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Hard to believe (not!) but Justice Scalia doesn't believe in a right of privacy (unless you are Dick Cheney of a major corporation trying to defeat Democrats by funding astro-turf PACs -- see, for example, the recent Citizens United decision).  He also believes the Founders intended for "religion" (I wonder which one?) to play an important role in Government.

He made these comments yesterday to a bunch of law students.  He said we are free to discriminate against Gays and Lesbians if our legislatures choose to do so.  I swear it's all perfectly true:

(via Booman Tribune)

The U.S. Constitution does not outlaw sex discrimination or discrimination based on sexual orientation, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told a law school audience in San Francisco on Friday.

"If the current society wants to outlaw discrimination by sex, you have legislatures," Scalia said during a 90-minute question-and-answer session with a professor at UC Hastings College of the Law. He said the same was true of discrimination against gays and lesbians. [...]

He also described the legal underpinnings of the court's 1965 ruling declaring a constitutional right of privacy - the basis for Roe vs. Wade - as a "total absurdity."

Yes, your privacy rights are at risk. Your right to choose with whom to have sexual relations, who you can marry, whether you may use birth control or not, whether you can have have an abortion or not, and perhaps even the religion you are allowed to practice (if it isn't a "Christian" denomination) are considered "absurd" in Scalia's eyes.  Corporations and other "fictional persons, may have the right to contribute unlimited amounts of money to astro-turf Political Action Committees to defeat the candidates they don't like (primarily Democrats), and then hide the fact that they made those contributions (and the amount they contributed) from the public, but you, a real human being are merely an object for Scalia's scorn, and your rights are subject to the whims of the "majority" (i.e., whatever nutcases can get themselves elected to local, state and federal offices).

Here's what Scalia had to say about religion's proper role in our government:

"You do not need the Constitution to reflect the views of current society," he said during a wide-ranging interview with Hastings professor Calvin Massey. "I interpret it the way it was understood by society at the time." [...]

His answers provided a glimpse into the opinions that have made him a target for liberal groups. Early U.S. leaders intended religion to play a major part in the government, Scalia said.

"Don't tell me that the framers of the American Constitution never had that in mind," he said, adding that the United States is superior to some other countries because it "does God honor."

"It's not unconstitutional," he said.

I suspect he was only talking about religions based on a faith in Jesus Christ and maybe Jews.  After all, he said you can only look to the views of the people at the time the Constitution was drafted and ratified, and in his mind (if not in fact) they were all Christians of some sort.  

And don't kid yourself that Scalia is the only one who holds these views who sits on the Supreme Court. Alito, Roberts and Thomas all believe the same things, they just don't mouth off about them as much. Yet of the four, only Thomas faced a serious attempt to derail his nomination, and that had nothing to do with his extremist judicial philosophy.

The GOP, on the other hand attacks mercilessly every Democratic  President's appointee to the court, whether liberal or moderate. Something for you Dem elected officials (and voters too) to think about if you want to protect your rights. Because, as Scalia makes clear in these comments and in the Court's recent Citizens United decision, Corporations are more important than real people in the eyes of the four most extreme justices on the court.

This is why it pays to fight to retain Dems in the House, Senate and especially in the Oval Office.  You may not like how undisciplined the Dems are as a Party, or their flirtations with corporate interests.  You may not like the many instances where conservative Dems failed to support the President's agenda or the times that he himself failed to fully support the goals of the progressive base of the party.  You probably still remember the way Dem Senators rolled over during the Bush presidency to allow the Alito and Roberts' nominations to go through with hardly a fight.  

However, allowing Republican control of any branch of government is detrimental to the safety and security of our nation and most especially to the rights and freedoms of individuals who don't have an "Inc." after their name.  We have all seen the candidates the Republicans are running this Fall.  Do you really want Rand Paul and Christine O'Donnell and Sharron Angle, extremists all and all of them opposed to our civil liberties (except those guaranteed by the Second Amendment it seems), in the Senate?

If you really want to protect your freedoms (and not merely those of AT&T, BP, Exxon, Bank of America or Goldman Sachs, for example) we the people have to choose Representatives, Senators and Presidents that respect our right to privacy. Right now we are one vote away in the Supreme Court from losing what little privacy rights we still have because four Justices believe that the Government has the right to legislate what you can and cannot do as a "free" citizen of this nation.

Maybe that doesn't matter to the "Restore America" crowd, but it matters to me. And it should matter to you.

Originally posted to Steven D on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:05 AM PDT.

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    by Steven D on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:05:48 AM PDT

  •  The Catholic Cabal is what is scary . . . . (31+ / 0-)

    6 out of 9???? WTF.  Especially what with 4 EXTREME Catholics - one conservative, one moderate.  Jeepers . . .

    "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

    by bobdevo on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:12:54 AM PDT

    •  Scalia being an asshole has nothing to do with (45+ / 0-)

      his religion ! They are 2 billions catholics around the world I doubt that we all share the same opinion !

      Republicans secret dream = the impeachment of Bo the Dog LOL

      by LaurenMonica on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:16:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not a fan of your bigotry (11+ / 0-)

      The conservatives are wrong because they're wrong, not because they're Catholic.  Justice Brennan would like to have a word with you.

      •  They're Catholic Because They're Wrong (7+ / 0-)

        Scalia's position on abortion is precisely the official and orthodox position of the Catholic Church of which he is a member. It's not bigotry to note that they're connected. It's not like we just assume Scalia is anti-choice simply because he's a member of the Church. His embrace of the fundamentalist church and his rejection of abortion choice are both expressions of his fundamentalist ideology. An ideology which was formed by his membership in the church since shortly after birth.

        When a Scientologist insists everyone's destiny is strictly determined by their IQ, it's not bigotry to say that's some crazy Scientology talking. It's accuracy.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:38:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But, wait. (5+ / 0-)

          Brennan and Sotomayor are Catholics as well.

        •  Oh bullshit (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The Catholic church is not the only church which holds that position on abortion, nor is Christianity . And being a Catholic does not predestine one to embrace the entirety of Catholic doctrine - take my wife, for example: a Catholic who strongly supports a woman's right to control her own body.

          What's more, it's clearly the case that people's choice of church is very strongly informed by their upbrining. Scalia was Catholic before he was wrong. His embrace of fundamentalism was his own choice, but absolutely not one that required him to be a Catholic as a precondition: fundamentalism exists in pretty much every religion and almost all denominations. There are fundamentalist Hindus FFS!

          And hell, even Scientologists retain the ability to make a personal decision whether or not to accept items of Scientological "orthodoxy". But Scientology exhibits more cultish attributes than does the Catholic church, it's not fair to equate them.

          •  Your Bullshit (0+ / 0-)

            When the Supreme Court justice agrees precisely with the official Catholic Church doctrine, when that justice explains that their religion necessarily forms their jurisprudence, they are therefore anti-abortion because they are Catholic. The difference between Catholic catechism and Scientology indoctrination is only one of degree, mainly that the Catholic Church is much more popular and older than the Scientology church.

            Your foul language doesn't give your weak argument any more strength. In fact it weakens it, and destroys my interest in further discussion with you.


            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

            by DocGonzo on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 04:55:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You completely failed to support your argument (0+ / 0-)

              You claimed Scalia was "Catholic because he was wrong".

              It's an entirely bogus notion, and your complete failure to support it is most likely a result of it being completely unsupportable.

              The modern Catholic church does not keep their religious texts secret and demand increasing monetary payments for access to incremental portions of the text. That's one clear way in which Scientology is cultish in a way that Catholicism plainly isn't.

              If you want me to stop calling bullshit, stop spouting it in support of a bigoted position.

              •  Bullshit (0+ / 0-)

                Yeah, and "Catholic" isn't spelled "Scientology", either. The differences you're raising are irrelevant to whether an indoctrinated Catholic whose professional decisions completely agree with that indoctrination is any different from an indoctrinated Scientologist making professional decisions that completely agree with their indoctrination. And when either of those followers choose to make those decisions, and there are plenty who don't, they are not just wrong because they're religious, they're also religious because they're wrong.

                You just don't like seeing the Catholic Church's prestige ignored when its indoctrination is compared to one that everyone knows is a cult. The bigotry here is yours.

                "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                by DocGonzo on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 08:34:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You have no idea what a cult is, do you? (0+ / 0-)

                  Or bigotry, for that matter.

                  Very uninteresting.

                  I don't give a hoot about the "prestige" of the Catholic church. I do care about the repeated assertions of a position that logically requires (due to your use of "because" in both directions) the belief that all Catholics are like Scalia, and everyone like Scalia is Catholic - neither is remotely close to true, and the tarring of over a billion people with one brush is bigoted.

                  •  Ideas (0+ / 0-)

                    Of course I do. Your empty questions offer no insights into it.

                    I never said that all Catholics are orthodox, and indeed I just explicitly said that there are plenty who aren't.

                    This is going nowhere because you're fool enough to shove your bullshit about what I just said back at me like I'll believe it.

                    You can have your bullshit all to yourself. Goodbye.

                    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                    by DocGonzo on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 09:53:11 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You also have no idea what "explicitly" means (0+ / 0-)

                      Fine, I'll use a declarative statement instead of an "empty question". You have no idea what you're talking about: you used the words "cult", "bigotry" and "explicitly" in ways entirely incompatible with their correct meaning, implying that you simply don't know those meanings, or are simply so full of yourself you don't bother to check whether what you're saying makes the slightest bit of sense.

