I’m pretty good at holding my tongue when public figures I don’t care for die. The Ronald Reagan death orgy went on for days and days and reached a level of hysteria close to that of Princess Diana’s. I finally cracked when his daughter, Patti, took time from her grieving to publish some awful thing in People magazine about how her father emerged from his Alzheimer’s in his final moments to gaze in to Nancy’s eyes and…something. I forget. It seemed to cross a line to the point that I no longer felt the need to hold my tongue, although at that point, what is there to say? Everyone’s going where Scalia is now, and in the end, all will be revealed.
Anyway, I can’t keep up and have no special insight. To my mind, Scalia was a retrograde Catholic, unworried about the rights and lives of anyone who wasn’t. But his kind is going away, the way old ways yield to new ones. The next week will be difficult, and once he’s planted after his Mass of Christian burial, the nomination will happen and the rest of it will be an e-ticket to Crazytown. We live in interesting times.
Couple of pieces here, first Charles Pierce, stating the obvious:
In 2012, the “American people” decided that Barack Obama should appoint justices to the Supreme Court to fill any vacancies that occurred between January of 2013 and January of 2017. Period. Just because Mitch McConnell is a complete chickenshit in the face of his caucus doesn’t obviate that fact. The 36 percent of eligible voters who showed up for the 2014 midterms, the lowest percentage in 72 years, don’t get to cancel out the expressed wishes of the majority of the 57.5 percent of eligible voters who turned out to re-elect the president in 2012. And before this meme really picks up steam, 17 justices have been confirmed during election years, including Roger Taney, which sucks, in 1836, Lewis Powell and William Rehnquist, who were appointed in 1972, and Anthony Kennedy, who was appointed in 1988.
(And it should not be necessary to point out that any argument made by this Congress on the basis of political tradition or legislative politesse inevitably will cause Irony to shoot itself in the head.)
That whole piece is good. Read.
One of our locals, Stephen Henderson:
In 2003, when the court ruled that sodomy laws – long used to persecute gay Americans — were unconstitutional, Scalia penned one of the most fiery and petulant dissents in court history. It turned, rather cruelly, on the notion that gay equality could not be lawfully embraced by the court because the founders had not envisioned it, and the people had not voted to make it so.
The court, he said, had signed on to the “homosexual agenda” aimed at overturning the “moral opprobrium attached to homosexual conduct.”
That happened at the end of my first term covering the high court. Like many others, I sat in the courtroom, listening in disbelief and disgust as Scalia angrily read his dissent. In the four subsequent court terms I spent in Washington, I never again looked at him, listened to him thunder in court, or read his decisions without that day in my mind.
Hell, there are probably a million smart Scalia pieces out there. Post your own.
I leave you with this bit of sparkling genius from Ben Carson. It seems an appropriate way to start the week.