Friday, November 19

Scalia says "Get over it"

Thanks buddy, I'll take your suggestion under advisement. Scalia was speaking to students ant the University of Michigan, as a recipient of a Helen L. DeRoy Fellowship. Antonin, regaled the audience with 'tales from the duckblind', from his famous hunting trip with Cheney, that some suggested mught serve as a conflict of interest, as he was to rule on the Cheney's hidden energy plan case, "Nah, we did not talk turky about the case, we were too busy playing grab ass......did I actually say that, just kidding kids". Later, he justified the Gore V Bush ruling, hinged on whether the 14th ammendment rights to equal protection applied to the first or last Name, and whether the first initial appeared first in the alphabet. "If we had chosen on a First name basis, of course we would have sided with Gore, but we felt that the Sirname carried the weight of ancestry and therefor represented a group related to that name, we felt that that weight was pre-eminent, and therefore had no choice but to side with GWB." [ the preceeding may or may not have been representitive of the actual content of his speech ]
November 17, 2004

ANN ARBOR -- Controversial U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia spoke to a full house at the University of Michigan on Tuesday and took the unusual step of taking questions about affirmative action and the 2000 presidential election. He peppered his answers with quips that drew laughter and some boos.

A dozen protesters, who marched through Rackham Auditorium carrying signs denouncing Scalia, briefly interrupted his speech about the philosophy of constitutional interpretation.

"Is this an accepted form of free speech?" he asked U-M Law School Dean Evan Caminker, who nodded stoically. "Can I expect another parade?"

The protesters continued their demonstration outside.

When he was asked by a member of the audience whether he would like to revisit his decision in 2000 the Al Gore/George W. Bush election dispute, Scalia cut off the questioner, saying, "I'm inclined to say it's been four years and an election. Get over it." That drew loud boos from the crowd.

"The issue is not whether the decision should have been decided in the Florida or U.S. supreme courts, but that the Constitution had been violated. ... The only decision was to put an end to it after three weeks and looking like fools to the rest of the world," Scalia said. "It was too much of a mess. The equal-protection clause had been violated because they were counting votes differently. What did you expect us to do, not take the case because it wasn't important enough?
Man I sure am glad that they were concerned about our standing in the world, wouldn't want to "look like fools to the rest of the world". And I find it interesting that the remedy to the equal-protection clause was to stop the counting entirely (a violation of the equal protection of the voters) rather than demand that a single standard be involved in the recount (violating no ones protection). Oh yeah "looking like fools". Is the court made up by eighth graders worrying about a popularity contest?

I am happy that the supreme court would consider that gwb's rights to equal protection supplanted not only his opponent, but all the voters in Florida. I guess some animals are truly "more equal" than other animals. A wonderful article on the disastous decision titled, And none dare call it treason, takes apart the decision, and it's implications on the future of the republic.
I n the December 12 ruling by the US Supreme Court handing the election to George Bush, the Court committed the unpardonable sin of being a knowing surrogate for the Republican Party instead of being an impartial arbiter of the law. If you doubt this, try to imagine Al Gore's and George Bush's roles being reversed and ask yourself if you can conceive of Justice Antonin Scalia and his four conservative brethren issuing an emergency order on December 9 stopping the counting of ballots (at a time when Gore's lead had shrunk to 154 votes) on the grounds that if it continued, Gore could suffer "irreparable harm," and then subsequently, on December 12, bequeathing the election to Gore on equal protection grounds. If you can, then I suppose you can also imagine seeing a man jumping away from his own shadow, Frenchmen no longer drinking wine.

From the beginning, Bush desperately sought, as it were, to prevent the opening of the door, the looking into the box--unmistakable signs that he feared the truth. In a nation that prides itself on openness, instead of the Supreme Court doing everything within its power to find a legal way to open the door and box, they did the precise opposite in grasping, stretching and searching mightily for a way, any way at all, to aid their choice for President, Bush, in the suppression of the truth, finally settling, in their judicial coup d'├ętat, on the untenable argument that there was a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause--the Court asserting that because of the various standards of determining the voter's intent in the Florida counties, voters were treated unequally, since a vote disqualified in one county (the so-called undervotes, which the voting machines did not pick up) may have been counted in another county, and vice versa. Accordingly, the Court reversed the Florida Supreme Court's order that the undervotes be counted, effectively delivering the presidency to Bush.
The rest of it is a highly reccomended read, for those of you who might be interested in the implications of the decision, and an understanding of one of the many ways the 14th ammendment has been used to nefarious ends. The astonishing thing is the flippant way in which a man who decries "activist judges" and favors a strict interpretation of the constitution, would suggest that we get over the most activist and curiously interpreted decision to be made by the court in at least a couple of life times.
Meanwhile, Scalia explains that we have had it wrong, and that the constitution is not a "living document", talk about having ones cake and eating it too.
"In the last 40 years, ... we've become fond of the phrase that we have a living document," Scalia said. "But if something is wrong, then change the law or change the Constitution, but don't reinterpret the Constitution." He said proponents of the living document concept and flexibility regarding the Constitution are "dead wrong."

He also said the Constitution doesn't say anything about such issues as abortion rights and assisted suicide, and that those who are for or against such measures should work to pass laws that support their views.
I wonder if anyone took this opportunity to question Scalia about the right to privacy, cause such a right, like the right to breathe is not specifically enumerated in the document, though a certain case (made no doubt by what he and dubbya would refer to as activist judges) is based on the presumption of that right (Roe v Wade).

I wonder sometimes if during the constituional convention while the bill of rights was being discussed, if some smart ass like myself, suggested an ammendment specifically enumerating the right to privacy. I can Imagine Jefferson laughing it off, suggesting that it would be tantamount to enumerating a right to breathe, and that would be ridiculous as it is an inalienable right. They might have never have concieved a tool like scalia making it to the bench.

If I managed to build a time machine, the first thing I would do would go back pick up Jefferson, Washington, Hamilton, Franklin and Monroe, hand each of them 32 oz Louisville sluggers, bring them up to speed and let them loose in D.C. When they were done cleaning house, we would be off to New York, and to the Networks (broadcast and cable).