                      In fact not only did you not "just explicitly say" that there are plenty of Catholics who are not orthodox, you didn't even say anything which implied that.

                      You made an insupportable statement, and when confronted with it, threw ad hominems at me, and tried to deny that you said what you said - kinda foolish when it's still sitting right there on the page. That is why this is going nowhere - you're incapable of taking it anywhere.

          •  qwerty (0+ / 0-)
            'There are fundamentalist Hindus FFS!'

            Not really. I'd estimate that 90% of the believing or agnostic Hindus span the left half of the American left-right political ideology spectrum.

            Hindu religion is not expansionist (non-proselytizing, by and large), does not condemn other religions (or their followers) or atheism. In fact, Hinduism encourages people to follow any chosen path towards spirituality, and hence it is also inherently secular. Tolerance (scripturally, as well as, by and large, in practice), a suggested preference for vegetarianism, pro-environmentalism, yoga/meditation (seeking inner spirituality), etc, are some of the progressive ideals and ideas that are built into Hinduism (one can, in fact, argue that Hinduism is one of the sources of those ideas found in the West and elsewhere.)

            Having arisen out of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism share similar features. However, Buddha's teachings, when followed closely, inherently lead to ascetism, which is fine if that's what you seek, but Hinduism, whose prescribed way of life (as depicted in the various yogas) allows for real-world living, is more practical to follow (which I think explains why Hinduism won the debate of ideas between it and Buddhism in India some 2000 years ago.) Besides, Hinduism is more of an umbrella of faith traditions and philosophical thought, instead of being a dictatorially monolithic organized religion.

            Last but not least, Hinduism doesn't have a history of being anti-science.

            India and America share a mutually beneficial trade and economic relationship.

            by iceweasel on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:06:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  'ascetism' (0+ / 0-)

              India and America share a mutually beneficial trade and economic relationship.

              by iceweasel on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:07:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  And yet in some parts of India (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Hindus have blown themselves up in ongoing sectarian conflicts. It's absurd based on the actual central tenets of their religion, but that's true of most fundamentalism - which was exactly my point.

              •  qwerty (1+ / 0-)
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                Suicide bombings are rare in India, but the most significant one of them was that used to assassinate Rajiv Gandhi. The suicide bomber in that case was one Tenmozhi Rajaratnam, who is a Christian convert belonging to the LTTE terrorist organization (which was a secular Marxist separatist organization that operated in Sri Lanka, and it had many anti-Hindu ideological leanings.)

                India and America share a mutually beneficial trade and economic relationship.

                by iceweasel on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 09:52:26 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I know all that, and you're right, but... (0+ / 0-)

                  You do nothing to disprove the existence of Hindu fundamentalists by citing examples of the existence of non-Hindu fundamentalists, nor even by claiming them to be rare.

                  Despite the fact that it's plainly against the core beliefs of Hinduism, people purporting to be Hindus have engaged in violent sectarian acts.

                  Fundamentalism is not unique to any one religion or denomination, and does not actually require textual support. That's my point.

                  •  qwerty (1+ / 0-)
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                    BTW, lest you misunderstand me. I actually love Jesus (or the concept of Jesus), and that's because the teachings attributed to Jesus are humanitarian and progressive ideals such as caring for the needy. What Hindus don't appreciate in organized Church/Christianity are the expansionist aspects and elements in it, such as organized proselytizing.

                    My own views on faith and religion. I am an agnostic with a Hindu background. What I'd like to see the world evolve to be is one in which, hopefully, all of the people are free-thinking rational beings. However, I do feel that there is such a thing as spirituality and a (present) human need for seeking and exploring it. To me, that spirituality can be located and rooted essentially in nature, and I consider that Mother Nature is a pretty good model for divinity, one that you can touch, feel, see, cherish and love.

                    "Despite the fact that it's plainly against the core beliefs of Hinduism, people purporting to be Hindus have engaged in violent sectarian acts."

                    There has been much communal unrest and violence in India. That much you can say. But who the original aggressor in those conflicts (individually or collectively) has been is not something a casual outside observer can easily judge (or ascribe accurately to things potential sources such as "fundamentalism," be it real, perceived or imagined), especially in a media environment that exist today (Indian and international media outlets, the missionary publications, propaganda by some Islamists, etc) which is nearly entirely and uniformly biased against Hindus and Hinduism.

                    I was mostly out of touch with what was going on in India until recently, but what I have learned since I started taking a closer look last year is that, Hinduism is under an intense barrage of attacks from a multitude of angles (which has lead to a defensive pro-Hindu movement, by those that are concerned about the goings on; see the Orissa research report below, in particular, given your likely/possible POV on this), which would take a much longer comment to explain at length here. However, here is some material from non-Hindu/western writers, going through which may give you some idea of the reality of the situation as Hindus are faced with:

                    -- Indologist Koenraad Elst's (Dr. Elst a Belgian/Flemish Catholic) extensive writings on India and communally complex matters:

                    -- Will Hinduism survive the present Christian offensive? By Francois Gautier (a French national and a Catholic):

                    -- Orissa in the Crossfire-Kandhamal Burning, by Brannon Parker (an American researcher and writer). A detailed report:

                    -- A video documentary by Pia Skov (a Scandinavian) on the missionary conversion activity in India. YouTube: part 1, part 2, part 3

                    Gandhi himself had said the following on organized conversion activities (which target Hindus, mainly, in India. Sikhs, Muslims and others simply won't put up with it one bit, if they are made the targets for conversion!), which is still very much applicable today:

                    Gandhi on Proselytism

                    Interview to a Missionary Nurse May 11 1935 (pdf, Page 48)

                    Would you prevent missionaries coming to India in order to baptize?

                    Who am I to prevent them? If I had power and could legislate, I should certainly stop all proselytizing. It is the cause of much avoidable conflict between classes and unnecessary heart-burning among missionaries. But I should welcome people of any nationality if they came to serve here for the sake of service. In Hindu households the advent of a missionary has meant the disruption of the family coming in the wake of change of dress, manners, language, food and drink.

                    Is it not the old conception you are referring to? No such thing is now associated with proselytization ?

                    The outward condition has perhaps changed but the inward mostly remains. Vilification of Hindu religion, though subdued, is there. If there was a radical change in the missionaries? outlook, would Murdoch?s books be allowed to be sold in mission depots? Are those books prohibited by missionary societies? There is nothing but vilification of Hinduism in those books. You talk of the conception being no longer there. Only the other day a missionary descended on a famine area with money in his pocket, distributed it among the famine-stricken, converted them to his fold, took charge of their temple and demolished it. This is outrageous. The temple could not belong to the converted Hindus, and it could not belong to the Christian missionary. But this friend goes and gets it demolished at the hands of the very men who only a little while ago believed that God was there.

                    But, Mr. Gandhi, why do you object to proselytization as such? Is not there enough in the Bible to authorize us to invite people to a better way of life?

                    Oh yes, but it does not mean that they should be made members of the Church. If you interpret your texts in the way you seem to do,you straight away condemn a large part of humanity unless it believes as you do. If Jesus came to earth again, he would disown many things that are being done in the name of Christianity. It is not he who says "Lord, Lord" that is a Christian, but "He that doeth the will of the Lord," that is a true Christian. And cannot he who has not heard the name of Jesus Christ do the will of the Lord?

                    That's the skinny, for now.

                    Have a nice afternoon! Praise the Lord (I mean it, with "Lord" interpreted as referring to Mother Nature :))!!

                    India and America share a mutually beneficial trade and economic relationship.

                    by iceweasel on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 12:34:54 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Again, I don't dispute any of that (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      It was never my intention to imply that the actions of a small minority (say, Nathuram Godse and his co-conspirators) were any way representative of the majority of Hindus. In fact it's precisely because they don't that I felt it was an impactful example.

                      •  qwerty (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Please pardon any typos below.

                        The Partition of India and what happened before, during and after it (wherein Gandhi's assassination fits) is another complex subject that I can hardly do justice to here.

                        However, to gain background some of which you are probably unfamiliar with, please see some brief notes I had posted a while back here, and you may want to go over this documentation (compiled by a Sikh) on the mind-numbing scale of brutality and violence that the Muslim league murderers unleashed against the Hindus and Sikhs of Punjab:

                        Muslim League Attack on Sikhs and Hindus in the Punjab 1947
                        Compiled for the SGPC, by S. GURBACHAN SINGH TALIB

                        That brings us to Godse, Gandhi's assassin. He killed, in cold blood, an unarmed, frail and defenseless man. That's a heinous and unpardonable crime.

                        However, I learned only last year that Godse was a very intelligent man who, in his trial testimony, articulated his reasons for committing the crime that he did. Here is a long documentation of what he said: Nathuram Godse's Self Defence (he apparently wrote it in rather fluent English by himself). You may want to go over it to decipher the reasons behind his anger. I am not condoning his brutal murder of Gandhi by pointing this out, but every person, even a murderer, is entitled to an opportunity to explain himself and be heard.

