Chief Justice John Marshall: “It is a constitution we are expounding” because it is “to be adapted to the various crises of human affairs.””

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