The US Supreme Court justice, amongst whose errors the argument that burning crosses could not be considered a hate crime; the perpetrators would have to be charged with littering instead,[1] was found dead in Texas on Saturday, the 13th of February, 2016.

Scalia was no great believer in the rule of law. He believed in what he believed in, and those who agreed with him: descendants of Puritans who were as careful to not give power to the people as they were to wrest it from England. The cult of the Founding Fathers was never more secure than when it was protected by his zeal. Politician-buying corporations, state torturers, and a Presidential candidate that fewer people voted for snuck into the Supreme Court and back out again satisfied, on his watch. Scalia was for the rule of law for the benefit of the oppressors, and he was one of the first right wingers to use the language and arguments of the oppressed for the oppressors.

A staunch supporter of States' Rights, in Bush v Gore he forbade the State of Florida's recount, dismissing the States' Rights issue and allowing Bush II's presidency.[2] Conflicting laws, he wrote in his book, should be resolved by the Executive branch, before rebuking Obama for doing just that.[2]

Troy Davis' death row case had shown him innocent, with seven of nine witnesses recanting their incriminating testimony. Justice Stevens held that this amounted to substantial evidence that he was innocent, but Scalia was in the "denial" phase of the proceedings, preferring the earlier phase of history in which Scalia's opinion that he was guilty was still backed by the existing evidence:

"This court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is 'actually' innocent"[2]

And in another case, an identical sentiment, even more tellingly phrased:

“Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.”

To those who are secure in the truth, the awkwardness of Scalia's defenses of the right are, like Ronald Reagan's, so great as to cut straight to the heart of the problem. The following is a succinct summation of the hypocrisy of those for whom "class warfare" is something that the lower classes do, which is bad because it gets in the way of the upper classes' war on the poor. Scalia implores us good people to not upset the imbalance:

"We do not all start life on an even playing field. But the rules are that we play it by the rules of honesty and ethics." - Antonin Scalia, Ethics in America series, PBS[3]

In short, be unethically inegalitarian. Lie, calling this moral. Expect all to capitulate to inequity and call it fairness, despite the natural ability to see these wrongs and the natural instinct to act to redress the imbalance. Then unfairly judge this as dishonest.

One of the weapons of choice for extremists is the fait accompli or the appeal to history. It is not I who is advocating this, it is inevitable, or Caesar. Some people say...not me, of course, I would never say that. Of course, Scalia was never one to just say it, he had to rebuke people who might disagree with it beforehand, and rather than relying on the benefit of hindsight, he gazed into his crystal ball and foretold the future. ""You are kidding yourself if you think the same thing will not happen again," he said, referring to Korematsu v. United States, the Supreme Court decision that went way beyond thought crime to imprison Japanese Americans en masse, without investigation or trial. Certainly thousands had emotional attachment to their homeland as well as their adopted home. Many may have had strong feelings about it. Some, it is conceivable, may have wished to act on it. But we cannot say for certain that any would have done so in a way that was harmful. In the presence of reasonable doubt, no one can be imprisoned, but Scalia would not interdict his opinion in the face of a recurrence of this injustice; on the contrary, he offered his opinion that it would not only be normal for a future Supreme Court to do it again, but inevitable.[4]