                        Here is a brief excerpted version, with bold emphassis by me:

                        Nathuram Godse's final statement (unedited)

                        "On January 13, 1948, I learnt that Gandhiji had decided to go on fast unto death. The reason given was that he wanted an assurance of Hindu-Muslim Unity... But I and many others could easily see that the real motive... [was] to compel the Dominion Government to pay the sum of Rs 55 crores to Pakistan, the payment of which was emphatically refused by the Government.... But this decision of the people's Government was reversed to suit the tune of Gandhiji's fast. It was evident to my mind that the force of public opinion was nothing but a trifle when compared with the leanings of Gandhiji favourable to Pakistan.

                        ....In 1946 or thereabout, Muslim atrocities perpetrated on Hindus under the Government patronage of Surhawardy in Noakhali made our blood boil. Our shame and indignation knew no bounds when we saw that Gandhiji had come forward to shield that very Surhawardy and began to style him as `Shaheed Saheb' - a martyr - even in his prayer meetings...

                        ....Gandhiji's influence in the Congress first increased and then became supreme. His activities for public awakening were phenomenal in their intensity and were reinforced by the slogans of truth and non-violence which he ostentatiously paraded before the country... I could never conceive that an armed resistance to the aggressor is unjust...

                        ... Ram killed Ravan in a tumultuous fight... Krishna killed Kansa to end his wickedness... In condemning Shivaji, Rana Pratap and Guru Govind as `misguided patriots,' Gandhiji has merely exposed his self-conceit... Gandhiji was, paradoxically, a violent pacifist who brought untold calamities on the country in the name of truth and nonviolence, while Rana Pratap, Shivaji and the Guru will remain enshrined in the hearts of their countrymen forever...

                        ....By 1919, Gandhiji had become desperate in his endeavours to get the Muslims to trust him and went from one absurd promise to another... He backed the Khilafat movement in this country and was able to enlist the full support of the National Congress in that policy... very soon the Moplah Rebellion showed that the Muslims had not the slightest idea of national unity... There followed a huge slaughter of Hindus... The British Government, entirely unmoved by the rebellion, suppressed it in a few months and left to Gandhiji the joy of his Hindu-Muslim Unity... British Imperialism emerged stronger, the Muslims became more fanatical, and the consequences were visited on the Hindus...

                        The accumulating provocation of 32 years, culminating in his last pro-Muslim fast, at last goaded me to the conclusion that the existence of Gandhiji should be brought to an end immediately... he developed a subjective mentality under which he alone was the final judge of what was right or wrong... Either Congress had to surrender its will to him and play second fiddle to all his eccentricity, whimsicality... or it had to carry on without him... He was the master brain guiding the civil disobedience movement... The movement may succeed or fail; it may bring untold disasters and political reverses, but that could make no difference to the Mahatma's infallibility... These childish inanities and obstinacies, coupled with a most severe austerity of life, ceaseless work and lofty character, made Gandhiji formidable and irresistible... In a position of such absolute irresponsibility, Gandhiji was guilty of blunder after blunder...

                        ....The Mahatma even supported the separation of Sindh from the Bombay Presidency and threw the Hindus of Sindh to the communal wolves. Numerous riots took place in Karachi, Sukkur, Shikarpur and other places in which the Hindus were the only sufferers...

                        ....From August 1946 onwards, the private armies of the Muslim League began a massacre of the Hindus... Hindu blood began to flow from Bengal to Karachi with mild reactions in the Deccan... The Interim government formed in September was sabotaged by its Muslim League members, but the more they became disloyal and treasonable to the government of which they were a part, the greater was Gandhi's infatuation for them...

                        ....The Congress, which had boasted of its nationalism and socialism, secretly accepted Pakistan and abjectly surrendered to Jinnah. India was vivisected and one-third of the Indian territory became foreign land to us... This is what Gandhiji had achieved after 30 years of undisputed dictatorship, and this is what Congress party calls `freedom'...

                        ....One of the conditions imposed by Gandhiji for his breaking of the fast unto death related to the mosques in Delhi occupied by Hindu refugees. But when Hindus in Pakistan were subjected to violent attacks he did not so much as utter a single word to protest and censure the Pakistan government...

                        Gandhi is being referred to as the Father of the Nation. But if that is so, he had failed his paternal duty inasmuch as he has acted very treacherously to the nation by his consenting to the partitioning of it... The people of this country were eager and vehement in their opposition to Pakistan. But Gandhiji played false with the people...

                        ....I shall be totally ruined, and the only thing I could expect from the people would be nothing but hatred... if I were to kill Gandhiji. But at the same time, I felt that Indian politics in the absence of Gandhiji would surely be proved practical, able to retaliate, and be powerful with armed forces. No doubt, my own future would be totally ruined, but the nation would be saved from the inroads of Pakistan...

                        ....I do say that my shots were fired at the person whose policy and action had brought rack and ruin and destruction to millions of Hindus... There was no legal machinery by which such an offender could be brought to book, and for this reason I fired those fatal shots...

                        I do not desire any mercy to be shown to me... I did fire shots at Gandhiji in open daylight. I did not make any attempt to run away; in fact I never entertained any idea of running away. I did not try to shoot myself... for, it was my ardent desire to give vent to my thoughts in an open Court. My confidence about the moral side of my action has not been shaken even by the criticism levelled of against it on all sides. I have no doubt, honest writers of history will weigh my act and find the true value thereof some day in future."

                        Nathuram Godse

                        If you read the whole thing, it should become clear that Godse's murder should be considered a political murder (Godse was reacting to what he felt was appeasement by Gandhi that in his view was aiding and abetting in the deaths of millions of Hindus at the hands of the murderous Muslim league), not a religious fundamentalist killing.

                        What Godse could/should have done, in my opinion, and what I would have done if I was around and felt the way he did, was to visibly challenge Gandhi to a no-holds-barred, reality and evidence based public debate with national coverage. Godse would have probably won that debate, if one were to take place, as the facts were apparently overwhelmingly on his side. Godse, as he claims, probably had no effective legal machinery, but I am not sure that he could not have dragged Gandhi into a debate, had he tried hard or smartly enough.

                        Sure enough, Pakistan pocketed the 55 crores rupees (probably worth a lot back then) donation from India (which, according to Godse, Gandhi was fasting for), and immediately launched its first war against India in 1947/1948, the first of its 4 wars of aggression, countless terrorist attacks and ongoing vicious hostility and venom directed at India, some victims of which are the following:

                        -- 2.5 million (out of 3 million total) Hindus massacred in 1971 in Bangladesh: 1971, Bangladesh Liberation war Against Pakistan. See also: Genocide and Atrocities (at the Liberation War Museum, Dhaka, B'Desh) and Bangladesh Genocide Archive.

                        -- 400K Kashmiri Pandits cleansed from their ancient homeland of the Kashmir Valley: Islamic Terrorism and Genocide of Kashmiri Pandits. See also:

                        Therefore, Pakistan's conduct in Gandhi and Godse's posterity also proved the latter's arguments to be right (and that his cynicism about Jihadism and Jihadist violence, as personified by the Muslim League then, and Pakistan since, was justified) over Gandhi's erred approach of trying to mollycoddle a brutal, maniacal and genocidal self-appointed enemy.

                        Gandhi played an instrumental role in creating and galvanizing India into wanting freedom from the British colonization of India, but he was ill-suited to become the representative of the "Hindu side" (India) of the paritition drama, given that the Muslim League and Jinnah were ruthless and blood-thirsty operators representing the other side.

                        Gandhi's views on the Holocaust and Israel were equally misguided as well (Elst: Mahatma Gandhi's letters to Hitler. Google for more).

                        Finally, here is a treatment of Gandhi by an Indian nationalist, who I think is more of less right on the money: CHAPTER 7 - The Place of Mahatma Gandhi. A section from it:

                        From the book: Perversion of India's Political Parlance
                        By Sita Ram Goel

                        MAHATMA GANDHI IN HOSTILE HANDS

                        The Leftists had no use for Mahatma Gandhi during his life time. They had hurled their choicest swear-words at him. But the Mahatma dead seems to have become an asset for them. Not that they have revised their estimate of his role in the past or acquired any respect for him in the present. They are only using him as a stick to beat Hindu society into shame.

                        Muslims, too, have staged a similar volte face. They had opposed him tooth and nail during his life-time. The language which their press had used for him provides a study in pornography. But after his death they have been holding him up in order to harangue Hindu society. Not that they hve changed their opinion about him or imbibed any of his teachings. They are only using him as a device to put Hindu society on the defensive.

                        The Gandhians present a very curious case. They claim to have inherited the message of the Mahatma. But the only people with whom they feel at home are Hindu-baiters. They avoid all those who are not ashamed of being Hindus or who take pride in Hindu history and heritage. They suspect that "Hindu communalism" has been and remains India's major malady. The only point to which they never refer is that Mahatma Gandhi was a proud Hindu with a profound faith in sanatana Dharma and that a reawakening and rejuvenation of Hindu society was his most important preoccupation.

                        The Hindu-baiters highlight the fact that the Mahatma was murdered by a Hindu. But they hide the fact that it was the Hindus who had always rallied round Mahatma Gandhi, who had adored him throughout his life, who had followed him as their leader and who had stood by him through thick and thin. It is tantamount to insinuating that Hindus have done nothing in the whole of their history except murdering the Mahatma. The only parallel is provided by the Catholic Church which has known the Jews only as murderers of Jesus.

