Is Scalia An Idiot?
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By KellyMc - Last updated: Monday, March 8, 2004 - Save & Share - 13 Comments

…or [“just an ass”:http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=2026&e=4&u=/latimests/scaliaaddressedadvocacygroupbeforekeydecision]?

bq. As the Supreme Court was weighing a landmark gay rights case last year, Justice Antonin Scalia gave a keynote dinner speech in Philadelphia for an advocacy group waging a legal battle against gay rights.

Posted in Politics • • Top Of Page

13 Responses to “Is Scalia An Idiot?”

Comment from bt
Time March 8, 2004 at 2:11 pm

The LA Times surely has a thorn in its craw about Scalia but the dude just makes it too easy for the paper to criticize him.

There is probably very little that will come of this, mainly because, in the case of the debated ethics rule, Scalia really is above the law. When you throw in the fact that this congress would never even dream of impeaching any conservative justice, you realize that he is an untouchable (and not in the Indian sense).

One caveat: if Scalia ever became truly unpalatable, I guess this would be as good a time as any for this Republican Congress to get rid of him (since they would be assured of getting another firebrand to take his place).

Comment from etrigan
Time March 8, 2004 at 2:15 pm

> as good a time as any

That’s my argument. Kick out a guy who’s making you look bad so you can bring in a younger smarter judge who votes conservative without making an ass out of himself.

Comment from Jank
Time March 8, 2004 at 3:05 pm

Not sure if it’s happened, but how would this be different from Justice O’Connor or Ginsberg giving a speech for a pro-abortion group?

Comment from etrigan
Time March 8, 2004 at 3:13 pm

Neither of them would give a “pro-abortion” speech. Only truly sick and demented people (or the Chinese Government) would use the term “pro-abortion” to apply to themselves. I haven’t met a single person who thinks that in all cases of pregnancy, the mother should have an abortion (and it’s a little twisted of you to give anyone like that credence.)

Comment from Jank
Time March 8, 2004 at 3:15 pm

That’s semantics and avoiding the issue.

Comment from etrigan
Time March 8, 2004 at 3:39 pm

It’s not semantics. Can I start calling your abortion-rights stance “pro-spinal-meningitis”, “pro-severe-retardation” or “pro-mom-killer”? Can I start calling your choices for welfare and social issues “anti-minority”? I understand if you disagree with a position and want to debate against it but using a label like that is divisive.

Ginsberg _does_ get paid to often speak with the ACLU. I think there is a difference between the issues the ACLU works with and the controversial nature of this group and their dinner which ‘??also honored the retiring Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua of Philadelphia, who has said homosexuality is “an aberration, a moral evil”??.’

Comment from bt
Time March 8, 2004 at 4:21 pm

Jank, if O’Connor took a vacation with Ahh-nold while the office of the Governor of California had a case before the Court, I would argue that she be forced to recuse herself. If Ginsberg gave a speech to the Sierra Club while the Environmental Defense Network had a case pending before the court, that would also be wrong.

This is not about partisan attacks. This is about a judge who either doesn’t understand the importance of perceived impartiality or who simply doesn’t care about his standing or the standing of the court.

Comment from Anonymous
Time March 8, 2004 at 4:26 pm

> using a label like that is divisive

Kind of like “anti-choice” which I’ve heard a bunch of times? And “anti-minority” or “anti-civil rights” does often get thrown out in the press when discussing people who are fighting race-based preferences in hiring or school admissions.

But to the point of my question:
>I think there is a difference between the issues the ACLU works with and the controversial nature of this group

Your beef with Scalia is that he doesn’t have the same world view that you do. The objection isn’t that he was cavorting with people with issues before the court, it’s that he’s entertaining ideas that you do not agree with.

BTW – I don’t think it’s suprising that a priest thinks that homosexuality is “an aberration, a moral evil”: that’s the Vatican’s position, based on their interpretation of scripture. You may disagree, but a pretty large slice of the population believes that that’s what God laid down.

Which doesn’t mean that they want to do harm to gays, or deny them any rights that other people have. They just don’t want them to have special status because they choose to sleep with people with the same genitals.

