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Revolting and Justice Scalia

What a week Justice Scalia is having. He’s all over the place selling the dream. Like a detestable version of Bill Murray, no one will ever believe you when you tell them he’s a Supreme Court justice.

Just this past Thursday, he was participating in a discussion with Harvard’s Marvin Kalb in which Justice Ginsburg also participated, and he answered a question from a member of the audience who asked, ‘why he is the way he is,’ to which Scalia replied, “the Devil makes me do it.”

Score one for Satan!

And, now, it turns out that spreading the message of selective jurisprudence is a full-time gig for this originalist from a bygone era.

On Tuesday, during a speaking engagement at the University of Tennessee’s law school, Justice Scalia was asked about the constitutionality of the federal income tax, and Scalia said it was constitutional, “but if it reaches a certain point, perhaps you should revolt.”

“You’re entitled to criticize the government, and you can use words, you can use symbols, you can use telegraph, you can use Morse code, you can burn a flag,” said Scalia.

Yes, criticize all you want, America. You can use words, symbols, loaded weapons, threats of violence, the telegraph(?) and Morse code, and you can even burn a flag!

While you’re doing that, dear, sweet, Democracy, his people will be over there “criticizing” the Defense Of Marriage Act and the Voting Rights Act (which Scalia described last year as “the perpetuation of racial entitlement“) with hundreds of millions of “symbols” and telegraph ads.

Symbols, speech, and expression are fine, unless they say “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” on them.

After ruling in the Citizens United case, Scalia was quoted as saying, “Thomas Jefferson would have said the more speech the better.”

Last year, when defending the theory of “Originalism” while pretending to understand what judicial activism is, Justice Scalia warned that it was judicial activism that led to the Holocaust, arguing, “Who in a democratic society should have the power to determine the government’s view of what natural law is? In an open, democratic society, the people can debate these issues.” He’s so above it.

Which is weird, since, according to Scalia, Democracy can certainly decide for itself, without the intervention of activist judges, things like Bush v Gore. A decision that ruled in favor of George W. Bush who went on to appoint two conservatives judges to agree with Justice Scalia as a general principle for life. Because Democracy!

But as it is with the perpetually static man living in an evolving world, he went on to tell the aspiring young lawyers in Tennessee, ”The Constitution is not a living organism for Pete’s sake, it’s a law. It means what it meant when it was adopted.”

Yeah, for Pete’s sake! The Constitution is not a living organism! It’s dead tissue, babe! As dead as the day it was ratified. The doors for redress are now closed. Thank you for flying with Crash & Burn Airlines.

Only, there’s this thing called the Bill Of Rights, which is somewhere in the constitution, and with those enumerated rights comes the Ninth Amendment, which states:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

It lives and breaths as it was intended.

An amendable document can never be dead, and the purveyors of this comically-absurd myth are either fools, or liars.

So, lesson for all you kids and Tea Party delinquents out there: If you don’t like the law, just protest it with signs and symbols, or revolt against your country. But when it comes to voting and elections, or deciding our leaders and laws for ourselves, just leave all that up to your Supreme Court overlords. Wingnuts know best?

  • Badgerite

    Scalia has been like the ‘Donald Rumsfeld’ of law for a long time now because his vaunted basis of being against judicial activism, that is that the express intent of the framers should be controlling, has been shown to be a bit of a sham by all of the, you know, judicial activism that he and the Brethren have engaged in lately. Bush v Gore was just the start. I am pretty sure there is no mention in the United States Constitution as to the rights of person hood and citizenship to be bestowed on a corporation. Especially a for profit corporation. I guess that would fall, constitutionally, somewhere in the category of those ‘known knowns or known unknowns’.

    • Ashes Defacto

      It’s worse than that. There never was any court decision setting the precedence of corporate personhood. An examination of the decision sited revealed that it was shoved into the case notes by a corrupt supreme court clerk. The troubling part is that in the nearly century and a half since reactionary court judges keep doubling down on this.

      • Badgerite

        And what’s more, if the law becomes so far detached from the lives of the people who inhabit its society, at some point, it becomes irrelevant to those people. It is about an authoritarian pronouncement from on high. Not about freedom and not about the rights of we the people. I think the Court is going way too far in that direction right now. It is bad for the long term health of the country. In arguing for a ‘dead’ constitution, he argues for a dead society.
        And against everything that makes Americans vital as a people and as a society.

      • Badgerite

        Hey, would you have a link to that information? I’d be interested in reading more about it.

        • Ashes Defacto

          No link but it’s detailed in a book titled “Unequal Protection”.

          • Badgerite

            Thanks. A book title is even better. I shall look for it.

          • Badgerite

            The one by Thom Hartmann, Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and The Theft of Human Rights.
            I assume.

  • Christopher Foxx

    Scalia: ““You’re entitled to criticize the government, and you can use words, you can use symbols, you can use telegraph, you can use Morse code, you can burn a flag.”

    Mr Brink: “Yes, criticize all you want, America. You can use words, symbols, loaded weapons, threats of violence, the telegraph(?) and Morse code, and you can even burn a flag!

    Who said anything about loaded weapons or violence, Mr B?

    I don’t like or agree with Scalia’s “reasoning” in his decisions. But if you have claim someone said something they didn’t say to make your point, then all you’re demonstrating is that your point can’t really be made.

    • mrbrink

      We haven’t been lacking for armed demonstrations and threats of violence disguised as “protest” in this country since 2008.

      • Christopher Foxx

        And that has what to do with Scalia’s comments?

        You’re continuing to try to insert calls for and threats of violence into what he said, and they simply aren’t there. If you don’t like Scalia, that’s fine (and completely understandable). But you’re wandering way off to try to make his comments something they just weren’t.

        • mrbrink

          Wandering “way off?”

          Your mistake is that you seem to think Scalia isn’t a product of this violent movement called “Movement conservatism.”

          • Christopher Foxx

            I’m not disagreeing about what Scalia is. Only about what he said here. That’s what you’re wandering off of.

            If Ted Nugent said “Folks should fight City Hall.” I’d disagree with someone who said that, a common enough phrase, was him calling for armed revolt. Whether he’s an unrepentant asshole, obvious coward and product of the Tea Party movement (I’d agree he’s all of those) wouldn’t really change that what he said there wasn’t a call to violence.

          • mrbrink

            Ted Nugent might as well be sitting on the court.

  • muselet

    And to think, Antonin Scalia was going to convince the other Supreme Court justices to move Right, then was going to become Chief Justice by acclamation and would reframe all of constitutional law, all on the strength of his towering intellect.

    That prediction might have made sense, had Scalia not been a crabby, sarcastic reactionary. Boy, did we dodge a bullet.


    • D_C_Wilson

      Wow. That sounds like the kind of prediction Bill Kristol would make.

      • muselet

        Righties really believed it, or at least they hoped it with all their black, shriveled little hearts.


  • Victor_the_Crab

    There will be joyous celebrations on the streets when that fat pig finally meets up with Satan and spends eternity in Hell for his sins.

  • Ashes Defacto

    Scalia is revolting, just leave it at that.