                        This exercise in employing the name of a great Hindu to malign Hindu society has succeeded because whatever nationalists have come forward to lead Hindu society in the post-independence period have chosen to ignore all facets of the Mahatma's life and teachings except one, namely, his handling of the Muslim problem. They have meditated, one must say rather morbidly, on the one mistake he made in his life, namely, his understanding ofIslam. They have never taken into account the sterling services he rendered to Hinduism and Hindu society in so many spheres. The only thing they remember with resentment is his failure in one field, namely, his final inability to prevent partition.

                        Not sure how you feel about the "The only parallel is provided by the Catholic Church which has known the Jews only as murderers of Jesus" line by Goel here, but when applied to the early Roman persecution of the Jews (and perhaps also to the persecution of Jews during the inquisitions), it does appear to me to be accurate. Agree? Disagree?

                        India and America share a mutually beneficial trade and economic relationship.

                        by iceweasel on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 03:40:22 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You gloss over the fact (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          that Godse quite explicitly enshrined his actions in the cloak of Hindu scripture:

                          Ram killed Ravan in a tumultuous fight... Krishna killed Kansa to end his wickedness.

                          I rest my case.

                          Also, are you attempting to claim that the slaughter post-partition would have been avoided by keeping India whole? I disagree, to say the least. The British left behind an intractable mess, a choice between bad options and even worse ones. Maybe Gandhi's choice was the "even worse", maybe Godse's would have been, but since only one played out, it's futile to attempt to evaluate the other.

                          I'm afraid I don't have much interest in discussing the opinion of an Indian nationalist about the relationship between Catholics and Jews, except to say it certainly doesn't match current catechism, which appears to state that Jews cannot be held collectively responsible for the trial of Christ, or with the statement from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops that "the Jewish people continue to live within the truth of the covenant God made with Abraham, and that God continues to be faithful to them."

                          •  Not so fast! Founding fathers invoked scripture (0+ / 0-)


                            "The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God."

                            --Adams wrote this on June 28, 1813, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson.

                            John Hancock
                            1st Signer of the Declaration of Independence

                            "Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual. ... Continue steadfast and, with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us."
                            --History of the United States of America, Vol. II, p. 229.

                            and arguably drew militaristic inspiration from it, since the resistance Hancock talks about needed to be violent, too.

                            Does that make them Christian "fundamentalists," or their fight for American independence a Christian "fundamentalist" cause? It doesn't, because we consider that the fight they fought was a just war.

                            The same thing applies to what Godse was arguing. The source of Godse's agony and anger, and his own version of "Resitance to tyranny" in the Indian theater (he should have attempted to debate Gandhi, instead of ending his life, as I said earlier, but that's about the tactic, not the argument itself), were not scriptures, but instead the rivers of Hindu and Sikh blood the Muslim League thugs spilled across North India, and later in Pakistan once the partition took place, and Gandhi's mollycoddling approach giving their violence a pass to the effect of harming Hindus' just rights.

                            "Also, are you attempting to claim that the slaughter post-partition would have been avoided by keeping India whole?"

                            I think so, provided that the air was taken out the violent separatist movement of the Muslim League by cracking down on the miscreants, as I pointed out here:

                            Had the Viceroy not vetoed Patel's plan to stop the communal violence being stirred by Jinnah, the violence would have been cut short, thus taking the air out of separatist movement to break up India, most likely keeping it intact.

                            and following that up with a strict law and order regime until peace was restored. India's experience before and after the partition proves that trying to appease the (divisive) Islamists is a slippery slope spiraling down a bottomless pit.

                            "I'm afraid I don't have much interest in discussing the opinion of an Indian nationalist about the relationship between Catholics and Jews"

                            Why not? Shouldn't it be about the factuality and merit of the arguments, or lack thereof, and not who is saying it? If you hold, express and debate views about India, Hindus, Muslims etc, and expect to be heard, why can't the same be said of Goel's views regarding Catholics and Jews?

                            "except to say it certainly doesn't match current catechism, which appears to state that Jews cannot be held collectively responsible for the trial of Christ"

                            Yeah, but the intense animosity of Christians towards Jews didn't subside, and partly reverse course, until after the Holocaust, WW-II and the creation of the Jewish state. And, it seems evident that the astonishing horror the Nazis inflicted on the Jews (which took place just a few years before Godse killed Gandhi, making the timings comparable) could not have gone on as far as it did without acquiescence from many practicing Christians, and cooperation and direct participation by some, in Germany and other places in Europe.

                            "or with the statement from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops that "the Jewish people continue to live within the truth of the covenant God made with Abraham, and that God continues to be faithful to them.""

                            The wording of the latter part of this statement is rather funny. Did God phone it in to the Bishops or something? :)

                            And, are there different Gods out there, as implied by the "that God" term in the statement? Which prompts me to ask whether you've ever wondered about the following:

                            -- Why is the name "Abraham" an anagram of the name "Brahmaa" (phonetic "Brahma")?

                            -- why is Abraham's wife Sarai's (or Sarah) name so close to the first portion of Brahma's wife's name of Saraswati?

                            -- why is Christ's name phonetically nearly identical to Krishna's (some people spell Krishna's name as Christna)? The similarities between the birth stories of Krishna and Christ, as well as the teachings attributed to them were explored by several people, most notably by an American thinker by the name of Kersey Graves.

                            -- why does "Amen" sound so similar to the Hindu "Om"/"Aum"? ShalOM ends with OM too.

                            -- why the word "Psalm" is phonetically nearly identical to the Sanskrit word for verse/hymn Shlokam/Shloka that's used in Hinduism ?

                            There are countless other such overlaps, parallels and similarites between Hinduism and other religions, including Christianity, that a careful scientific and non-politicized study of the exact lineal/ancestral relationships between all religions (ancient Egyptian religion, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism/Judaism/Jainism/Buddhism, pre-Christian Greek and Roman religions/pantheons, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, Bahai, etc) seems called for.

                            I had a chat about these with Catte Nappe here, which may interest you. Please give it a read with an open mind, and let me know what you think.

                            India and America share a mutually beneficial trade and economic relationship.

                            by iceweasel on Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 04:30:20 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

    •  They are Opus Dei Catholics (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bobdevo, TofG

      while a good many of us are Dorothy Day Catholics.  Big difference.  These guys and the hierarchy give have ruined the Church.  It could work for so much good but it's controlled by, insert whatever label you think fits.

    •  Catholics are far better than Born Agains (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lyvwyr101, TofG

      Catholics have a history of political service and and social justice. (re: the health care debate when the nuns supported HCR and the bishops who live in glass houses did not)Catholic schools teach responsibilities of citizenship.  And most Catholics care about what happens to all the people in this country. So don't blame catholicism for Alito's viewpoints, he is not christian or catholic. There is nothing Christian in conservatism practiced today. When the rich get richer, wealth is valued over work, cutting programs that care for the poor, sick and elderly: there is no Christ in any of those inhumane policies no matter how LOUD the repugs and tbaggers SCREAM. Alito is a radical, extremist who would demean and divide a nation according to wealth, religious belief and sexual orientation. He really has no sense of human values and responsibilities and he cares not about the founders intentions. He is an arrogant repulsive human being who lacks judgement and wisdom.

  •  Funny how the Constitution completely omits (68+ / 0-)

    the words: "God," "Jesus," and "Christ.

    If the founders had "intended" for religion to play a role in government of for this country to be a "christian nation" (what he's really saying) they would've declared it as such in our founding fucking document.

    "Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself." - Robert G. Ingersoll

    by Apost8 on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:20:33 AM PDT

  •  He is becoming more and more (28+ / 0-)

    the rabid dog.  I think we'll find he's suffering from some sort of degenerative disease....

    Three be the things I shall never attain: Envy, Content, and sufficient champagne. --Dorothy Parker

    by M Sullivan on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:22:24 AM PDT

  •  With all due respect... (21+ / 0-)

    ...I submit that Scalia has his head up his ass.

    When an otherwise good person supports an obviously bad war, that person becomes something less than good.

    by dov12348 on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:23:33 AM PDT

  •  So the push to the right intensifies. (15+ / 0-)

    The timing of this to fit the teabaggers' platform confirms that the SC is about to screw over the americans once again.

    Get in Gear
    2010 or Bust
    A kossack hears more ridiculous opinions than a painting in the museum.

    by amk for obama on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:23:45 AM PDT

    •  It's not (18+ / 0-)

      a push to the "right". It's a push backwards.

      We need to stop using the word "right" to describe regressive politics. The word "right" also means "proper" and "correct". By calling them and their sick ideology "right" we are unconsciously saying that they are "right" in the sense that they are correct, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.

      They aren't right. We need to stop using that word to refer to them.

      Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

      by drewfromct on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:32:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We are talking politics here, not some (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ivorybill, Onomastic

        moral instruction class. People understand clearly what 'right' in politics means.

        Get in Gear
        2010 or Bust
        A kossack hears more ridiculous opinions than a painting in the museum.

        by amk for obama on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:42:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Disagree (6+ / 0-)

        The new Right is not seeking to push the US into some past, unless it is a totally fictional one.  The Right is pushing a specific agenda that is in some ways quite new to America.  They want to reverse the New Deal, but what they aspire to is not the predatory oligarchy of the Gilded Era, but a more modern version that combines agressive nationalism with fundamental Christianity.  