  • Who are these Supreme Court Justice guys, anyway:? "Evidently, the governing standard is to be what might be called the unfettered wisdom of a majority of this Court, revealed to an obedient people on a case-by-case basis." (dissenting in Morrison v. Olson)
    • As a Supreme Court justice, I hereby declare that Supreme Court justices have too much power: "It is one of the unhappy incidents of the federal system that a self-righteous Supreme Court, acting on its Members' personal view of what would make a 'more perfect Union' (a criterion only slightly more restrictive than a 'more perfect world') can impose its own favored social and economic dispositions nationwide." (dissenting in Wikipedia:United States v. Virginia)
  • Slippery slope argument: Camel's Nose/Boiling frog, Thin end of the wedge etc):
    • Take this thing that annoys me away, lest it do something different to annoy you. "Those who believe that racial preferences can help to 'even the score' display, and reinforce, a manner of thinking about race that was the source of the injustice and that will, if it endures within our society, be the source of more injustice still." -emphasis added- (concurring in Richmond v. Croson Co.)
    • If we are painted with the same brush, do we not breed?: "If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?"[2]
  • Please do not look while I sneak this in. Okay, you can look now. OMG, look, someone else, not me, snuck this in!: "The tradition of having government-funded military schools for men is as well rooted in the traditions of this country as the tradition of sending only men into military combat. The people may decide to change the one tradition, like the other, through democratic processes; but the assertion that either tradition has been unconstitutional through the centuries is not law, but politics-smuggled-into-law." (dissenting in Wikipedia:United States v. Virginia)
  • Sodomy is addictive: "[The Texas anti-sodomy statute] undoubtedly imposes constraints on liberty. So do laws prohibiting prostitution, recreational use of heroin, and, for that matter, working more than 60 hours per week in a bakery. But there is no right to 'liberty' under the Due Process Clause, though today's opinion repeatedly makes that claim. . . . The Fourteenth Amendment expressly allows States to deprive their citizens of 'liberty,' so long as 'due process of law' is provided. . . ." (dissenting in Wikipedia:Lawrence v. Texas)
  • Parental responsibilities of the Founding Fathers: "The notion that the Constitution of the United States, designed, among other things, 'to establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, . . . and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,' prohibits the States from simply banning this visibly brutal means of eliminating our half-born posterity is quite simply absurd." (dissenting in Stenberg v. Carhart)
  • Difficult Supreme Power: "My difficulty with Wikipedia:Roe v. Wade is a legal rather than a moral one. I do not believe – and no one believed for 200 years – that the Constitution contains a right to abortion. And if a state were to permit abortion on demand, I would and could in good conscience vote against an attempt to invalidate that law, for the same reason that I vote against invalidation of laws that contradict Wikipedia:Roe v. Wade; namely, simply because the Constitution gives the federal government and, hence, me no power over the matter." (Speaking engagement, date undetermined).
  • I don't like what you did with our bulldozer: "In Barnette, we held that a public school student could not be compelled to recite the Pledge; we did not even hint that she could not be compelled to observe respectful silence. . . . Logically, that ought to be the next target for the Court's bulldozer." (dissenting in Wikipedia:Lee v. Weisman)
  • Women live longer. They can wait longer for equality: "It is hard to consider women a 'discrete and insular minority' unable to employ the 'political processes ordinarily to be relied upon' when they constitute a majority of the electorate. And the suggestion that they are incapable of exerting that political power smacks of the same paternalism that the Court so roundly condemns." (dissenting in Wikipedia:United States v. Virginia)
  • Mr. Scalia's Backwater Bandwagon And Historical Reenactment Society Cordially Invites You: "You're looking at me as though I'm weird. My god! Are you so out of touch with most of America, most of which believes in the devil? I mean, Jesus Christ believed in the devil! It's in the Gospels! You travel in circles that are so, so removed from mainstream America that you are appalled that anybody would believe in the devil! Most of mankind has believd in the devil, for all of history. Many more intelligent people than you or me have believed in the devil."
  • You have nothing to hide but your chains: "How frightening it must be to have your own independent counsel and staff appointed, with nothing else to do but to investigate you until investigation is no longer worthwhile." (dissenting in Morrison v. Olson)
  • Do what God says, not what I do: "In my view, a right of parents to direct the upbringing of their children is among the 'unalienable Rights' with which the Declaration of Independence proclaims 'all Men . . . are endowed by their Creator.'" (dissenting in Troxer v. Granville)
  • On executing minors: "Bound down, indeed. What a mockery today's opinion makes of Hamilton's expectation, announcing the Court's conclusion that the meaning of our Constitution has changed over the past 15 years—not, mind you, that this Court's decision 15 years ago was wrong, but that the Constitution has changed. The Court reaches this implausible result by purporting to advert, not to the original meaning of the Eighth Amendment, but to "the evolving standards of decency," ante, at 6 (internal quotation marks omitted), of our national society. It then finds, on the flimsiest of grounds, that a national consensus which could not be perceived in our people's laws barely 15 years ago now solidly exists.
Worse still, the Court says in so many words that what our people's laws say about the issue does not, in the last analysis, matter: "[I]n the end our own judgment will be brought to bear on the question of the acceptability of the death penalty under the Eighth Amendment." Ante, at 9 (internal quotation marks omitted). The Court thus proclaims itself sole arbiter of our Nation's moral standards—and in the course of discharging that awesome responsibility purports to take guidance from the views of foreign courts and legislatures. Because I do not believe that the meaning of our Eighth Amendment, any more than the meaning of other provisions of our Constitution, should be determined by the subjective views of five Members of this Court and like-minded foreigners, I dissent.
Words have no meaning if the views of less than 50 percent of death penalty States can constitute a national consensus. Our previous cases have required overwhelming opposition to a challenged practice, generally over a long period of time. (dissenting in Simmons v. Roper)

Scalia supported public funds for private (95% Catholic) schools, making the rich and religious as well as corporations an increasingly common type of welfare recipient. He objected to the Lemon Test that substantiated curtailment of this funding

