Justice Antonin Scalia on Sunday characterized himself as a social conservative and "a law-and-order guy" whose views do not impact his interpretation of the Constitution.
In an interview on CBS' "60 Minutes," Scalia addressed issues from abortion to flag-burning.
Were he to approach his job differently, Scalia said, he would adopt the position of abortion opponents who interpret the Constitution to mean that a state must prohibit abortion.
But the authors of the Constitution did not write about abortion, so he does not support the approach favored by abortion opponents, said the justice, who is promoting a new book, "Making Your Case: The Art Of Persuading Judges.
Similarly, Scalia upholds a First Amendment right to flag burning, though he doesn't personally like the practice.
Scalia is known for his colorful writing style, especially in dissent. All his colleagues have been targets of his biting criticism, a subject that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg addressed on camera.
"As annoyed as you might be about his zinging dissent, he's so utterly charming, so amusing, so sometimes outrageous, you can't help but say I'm glad that he's my friend or he's my colleague," said Ginsburg.
Ginsburg said she takes Scalia's occasional criticism as a challenge to be met.
"How am I going to answer this in a way that's a real putdown?" Ginsburg said.