        They may want to take us back into the past, but it is not an American past.  It is more like a European one, with power concentrated in the hands of the economic elite, an outward focused extreme nationalism paired with an imperialistic vision of US relations in the world, a cult of national identity based on a very selective and quasi-religious construction of what it is to be an American.  It's more like European fascism without a big 1930's governmental infrastructure to deliver services, which was the one thing fascism was actually pretty good at doing.  

        People like Scalia have a vision of fascism without the infrastructure, which is actually the worst possible governmental system:  aggression and extreme nationalism abroad, based on a decaying society and collapsing physical infrastructure at home.  

        "Die Stimme der Vernuft ist leise." (The voice of reason is soft)

        by ivorybill on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:01:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Quibble all you like (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LivesInAShoe, xanthippe2, sjterrid

          but you're wrong because they are not "right", so you and I and the rest of us need to stop calling them "right" because they are wrong.

          Now, as to whether or not they want to take us backwards: Your point seems to be that because they don't have a Delorean with a flux capacitor, we cannot go literally backwards in time. I'll grant you that. But they do want to reverse all the progress we ever made in terms of civil rights and social programs, and what they're trying to bring us "forwards" into seems to be nothing more or less that some sort of high-tech corporate feudalism. That's just plain backwards. Regressive they are and "Regressives" is a more accurate word to describe and refer to them as.

          Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

          by drewfromct on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:16:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ivorybill, Predictor, sjterrid

          Your last sentence is good general statement of exactly the intention of the oligarchy, or whatever term we wish to describe its contemporary form, and should have been clear to anyone who observes and thinks since the reaction to 9/11 and how it has been subsequently used. The war on Iraq was pretty much the climax to the plot to use terrorism and other forms of fear to destroy and remake our system of government.

          Hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue." - Francois De La Rochefoucauld

          by blueoasis on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:46:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  This confuses two different issues (16+ / 0-)

    It's at least defensible to say the Constitution doesn't guarantee a right to privacy much beyond search-and-seizure, billeting troops, that kind of stuff.  But Scalia is nuts to think the Constitution permits sex discrimination (in the absence of specific legislative remedies) any more than it permits racial or ethnic discrimination.

    The most impressive thing about man [...] is the fact that he has invented the concept of that which does not exist--Glenn Gould

    by Rich in PA on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:24:09 AM PDT

  •  Scalia is an embarrassment (33+ / 0-)

    on the bench, his personal beliefs take precedence over the law.

    His belief's about the Founder's beliefs are contrary to the words of the Constitution and the writings of the Founders.  Not based in fact at all in any way shape or form.  

    As for the Constitution allowing discrimination based on sexual orientation, etc., that may be closer to the Founder's social views.  It was a 'real' man's world back then when it came to legal rights.   Nevertheless, the idea that the Constitution is limited to the views of society at the time adopted instead of the more traditional view as a living document, meant to evolve as views evolved, is contrary to the record as well.  The Founder's knew that some provisions were compromises, such as the 3/5 th's Compromise, and not a final statement on slavery and its legality in new territory (clearly new territory was contemplated as there was a way to add new states) was not addressed, leading to some of the most contentious decisions made by Congress and the Court in ante-bellum America.

  •  and so the end begins (8+ / 0-)

    whats next declare poverty a mental illness and put all those ill in those supermax mental hospitals and let them work for therapy purpose only of course.
    do you know where your licence plate was made

  •  black is white (4+ / 0-)

    catch22 phrase.
    This SJ is a negative in truth.{like a film or mirror}

  •  Since he claims that (18+ / 0-)

    "You do not need the Constitution to reflect the views of current society," he said during a wide-ranging interview with Hastings professor Calvin Massey. "I interpret it the way it was understood by society at the time."

    I suppose there was never a need for any of those pesky amendments that came after.

    Seriously, if the framers never intended the constitution to be interpreted to the reflect the views of current society, they would never have written in a mechanism to modify it.

    "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." -- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

    by Siri on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:27:50 AM PDT

    •  You completely misinterpret the argument (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Onomastic, Musial, IPLawyer

      Conservatives argue that the very fact that there IS an amendment process means that you must read the Constitution in light of what it meant when the people, through their representatives, adopted it.  They argue that, if the people (who put the Constitution in place) want the meaning of the Constitution to change, the the amendment process is the only correct way to do that.  If the people choose not to use the amendment process to change the meaning, the argument goes, one must assume that the meaning stays as per the original intent.  

      Scalia, et al have no problem with the amendment process.  They think the amendment process is the ONLY way to change/alter/expand the meaning of the Constitution.  

      •  Except they don't go by original intent, either (9+ / 0-)

        when it doesn't suit their purposes.

        Just like in grannyhelen's diary, for the RATS cabal, it's profits before people.

        We don't want our country back, we want our country FORWARD. --Eclectablog

        by Samer on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:51:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Good comment, but... (5+ / 0-)

        I think part of the outrage at Scalia's remarks is that he wants it both ways. Even though the only mention of religion is an amendment banning the government from establishing one and banning the   government from inhibiting religious expression by individuals (what could be more private?), he finds no problem with government doing either of those things because he "feels" like the framers wanted God and religion in government. Indeed, he feels an obligation to inform all his decisions with his personal religious beliefs.

        It's the logical inconsistency that pisses me off.

        Weenie liberals of the world unite! ...soccergrandmom

        by Giles Goat Boy on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:00:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Can you give an example? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ben masel

          In the flag burning case, he used the language of the First Amendment to rule against the favored conservative viewpoint.  

          Citizens United was based on the language of the First Amendment, which does not limit the freedom of speech to "persons."  

          And He's technically a "textualist" -- interprets the plain words.  

          •  He gave an example (0+ / 0-)

            Scalia's treatment of the privileges or immunities clause and the equal protections clause are a million miles from textualist.

            Similarly, while he may have taken a hard line on free speech (as the Court has for a long time) in the flag-burning case, he treats the non-establishment clause as if it simply wasn't there.

            So no, he doesn't simply interpret the plain words.

          •  Even textualists interpret. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Steven D


            In the article above, along with numerous claims that he doesn't let his religion influence his judging, he says the following:

            I do not believe the Constitution requires States to permit abortions; but neither do I believe that it invalidates state laws that permit abortions.

            Sounds somewhat reasonable and consistent at first read, except that the question surrounding abortion is not about permission. There are no laws "permitting" abortion (or anything else), only laws restricting abortion. For Scalia to say he is not opposed to laws permitting abortion is disengenuous, or at least self-deluding.

            The only question is whether a state can restrict abortion rights. He says yes in his roundabout way, but it is not balanced by his faulty logic that he would also support state laws that can't exist. It's a sham heads-I-win-tails-you-lose argument. Surprise! It happily coincides with his religious faith's position that abortion is a sin against God.

            What he really seems to be arguing is that politicians and judges have every right to inform their decisions and votes with their personal religious beliefs, as long as they can figure out a way to make it appear as if they haven't.

            I also find it interesting that he couches the argument in terms of "permission" being granted. Not very limited-government, conservative phrasing. Sounds more like he's interpreting Canon Law.

            Weenie liberals of the world unite! ...soccergrandmom

            by Giles Goat Boy on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 11:26:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  So why do (0+ / 0-)

        we let the S Ct. interpret the Constitution under Marbury?

        •  I can tell you what he'd say (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          There are some situations where the Court decides how the Constitution applies to new fact situations.  And, there are some instances where the text itself, by using words like "reasonable" opens the door to more interpretation.  But he does not believe it is within the purview of the Court to find rights that are implied, but not stated, in the Constitution, like the right to privacy.  

      •  Unless (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Steven D

        they want to reinterpet the Constitution to classify corporations as having the same rights as a person.

        We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob. -FDR

        by gila on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:21:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Scalia has never said that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ben masel

          Citizens United was NOT IN ANY WAY based on the notion of "corporate personhood."  that's a myth.  Read the opinion.  

          •  I meant (0+ / 0-)

            in the general conservative push for "corporate personhood" which was manifested first back in a, I believe, late 19th century decision.

            Regardless of how conservatives insist they are strict constructionalists protecting the Constitution, they are all too happy to reinterpet it when it suits their purposes.

            It's like conservatives wailing about supposed liberal judicial activism.  Yet conservatives justices have often been the most activist themselves.

            We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob. -FDR

            by gila on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 09:36:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  isn't he also saying he believes in slavery... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and denial of women's vote, and monopolies and witches? Its more insightful to see what their b/s really is, in need of fresh air.

      •  No, he is not saying what he believes in (0+ / 0-)

        as a moral or political matter.  He is saying what he reads in the Constitution.  He would say that, until the 19th Amendment was passed, the Constitution did not include the right for women to vote.  Once the amendment was passed, it did.  

        That's different from saying whether you think women SHOULD have the right to vote.  

  •  WOW.....! (0+ / 0-)

    Great mis-reading of his comments....I can't think of anything more valuable than to add this kind of misdirection to the liberal, informed dialog that used to be the hallmark of DailyKos.

    •  huh? n/t (13+ / 0-)

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." ~ Mencken

      by royce on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:34:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  How do you (13+ / 0-)

      interpret Scalia's comments?

