Archive for Justice Antonin Scalia

Justice Alito said what again? "New, unwise turn" in law relies on "private professional associations"

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justice alito shakes head at SOTU smallerJustice Alito Shakes Head When Obama Criticizes Campaign Finance Decision

Wait, what? Isn't this the Supreme Court that has a corporation fetish? Isn't Justice Alito one of the conservative members who believes in privatization, corporate personhood, and equating money with free speech? As in Citizens United and McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission?

Think Progress: And he’s a strong supporter of “forced arbitration,” a practice which allows employers to shunt discrimination lawsuits into a secretive and privatized arbitration system rather than allowing those cases to be heard by a real court.

Respriv.org: For Alito, and the rest of the Court’s right-wing majority, the severity of Bartlett’s injury proved inconsequential when measured against Big Pharma’s bottom line and their interest in selling generic drugs, which account for 75% of the prescription drugs sold in the U.S.

StopTheCap.com: Justice Samuel Alito was forced to recuse himself from nearly six dozen cases brought to the Supreme Court in the last 10 months because the Alito family owns stock in many of the corporations involved in litigation.

In light of the above examples, I found the following passages ironically amusing. Via the Los Angeles Times article, Supreme Court says IQ cannot determine mental fitness in capital cases:

In dissent, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. faulted the majority for a "new and unwise turn" in the law by relying on "private professional associations" to establish constitutional values.

In the past, he said, the court had looked to states and to public opinion to judge American values. "Now the court strikes down a state law based on the evolving standards of professional societies, most notably the American Psychiatric Assn.," he said. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas agreed with him.

Whatsa matter, Judge A. and company, don't you love "private professional associations" as much as you used to? Should they feel jilted? Doesn't the NRA "unwisely" influence (read: pressure) the "constitutional values" of Congress members so heavily that they shun common sense gun laws that public opinion supports by a landslide? What do you have to say now?

crickets

Oh, but I kid Justice Alito.

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Top Republican: Go ahead Dems, change filibuster rules. Then GOP can appoint more Thomases and Scalias.

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filibuster gop filibastards

UPDATE via a Politico email alert:

Senate Republicans blocked the nomination of Nina Pillard to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, escalating the fight over President Barack Obama's judicial nominations. The Senate voted 56-41, falling shy of the 60 votes needed to advance the nomination.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, is super ultra double dog daring Senate Democrats to go nuclear on filibuster rules by changing the number of votes needed for nominees from 60 to 51. He's puffing out what little there is of his chest and actually daring them to go there. That way, he snorts, more Justice Scalias and Thomases will get appointed by the GOP.

1. Ew.

2. STFU.

Via LiveWire:

"All I can say is this -- be careful what you wish for. So if the Democrats are bent on changing the rules, then I say go ahead," he said. "There are a lot more Scalias and [Clarence] Thomases that we'd love to put on the bench. The nominees we'd nominate and put on the bench with 51 votes would interpret the constitution as it was written."

Really, Chucky? So you would join the Dems and vote "aye"? After all, you clearly believe that such a move would benefit your side.

Meantime, Republicans have blocked and blocked and blocked again. At this point, more damage is being done by all the obstruction and lack of governance than would be done by adopting new rules to allow the norm: A chance for President Obama's nominees to actually get a-- What's it called again? Oh yeah-- vote.

Instead, the GOP is preventing courts from functioning as they should, which is bad for all of us, even Republicans.

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"Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is even more scary than I realized."

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 (Credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas)(Credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas)

Today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "Scalia the 'originalist' holds court on his views," Oct. 13

Oh, wow: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is even more scary than I realized.

He implied that a reporter who was apparently surprised that Scalia believes in the devil is "out of touch with most of America" yet admits to getting his news largely from conservative talk radio. He said he ignores mainstream print media.

I do wish, though, that courts would actually follow his "originalist" philosophy when it comes to gun laws. I'm OK with people owning a musket, since it only fires one shot per loading.

Brenda Guertin

San Pedro

***

Scalia is, by far, the best argument for term limits for Supreme Court justices.

First of all, he is largely unconcerned about the influence of money in politics; he says $3.5 million given to a campaign is "not a heck of a lot of money." He admits he gets his news from talk radio, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Times but won't read the Washington Post or the New York Times because they are "so shrilly, shrilly liberal."

Scalia certainly doesn't get the fact that Thomas Jefferson's idea of separation of church and state — the necessary ingredient for democracy — is a distinctly liberal idea that conservatives are still not wiling to accept. And that the original "originalist" who wrote the the Constitution, James Madison, kept all mention of God out of the document.

Madison never mentioned the devil either.

Richard Parr

Santa Monica

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Justice [sic] Scalia: “It's not up to the courts to invent new minorities that get special protections."

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Newsflash!! The courts can actually invent new minorities! Like magic! Or so believes Supreme Court "Justice" Scalia.

Have we finally concluded that the words "justice" and "Scalia" should never be juxtaposed? Talk about an oxymoron. But I digress.