Comment from cynsmith
Time March 8, 2004 at 4:58 pm

A) I urge us to keep up the not-mentioning-abortion rule. Since I think that it was Jank who requested it, I am suprised that he brought it into the argument here. Obviously it inflames the issue, in this case unnecessarily. I would also add that there’s a big difference between “pro-abortion” and “anti-choice” – the first is inaccurate and the latter is not.

B) “Which doesn’t mean that they want to do harm to gays, or deny them any rights that other people have”

This is exactly what those who oppose same-sex marriage oppose! Expanding rights that heterosexuals have to include homosexuals!

Comment from christian
Time March 8, 2004 at 10:43 pm

Getting back to the subject of Supreme Court Justices being idiots and/or asses:

on January 29th of this year, Justice Ginsburg spoke at a dinner co-sponsored by the National Organization for Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund. Just fifteen days earlier, Justice Ginsburg participated in a decision in a case in which the NOW Legal Defense Fund had filed an amicus brief. In that decision, Justice Ginsburg (and the other Justices) ruled in favor of the NOW Legal Defense Fund’s position. In other words, fifteen days after ruling for the position advocated by the NOW Legal Defense Fund, Justice Ginsburg gave a speech co-sponsored by that very group. Surely Justice Ginsburg’s appearance at this dinner was arranged more than fifteen days in advance. In other words, Justice Ginsburg likely accepted the invitation to speak at the dinner before she ruled in favor of the group co-sponsoring the dinner.

Bearing in mind that there was no dissent in this case, the arguement is could be made that the effect of Justice Ginsberg’s failure to recuse herself may be moot.

On the other hand, the blog post makes the point that “Justice Ginsburg’s comments at that dinner were widely interpreted as a criticism of the Patriot Act,” linking to examples. That appears no different from Justice Scalia’s impropriety.

As for my vote, they both screwed up.

Comment from Jank
Time March 9, 2004 at 4:17 pm

> Since I think that it was Jank who requested it, I am suprised that he brought it into the argument

It was, and the only reason I did was because it’s an issue that comes in front of the supremes way too often, and was an easy way to ID a liberal judge. For the can of worms, I apologize.

> I would also add that there’s a big difference between “pro-abortion” and “anti-choice” – the first is inaccurate and the latter is not.

This, though, is a matter of one’s perspective.

> Expanding rights that heterosexuals have to include homosexuals!

Marriage isn’t a right, which is why you need to get a license for it. Neither is driving, or making a living wage, or health care, or a lot of other things that are nice. It’s a corruption of the language, and a way to obfuscate debate.

Rights are god-given and inalienable. Rights are things that you can do without any government intervention. Gays, just like straights, have the right to associate with whomever they choose, and the Supreme court extended that right to their bedrooms (rightly, in hindsight). There’s no license necessary to exercise any of the other rights granted in the first ten amendments (or the rest of the constitution), though in some states they’re coming perilously close to changing that completely for the second.

Heterosexuals who want to marry more than one other person are routinely denied marriage licenses, and even prosecuted. Yet few (except John) would suggest that their “rights” are being denied.

Comment from cynsmith
Time March 10, 2004 at 9:01 am

There may be no license necessary to exercise most of your rights, but I disagree with the government intervention – it requires government intervention to exercise my right to vote. It required government intervention to expand the right to vote to include non-landowners, minorities, and women. I still have to register with the government and bring that registration with me in order to vote.

Also, I think that marriage might fall under the “pursuit of happiness” – certainly, for me, anyway. Awwwww…

Comment from Jank
Time March 10, 2004 at 11:55 am

> it requires government intervention to exercise my right to vote

I’d argue that the “right to vote” wouldn’t be lumped in the basic category of inalineable rights. The founders were pretty clear about the idea that voting should be limited to people with vested interests in society. We’ve expanded that as a nation to conform more closely to Jefferson’s language in the Declaration, but that doesn’t change the fact that the US excludes 99% of the globe from voting here, but as long as they are in the US, they are guaranteed the rights spelled out (Almost wrote “granted”, but rights, in theory, exist independent of a specific government) in the Bill of Rights.

There are very few who would argue that we should extend the right to vote to EVERYONE inside our borders regardless of legal status, age, nationality, etc. But there are far fewer who would argue that we should deny everyone in the country free speech, free expression of religion, exemption from illegal search and seizure, etc. Voting is a priviledge we extend to citizens, and citizens only, as they are committed to the long-term well-being of the country.

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