      No one ever died from laughing too often

      by googie on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:35:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Provocative... (0+ / 0-)

        Yep, they're provocative alright, and I think that is more a measure of his intentions.
        He makes a normal, legal argument that the legislature can go ahead and promote any kind of off-the-wall laws it wants to, and just merely wraps it in the kind of offensive-to-liberals verbiage that seems to have ticked off everyone on this board.

        Read his words carefully and try to see that tweaking the liberal nose is a main part of his public persona, right there along with Rush and all the other, more idiotic people who have been given the perverse opportunity to let their voices be trumpeted by the media on a daily basis.

        •  You didn't explain (16+ / 0-)

          how the diarist mis-read the comments.

          Scalia's words speak for themselves. And what he said at his Hastings talk wasn't anything new for him. But this is a good diary because it reminds us of what is at stake vis-a-vis the Supreme Court.

          These colours don't run from cold bloody war!

          by Lost Left Coaster on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:00:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

            And I think quite a few comments here lead everyone forward in a constructive way on our own knowledge about the relationship between the SCOTUS and the Legislative branches of the government.
            My criticism is aimed at the over hyped and alarmed tone to the dairy and the usual easily predictable outrage and vitriol. I object to seeing any energy wasted on a situation which is beyond our ability to change, namely, getting rid of a Supreme Court Justice.
            His comments are provocative and annoying, and I find his rulings dismally absent of what I would call empathy; they reside at that same clinical level that characterizes Rehnquists' writings, in particular, his dissent in Roe v. Wade.

            IF, as you state,  what's at stake is the rulings of the Supreme Court, what's the call to action going to be?
            Has there been any consensus here that we can apply other than the communal feeling of outrage and irritation?
            Has anyone here suggested how we, as a politically progressive group, move forward in a constructive way?

            It seems to me that the conservative/Fox/crazy ass Teabag collective is spending all their time manufacturing consensus with alarm, fear and outrage.
            Is that what's happening here at DKos?

            I've slowed down my participation here in the last several months because I found it to be not too much different than what I was critical about of my more conservative friends and neighbors. So although I know it's satisfying to vent and create brilliant, sharp barbs to throw at Scalia I really think the issue is more about our building consensus in a constructive manner.

            I'd love it if everyone could just kind of step off this carousel of constant provocation from the right and just get to it. I disconnected our cable 15 years ago for that reason.
            Right now the main thing, for me and my family at least, is to teach our students, get our kids through college, volunteer where needed in the community, and get representatives elected who best represent our progressive values of inclusion and general enfranchisement for every American.
            As long as people like Scalia, Limbaugh, Rove and the all the rest of the idiots at Fox can continue to create division, strife and distraction here, we have less of a chance of succeeding.

        •  Are you one of those people (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hannibal, rainmanjr

          who still believe highly intelligent humans exist.  Once you come to realize that all humans are majorly flawed, and that not one of us is truly that bright, does the world make sense.

          Hell Newton was an asshole by all accountants, and even Einsteins personal life was a complete mess.

          So yeah, a SCOTUS judge is a dipshit, so what is new?

          The child has grown, the dream is gone. I have become comfortably numb.

          by dark daze on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:00:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm hearing ya. (0+ / 0-)

          Scalia's making an informal argument for judicial restraint. Got it.

          I can see his point. "Original intent" may be bogus, but it wouldn't be crazy to say let's interpret the Constitution as closely as we reasonably can to the words on the page. Fine.

          My issue with that is: Where the hell was Scalia when the torture cases came down? The wiretapping? Anything having to do with war powers? State secrets?

          Look, if you're gonna play judicial restraint, I don't want to hear all kinds of made-up reasons why the Presidency is supposed to be all-powerful. That's not in the Constitution either, but Scalia and his ilk are fine with it.

        •  his JOB is not to (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rainmanjr, googie

          tweak the nose of people - it is to be an impartial interpreter of law, according to our constitution.

          it really IS all about the USSC, imho, for they are the gatekeepers of democracy - they are the defenders of intent AND equality.

          unfortunately, 4 out of 9 don't believe in equality - and would have, imho, voted against brown in brown v board of education... and would have allowed laws prohibiting inter racial marriage.

          MOVE'EM UP! ROLL'EM OUT... MOVE'EM UP RAWHIDE!!! meeeoooow! mrraaarrr!! meeeOOOOOW!

          by edrie on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 02:18:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  How in the heck do you misread this BS: (22+ / 0-)

      Early U.S. leaders intended religion to play a major part in the government, Scalia said.

      Really?  Did the Justice somehow received a higher education without taking a single US history class?

    •  Nice drive-by. (4+ / 0-)

      You want to defend that tripe statement?

      "We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid." -Ben Franklin

      by IndieGuy on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:52:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why is strict constructionism thought legitimate? (15+ / 0-)

    It boggles my mind.

    I'm taking a Constitutional Law class, and there, I'm learning exactly how much brain damage results from strict constructionist interpretation of the Constitution.

    Remember when Robert Bork said in the 80's that we don't have a right to privacy because the Constitution doesn't explicitly state it?  More brain damage.

    We must retain control of Congress, so we can prevent strict constructionists from getting a majority in the SCOTUS.

    I agree with you. I want to do it. Now make me do it! - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    by meldroc on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:32:21 AM PDT

    •  It's not even (13+ / 0-)

      a matter of "strict" constructionism. It's simply a case of massive hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance on the part of the regressives. After all, if they truly believed in "strict" interpretation of the Constitution, then the second amendment would be interpreted as to only confer the right to keep and bear arms upon members of a "well regulated militia".

      Call it what it really is: Self-serving hypocrisy, and nothing more.

      Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

      by drewfromct on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:36:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The argument is that the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Adam B, Argyrios

      amendment process is the way to change/expand the Constitution.  Absent an amendment, according to strict constructionalists, the people did not intend for the Constitution to be changed/expanded.

      The argument stems from the notion that the Constitution is, in essence, a democratic document, put in place by the people (through their representatives).  Thus, strict constructionalists argue, you can't interpret it to mean anything other than what the people intended when they put it in place.

      And it's not a completely bogus argument.  Look back at the Lochner era. In those days, the conservatives were the ones to "find" rights in the Constitution, like the so-called "freedom of contract" which, according to the SCOTUS at the time, prevented the government from dictating the terms of private contracts (like 40 hour weeks and minimum wage).  The FDR liberals, at the time, were the advocates of a similar notion of "strict construction" meaning, if it's not expressly stated in the Constitution, it's not there.  

      •  How do you even establish that, though? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lightfoot, sullivanst

        Even if you wanted to, how would you determine what every single legislator voting for a particular Amendment wanted or meant?  Maybe a handful of them meant, "My party Whip told me I had to vote for this in order to get help with my reelection, so here's my vote."  And then, how would you determine what every legislator in every ratifying state "meant" when they voted for ratification?  What do you do with states that ratify based on ballot referenda?

        "Original intent" is a phantom.  It's pure, biased inference, couched in a false notion of finding an "objective" meaning.  

        "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

        by Pesto on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:08:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Then be a textualist (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Just look at the words themselves and a contemporary dictionary.

          •  That's exactly why Scalia, technically, is (0+ / 0-)

            as Adam B said, a textualist.  He looks at the plain words and applies them as written.  And the words "right to privacy" are not in the Constitution.

          •  But that's obviously a silly standard (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Dictionaries tend to define individual words, not entire phrases such as "well-regulated militia."  You can't look at a late-18th century dictionary to find a definition of that phrase.  So where do you find the right definition?  And what if various sources have multiple definitions, or conflicting ones?  How do you decide what "the Framers/legislators" "meant"?  Do you have to prove that the dictionary was accurate?  that the legislators/voters had copies of that dictionary, and agreed with the definition?

            Sorry, but it's a profoundly stupid and dishonest way to deal with laws.  It obviously doesn't do what it purports to do, which is to base rulings on the alleged one, original meaning.  Laws aren't written that way, or passed on to that basis.

            "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

            by Pesto on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:23:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You can figure out what "well-regulated" meant .. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              ... in the parlance of the times.

              •  But you can't, really (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                lightfoot, sullivanst

                Whose "parlance" do you base it on?  How do you establish that objectively?  Even if you could prove what the Framers as a group meant -- and I think that's impossible to do -- how do you weigh their "meaning" against that of all the ratifyers in the various states?  

                Look, part of the trick of writing and passing laws is that you need to be able to convince people with disparate agendas, ideologies, and interests that they all want the same thing.  One of the best ways to do that is to write things in vague or ambiguous terms, and have everyone sort of agree to fight the fight over their meaning down the road.  So it's often very difficult, by design, to nail down a single meaning for a legislative Act.

                It's well known that very large numbers of Congresscritters didn't even read the USA PATRIOT Act before voting on it.  Will Scalia therefore declare that that law means nothing, since it's impossible to mean something if you've never said it or read it?

                Hell, it's sometimes nearly impossible for an arbitrator to figure out what 2 parties to a union contract meant about a single contract clause 4 months after it was negotiated, and that's with both parties present, and testifying, and submitting notes from bargaining and other types of documentation.  And Scalia wants us to believe that he's engaging in some objective analysis of what everyone who participated in the ratification of the Constitution "meant" by voting "yes"?  It's ridiculous.