  • "As to the Court's invocation of the Lemon test: Like some ghoul in a late-night horror movie that repeatedly sits up in its grave and shuffles abroad, after being repeatedly killed and buried, Lemon stalks our Wikipedia:Establishment Clause jurisprudence once again, frightening the little children and school attorneys of Center Moriches Union Free School District. Its most recent burial, only last Term, was, to be sure, not fully six feet under: Our decision in Wikipedia:Lee v. Weisman conspicuously avoided using the supposed "test" but also declined the invitation to repudiate it. Over the years, however, no fewer than five of the currently sitting Justices have, in their own opinions, personally driven pencils through the creature's heart (the author of today's opinion repeatedly), and a sixth has joined an opinion doing so.
The secret of the Lemon test's survival, I think, is that it is so easy to kill. It is there to scare us (and our audience) when we wish it to do so, but we can command it to return to the tomb at will. Such a docile and useful monster is worth keeping around, at least in a somnolent state; one never knows when one might need him." —Justice Scalia's concurring opinion in Lamb's Chapel v. Center Moriches Union Free School District, 508 U.S. 384, 398-99 (1993) (citations omitted).
  • Corruption cannot comprehend Virtue: "The Court's statement that it is 'tempting' to acknowledge the authoritativeness of tradition in order to 'curb the discretion of federal judges" is, of course, rhetoric rather than reality; no government official is 'tempted' to place restraints upon his own freedom of action, which is why Lord Acton did not say 'Power tends to purify.' The Court's temptation is in the quite opposite and more natural direction -- towards systematically eliminating checks upon its own power; and it succumbs." Wikipedia:Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992)
  • "Many think it not only inevitable but entirely proper that liberty give way to security in times of national crisis--that, at the extremes of military exigency, inter arma silent leges. Whatever the general merits of the view that war silences law or modulates its voice, that view has no place in the interpretation and application of a Constitution designed precisely to confront war and, in a manner that accords with democratic principles, to accommodate it." Wikipedia:Hamdi v. Rumsfeld (2004)
  • Details, details: "I find it a sufficient embarrassment that our Establishment Clause jurisprudence regarding holiday displays has come to require scrutiny more commonly associated with interior decorators than with the judiciary." (dissenting in Wikipedia:Lee v. Weisman)
  • Orgy, please"I even accept for the sake of argument that sexual orgies eliminate social tensions and ought to be encouraged.[5]
    • ..But not nude orgies: "Perhaps the dissenters believe that 'offense to others' ought to be the only reason for restricting nudity in public places generally. . . . The purpose of Indiana's nudity law would be violated, I think, if 60,000 fully consenting adults crowded into the Hoosierdome to display their genitals to one another, even if there were not an offended innocent in the crowd." (concurring in Wikipedia:Barnes v. Glen Theatre, Inc.)
  • Refining your argument is unfair to my ad nauseum: "The Court's reliance upon stare decisis (adhering to judicial precedent) can best be described as contrived. It insists upon the necessity of adhering not to all of Roe, but only to what it calls the 'central holding.' It seems to me that stare decisis ought to be applied even to the doctrine of stare decisis, and I confess never to have heard of this new, keep-what-you-want-and-throw-away-the-rest version." (dissenting in Wikipedia:Planned Parenthood v. Casey)
  • Linking gays, pedophiles and child abusers [6]
  • Minorities might not be able to academically compete[7]
  • My family has been litterbugs and arsonists for generations, I resent that: "local governments . . . may prohibit littering or arson on people's lawns, but they may not single out racially motivated acts, such as cross burning for criminalization."[1]

Individual cases Edit

  • Atkins v. Virginia: "Today's decision is the pinnacle of our Eighth Amendment death-is-different jurisprudence. Not only does it, like all of that jurisprudence, find no support in the text or history of the Eighth Amendment; it does not even have support in current social attitudes regarding the conditions that render an otherwise just death penalty inappropriate. Seldom has an opinion of this Court rested so obviously upon nothing but the personal views of its members." (dissenting in Wikipedia:Atkins v. Virginia)

  • National Endowment for the Arts v. Finley: OK, not suppression. What, then? Or why, for that matter?: "Avant-garde artistes such as respondents remain entirely free to épater les bourgeois [shock the middle classes]; they are merely deprived of the additional satisfaction of having the bourgeoisie taxed to pay for it. It is preposterous to equate the denial of taxpayer subsidy with measures 'aimed at the suppression of dangerous ideas.'" (concurring in National Endowment for the Arts v. Finley)

Scalia is survived by his wife and Nine children.

Links Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 College Term Papers. "local governments . . . may prohibit littering or arson on people's lawns, but they may not single out racially motivated acts, such as cross burning for criminalization." - The Act for Protection from Verbal Assaults
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Young Turks
  3. Third Episode; Scalia's quote is the first voice heard on each episode
  4. Internment camps
  5. " September 28, 2004 at Wikipedia:Harvard University as reported by The Harvard Crimson
  6. Linking gays, pedophiles and child abusers
  7. Minorities "might not be able to academically compete"

Wikipedia:Category:United States court of appeals judges appointed by Ronald Reagan Wikipedia:Category:United States federal judges appointed by Ronald Reagan Wikipedia:Category:United States Supreme Court justices

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