Via The Hill:

Speaking at an event sponsored by the Federalist Society in Montana, Scalia said the high court should not intervene on issues such as wiretapping and “inventing” new minorities, according to reports.

It's not up to the courts to invent new minorities that get special protections,” Scalia said, in an apparent reference to the court's recent decisions on gay marriage and federal benefits for same-sex couples.

Scalia said courts should not create new rights, leaving that to constitutional changes or to Congress.

Really, Activist Judge S.? "Create new rights"? As in civil? And equal? And voting? And women's? Those rights? So according to Scalia, those do not currently exist and must be conjured up out of thin air. How just of him.

Note to Scalia: See: Constitution, U.S. That would be the document that not only explains all those rights, but it is also the law of the land and determines that your version, the one that favors only conservative white males, is pretty skewed.

But wait! There's more! Scalia is also under the illusion that courts can "invent new minorities," implying that 1) like the GOP definition of rape, some minorities are apparently "illegitimate" and are not yet, nor should they be, recognized, and 2) discrimination and threats against these pretend minorities are mere figments of their fake-minority imaginations.

No, Judge S., minorities do actually exist and don't need to be "invented", they are and have been the targets of undeniably, indisputably real prejudice, bigotry, and injustice.

Now, can we as a country stop inventing new ultra-conservative judicial standards and creating opportunities for illegitimate judges who get special protections?

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Both sides say Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality could doom state laws

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gay rights marry who you love

Watch as Rachel Maddow and David Gregory destroy the GOP’s last argument against marriage equality:

Justice Kennedy addressed that issue specifically in his ruling. He says that by denying marriage rights to same-sex couples who have kids, you’re humiliating and demeaning those kids.

By denying their families equal protection under the law by the parents who are raising them and who love them and who make their family. So we can put it in the interests of children, but I think that cuts both ways. And the ruling cuts against that argument. I mean, gay people exist. There’s nothing we can do in public policy can do to make more of us exist or less of us exist.

And you guys for a generation have argued that public policy ought to demean gay people as a way of expressing disapproval of the fact that we exist. But you don’t make any less of us exist, you are just arguing for more discrimination. And more discrimination doesn’t make straight people’s lives any better.

But-- wait for it...

... Legal experts say Justice Scalia was probably right... and I agree.

wait what smaller

And so does Rachel Maddow:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

omg wtf

Here's the rest:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Rachel Maddow:

Scalia "was saying, you realize this ruling means gay people are going to be able to get married, right? You realize that?" Yes, Justice Scalia, we realize that...

The Hill:

Legal experts say the Supreme Court's rulings this week on same-sex marriage send the clear signal the justices are likely to strike down state marriage laws that reach the High Court. [...]

It’s hard to see Kennedy making an about-face and saying it’s not demeaning when a state does it,” [Ilya Shapiro, a senior legal fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute] said.

Scalia saw the same clues in Kennedy’s decision. He wrote a scathing dissent excoriating Kennedy’s reasoning and dismissing the court’s claim that its decision was limited to federal law.

“By formally declaring anyone opposed to same-sex marriage an enemy of human decency, the majority arms well every challenger to a state law restricting marriage to its traditional definition,” Scalia wrote [...] "As far as this Court is concerned, no one should be fooled; it is just a matter of listening and waiting for the other shoe..."

As I said at the top of this post, legal experts (and Rachel) say Justice Scalia was probably right, and I agree.

But only just this once.

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The shameless hypocrisy of Justice Antonin Scalia in one sentence

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Justice Scalia's hypocrisy is astounding. This time he only needed one measly sentence to (once again) make a mockery of his own SCOTUSitude. So much for judicial wisdom and sound judgment.

Via the Los Angeles Times:

As usual, Scalia had the most fiery dissent. He slammed the majority for "invalidating this democratically adopted legislation," referring to the Defense of Marriage Act. "That is jaw dropping. It is an assertion of judicial supremacy over the people's representatives in Congress and the Executive," he said, a day after he had joined a 5-4 majority to strike down a key part of the Voting Rights Act.

Does he have no self-awareness? None? At all?

I see hypocrites

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Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor: "I think there are many who think of judges as politicians in robes."

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Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor spoke at the Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel on history, ethics and law. In that speech, she expressed her opposition to the election of judges, saying the following, per the Chicago Tribune:

“I think there are many who think of judges as politicians in robes. In many states, that’s what they are.”

No way! Whatever could have put that crazy idea into her head? Of course that wasn't what GW Bush had in mind at all, right, when he and the GOP packed the courts with conservative judges; yet Republicans now refuse to so much as consider President Obama's judicial nominees.

O'Connor prefers to think of judges as, you know, impartial and independent, fair and unbiased. How novel.

Instead, she said, people "seem to think judges should be a reflex of the popular will" and that judges "need to avoid sitting on cases if even a whiff of bias can be detected."

Are you listening, Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito?

More at the link.

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