                "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

                by Pesto on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 09:12:29 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  This is why I tend to be a non-interpretivist. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Pesto, lightfoot

                  What is the intent of the Founders?

                  First, there's not enough of their writings in existence to definitively show their intent.  There's the Federalist Papers and other writings, and they give some illumination, but obviously not enough to end much of the big arguments.

                  Second, the Founding Fathers didn't agree on much of anything.  The Constitution itself was a product of political compromise, much of it ineffective compromise to get a semi-functional government operating even as the Fathers screamed at each other over seemingly intractable issues like slavery.

                  That's why I tend to go with the more liberal justices and think of myself as a non-interpretivist.  The Constitution was never meant to be static, nor was it written to deal with modern-day America, with technology, pollution, urbanization, etc.  Brown v. Board of Education was one classic non-interpretivist SCOTUS decision, that cited not only the Constitution, but lots of sociological and psychological studies that gave plenty of evidence showing that Separate But Equal wasn't.

                  The one drawback of non-interpretivism is that it's open-ended enough that critics say it can be used to justify anything.  You know what, I can live with that.  Make good arguments, rather than rationalizations for a decision that's politically convenient and destructive to American values, and I'll support that decision.

                  I agree with you. I want to do it. Now make me do it! - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

                  by meldroc on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 01:46:42 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  You are right about original intent (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pesto, lightfoot

          It's just their way of promoting their crazy agenda. It's a completely fabricated school of legal thought. Oliver Wendell Holmes never heard of original intent.

    •  Why is strict constructionism thought to exist? (0+ / 0-)

      It's plain that the supposed practitioners of it do no such thing.

  •  Sorry, but this is surprising because...? nt. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Adam B, Steven D, wonderful world

    everything Bertrand Russell ever said...

    by ptolemynm on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:33:57 AM PDT

  •  Justice Scowl should take heed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    millwood, wonderful world

    A lot of his right-wing fundie peeps have no love or respect whatsoever for Catholicism.

    Ah, the friends we keep...

  •  I used to care, once, what ScaliRoberorks said (7+ / 0-)

     I thought they advanced a - to their minds - reasoned argument view in which they believed.

     But they are just pip squeak corporate hacks with no set of principles other than the court system should be used to advance the immediate financial interests of their friends and to make life difficult for their "enemies."

      They are all just in it for the cash - it is a schtick "interpreting the Constitution the way it was understood by society at the time.........."  - this H.G. Wells school of legal thought has the same level of intellectual discipline and rigor as penumbras and emanations.  The whole idea of Republican legal "thought" is to make the legal system such a charade that we all will agree it is frivolous and thus help speed the end of what was once the greatest, most noble of American institutions:  the notion that there was a place where the individual of any stripe, status, wealth, color stood equal even with the most bloated, privileged, corrupt cronies of the ruling elite.

     The true "philosophy" of these Republicans is far more dangerous than any really dares to say.

  •  Half Right (4+ / 0-)

    I don't think you can claim that the founders wanted religion to play a major role in American government. Undoubetedly some had that in mind, but others, such as Thomas Jefferson, had a secular-rationalist state in mind.

    However, Scalia is somewhat correct that there is no right to privacy in the U.S. Constitution. I've always found the whole penumbra argument pretty unconvincing.  It reminds me of Lochner reasoning. But hey, it's here now. (BTW It's fun to point out to conservatives that the right to privacy guarantees the right to raise your kids the way you want without government interference, the right to reproduce, and the right to have a family at all.

    The day may come, when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withholden from them but by the hand of tyranny.

    by Tetris on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:35:08 AM PDT

    •  It Wouldn't Be a Bad Idea to Formalize (0+ / 0-)

      I would be supportive of a Constitutional amendment formalizing The Right to Privacy. Such an encoding would serve as a legal foundation for bio-medical decsions, sexual relationships, HIPAA, identity theft, and corporations and even State governments selling our information on addresses and purchasing habits without our consent.

      Only fools do battle in a burning house

      by Uthaclena on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:57:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  State Constitutions (0+ / 0-)

        The political groundwork for an amendment creating an explicit Federal privacy right is best advanced by pushing for su7ch language in the State Constitutions which don't have one, especially where the State Constitution can be amended by voter Initiative.

        Agricultural hemp is "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs."

        by ben masel on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 10:02:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Scalia clearly poor as historian (25+ / 0-)

    as well as sloppy in his reading.

    George Washington, as one can see in his Farewell Address, honored the role of religion in society and in morality, but consider this -  the last part of the Constitution added on the final day was the Article VI provision against no religious test -  it was adopted unanimously, with Washington providing.   The Founders clearly wanted separation of church and state -  the 1st Amendment was passed by the 1st Congress, and without such a guarantee that the 1st Amendment would be added Virginia would not have ratified.  Jefferson certainly qualifies as a Founder, and his letter to Danbury Baptists actually quotes language from a Baptist thinker to make the point about separation.  

    If Scalia wants to say that the Founders had no trouble with established state churches, that's a separate issue, although by the mid 1830s all had disestablished.

    We have a majority of Catholics on the Court.  6 now.  And this kind of expression by Scalia opens a dangerous door, the kind that was used as a grounds for prejudice against Catholics for fear that they would be subservient to a foreign power, the Vatican.

    It is not surprising coming from Scalia.  He likes to think he is smarter than the rest of the Court put together.  He is at times sloppy both in his thinking and in his verbal expression.  

    So what else is new?

    "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

    by teacherken on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:35:48 AM PDT

  •  One more reason for invoking Article V of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ezdidit, wonderful world, Onomastic
    the Constitution is that an Article V Convention could propose an amendment that allowed the Citizens to recall even a Supreme Court Justice if they wanted to, which they very well might want to do when it becomes clear that one of them had gone battey like this guy.
  •  Scalia has a dim view of the Founding Fathers (7+ / 0-)

    It's ironic, because he's been pushing the idea of the Constitution as Holy Writ for his entire career at the Supreme Court.

    But, his idea implicitly incorporates the idea that the Founding Fathers were incapable of imagining that the United States would evolve over the centuries.  The idea that the Constitution was meant to be read as a static plan - frozen in time in 1789 - is in direct contrast to the visionary principles enunciated in that document.

    •  Nope. He thinks that the Founding Fathers (0+ / 0-)

      DID imagine that the people would, from time to time, want the Constitution to change.  As he would say, that's why they put the amendment process in there.  For the people to change the meaning/scope/effect of the Constitution when they wanted that to happen.  

      •  That ignores the use of vague terms (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Steven D

        You put his position well, but I don't see how he can justify that position given vague terms used in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, like "liberty."  It also makes little sense to believe that minorities, for example, must secure specific amendments to the Constitution in order to secure their rights.

        •  I don't speak for Scalia, but here's what I think (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Adam B, jrooth

          he would say.  Sometimes there are words like "reasonable" ("unreasonable search and seizure") that, when you read them according to their ordinary meaning, change with the circumstances.  What is reasonable in one circumstance is not reasonable in another.  He is fine with applying words like that according to their ordinary meaning.

          However, he sees a big difference between that and finding a right that is not written anywhere in the Constitution but is "implied" in the "penumbras" of the other amendments (Roe v. Wade).  That crosses the line between applying what is written and re-writing the Constitution in a way that should be done not by judges but in the amendment process.

          For example, he voted to strike down a law prohibiting flag burning, because he (like Hugo Black famously said) read "Congress shall make no law" to mean "Congress shall make no law" prohibiting the freedom of speech.  He would say, if you want to make flag burning an exception, amend the Constitution.  

          •  That still doesn't answer for words lik "liberty" (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            And, I know that you don't speak for Scalia and that you're just presenting what he would say.

            Ideally, there would be a push to amend the Constitution to clarify something like the right to privacy, but realistically, I don't see that happening in our lifetime.  So, recognizing that the Constitution was written by men, and therefore they could not have possibly foreseen exactly how the country and society would evolve, we should honor the words that they used in the context of today's world.  Scalia's position effectively removes certain words, and I don't see any basis for doing that.

            •  Scalia would say that (0+ / 0-)

              So, recognizing that the Constitution was written by men, and therefore they could not have possibly foreseen exactly how the country and society would evolve

              The Founders were brilliant enough to know that they could not have possibly foreseen how the country and society would evolve.  That's why they put the amendment process in the Constitution.

              This is not a difference of opinion on whether the Constitution should be able to change with the times.  Both sides agree it should.  Scalia simply thinks that the Constitutional way for that to happen is the amendment process.  

              •  It's still a circular argument (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                A powerless minority would have to wait until they gain enough political power to push through an amendment - something that we couldn't even accomplish vis-a-vis the Equal Rights Amendment - at which time, the need for such an amendment would likely have vanished.  It's just another way to say that minorities are subject to the whims of majority rule.

                •  The counter to that is that (0+ / 0-)

                  the Constitution itself is a democratic document.  It exists because, and only  because, the people (through their representatives) put it in place.  And the people decided what rights would be in it and what rights would not.  Because the Constitution is a democratic document, it is up to the people to decide if there are additional rights that should be constitutionally protected -- as they did with numerous amendments.  

                  That's the counter-argument -- that since the Constitution is a democratic document, only the people -- not singular judges -- can decide what is in it, through the original ratification and the amendment process.  If the people didn't put it there, the argument goes, it's not there -- no matter how much a court thinks it ought to be there.  

                  •  We'll have to leave it there (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    We're back to where we started, which is that the authors did effectively put in a right to privacy.

                    Ultimately, the best way for us to win this debate - or at least maintain the status quo - is to re-elect Obama in 2012 and make sure he has a Democratic majority in the Senate.

          •  Tenth Amendment (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lyvwyr101, sjterrid

            and the 14th amendment, vague though thy may be, justify a right of privacy.

            "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

            by Steven D on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:40:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's the $64,000 question, isn't it? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LivesInAShoe, Darmok

              And constitutional scholars have been debating that since Griswold.  

              Scalia is right about one thing:  there is no expressly stated "right to privacy" in the Constitution.

              Whether it is "justified" by other amendments (or the "penumbras" of other amendments) is the subject of ongoing debate by constitutional scholars.  

  •  Scalia should have kept his mouth shut. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lyvwyr101, adigal, laker

    Having loosed this poison, he will, perhaps, drink it himself. We have laws against the very ideas he advances.

    •  Not If He Strikes Them Down We Don't (7+ / 0-)

      They functionally struck down the opening clause of the 2nd amendment. These guys aren't real big on precedent.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:43:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bingo. Scalia's the law, with four other votes. (7+ / 0-)

        And he's got them.  As many problems as I had with Sandra Day O'Connor, she kept the Court from going off the edge of the cliff.  Anthony Kennedy won't.  

        Courts are the only issue that matter, for me.  I know all the rest, but I am a central issue guy.  And I will never vote Republican.  Ever.  Based on the appointment power to federal courts.  I can't pull an R lever.  

        Taking over the courts has been a 30 year campaign by the Republicans, since Ed Meese and William Bradford Reynolds got started in Reagan's administration.  And the tipping point occurred when O'Connor stepped down.  

        We lose an independent judiciary, the third branch of government, it's all over.  

        "Lawyers, I suppose, were children once." To Kill A Mockingbird

        by DC Scott on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:58:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Bullshit if they fucking struck it down. (14+ / 0-)

        Stopped clocks and all that.
        The court, decided, correctly, that the prefatory clause was not intended to limit the operative.
        We've been over this and over it, and I wish to GOD anti-gun folks would stop slinging that bullshit on Democratic websites, and making us look bad.

        I might have recced your comment. Or...I might NOT have. Or I might have HRed you! You just don't KNOW! KILLING you, isn't it? MWOOOHAHAHAHAHA!

        by kestrel9000 on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:22:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There is a reasonable opposing view (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          esquimaux, sullivanst

          And one doesn't need to be "anti-gun" to make the argument.  It's an awkwardly worded sentence, at best.

          •  The reasonable opposing view (7+ / 0-)

            is irrelevant. The court has RULED.
            There's a reasonable opposing view against Roe also; neither am I interested in that.
            I find it interesting that those on the left side of the fence, in general, will rush to defend every inalienable human right EXCEPT the right to self defense, which is, as it is  ah uman right, a progressive value....simply because it offends their sensibilities.
            Interesting, hypocritical, and frankly, disquieting.

            I might have recced your comment. Or...I might NOT have. Or I might have HRed you! You just don't KNOW! KILLING you, isn't it? MWOOOHAHAHAHAHA!

            by kestrel9000 on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:35:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Under what mode of reason is it reasonable? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ER Doc, theatre goon

            Historical - No the historical record shows the Founder's agreed it was an individual right.
            Contextual - No the Bill of Rights limits government and preserves the right of individuals.
            Gramatical - No, thats why one is called a prefatory clause and one an operative.
            Logical - No, symbollic logic shows that to be incorrect as well.

            So again under what mode is it considered reasonable?

          •  an awkwardly-worded sentence that has led (0+ / 0-)

            to an awkwardly conflicting actuality.

            In the Founders' syntax, the prefatory DEFINED the operative.

            It proceeded from ponderous prefatory construction in German, then into Old English, and it is prevalent today where principle overrides the assertion being made. The exception must be stated first.

            The prefatory clause, "A well-regulated militia..." has been decimated by corporate interests through states' rights advocates at our peril. Lawyers have exploited loopholes.

            •  You are aware, are you not? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ezdidit, wishbone

              There were a number of other wordings for the second amendment.

              And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.
              Samuel Adams, (February 6, 1788), reported in Charles Hale, Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (1856), p. 86. This language was proposed in the Massachusetts convention for ratification of the U.S. Constitution to be added to Article I of that document.

              The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country; but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.
              Original text of what was to become the Second Amendment, as brought to the floor to the first session of the first congress of the U.S. House of Representatives. original text

              A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, but no person religiously scrupulous shall be compelled to bear arms.
              Reworded version of the Second Amendment by the select committee on the Bill of Rights, July 28th 1789. AoC pp. 669)

              A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; but no one religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.
              Draft version of the Second Amendment sent by the House of Representatives to the United States Senate, on August 24th, 1789. (Note: When the Amendment was transcribed, the semicolon in the religious exemption portion was changed to a comma by the Senate scribe).

              A well regulated militia, being the best security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed
              Revision voted on in the U.S. Senate, September 4th, 1789.

              A well regulated militia being the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
              Final version passed by the U.S. Senate; the phrase "necessary to" was added when the proposed Amendment was entered into the U.S. House journal.

              Pardon me for raining on your historical grammatical parade, that so happens to be wrong.

              •  Yes, and those ":wordings:" were rejected (0+ / 0-)

                in favor of our enduring example of Constitutional simplicity that survives today. But thanks for the history lesson a socialist ;<)</p>

                •  Hey, the first wording (0+ / 0-)

                  doesn't mention anything of a militia.

                  Just like when you collect all of the protected rights together they paint a picture of a line which government shall not cross, of which the enumerated rights are only single places on that line...

                  Reading all of the wordings together paints a picture of an individual right (keep their own arms), that it intends a well armed population (a well armed militia), that includes EVERYBODY (composed of the body of the people). Further, it's not only for the security of the individual states, as "being the best security" does not preclude other non-best options.

                  Hey, the process of turning a thought in your head into words on paper is not an error-free thing, especially when trying to extract a core intent and distill into as few words as possible. Then you add language evolution, where words slowly add and change meanings over time - such as 'regulated'. And you end up at a situation where 'great' once meant 'very large' and could be used to describe any large things even if unpleasant. Such as king george putting the screws to the colonies would have been described as a great suffering. Nowadays, 'great' is only really used as a positive adjective, and the neutrality is being forgotten.

                  So when you make statements about the structure of the sentence, when other structures of the same thoughts are historical fact, you look fairly daffy.

            •  I will add, however... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ER Doc, ezdidit

              I'm glad to see more Dem Socialists around.

          •  "Reasonable" only through.... (0+ / 0-)

            ignoring grammer and intent.

            But I guess words only mean what the observer wants them too, amiright?

  •  Relax, Only 15 More Years the Present Majority (9+ / 0-)

    is likely to hold. We only need to keep the White House till 2025 or so without ever losing it and without losing a filibuster proof majority in the Senate, and we can look forward to a solidly instead of radically conservative majority.

    We've got the conservatives right where we want them.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:41:35 AM PDT

  •  That's a startling admission: (13+ / 0-)

    "You do not need the Constitution to reflect the views of current society," he said during a wide-ranging interview with Hastings professor Calvin Massey. "I interpret it the way it was understood by society at the time." [...]

    How open-ended is that statement?  He doesn't judge the Constitution on its merits, but on how "society interpreted it"?  Society isn't a monolithic body - there are groups that can and will believe anything.  By this reasoning, he should be supportive of the institution of slavery.

    Come to think of it, given his views on economic matters...

    The play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.

    by KroneckerD on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:42:16 AM PDT

    •  Sorta makes you wonder how Scalia feels (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hillbilly Dem, Steven D, xanthippe2

      about Dred Scott or Brown v. Board of Ed.

      "We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid." -Ben Franklin

      by IndieGuy on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:51:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nope. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Scalia and strict constructionalists support the amendment process, which did away with slavery.  

      Their position, in fact, is that the amendment process is the only way to change/expand the meaning of the Constitution -- that Courts should not do it, but that the people should do it through the amendment process.  

      •  Except when they define Corporations (9+ / 0-)

        as having more rights than people.  Or of being people at all.  Funny, but I never saw that in the Constitution.

        "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

        by Steven D on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:59:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Citizens United did NOT define corporations (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Adam B, Pesto, Darmok

          as people.  Read the opinion.  The idea that it is based on "corporate personhood" is a MYTH.  WRONG.

          Citizens United was based on the idea that the First Amendment is a limitation on government and NOT a right granted to anybody specific, either individuals, or groups of individuals (like unions or clubs or partnerships or corporations). And that notion is based on a strict reading of the First Amendment:  

          Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.[1]

          Contrast the "freedom of speech" which does not reference "people" or "persons" to the freedom of assembly, which does.  And other amendments make clear that they are limited to "persons" (like the 5th).  The freedom of speech is not tied to "personhood," because even in the days of the Founders, people often "spoke" through organizations rather than as individuals.  

          •  Yes and Money is speech (5+ / 0-)

            Tell me more interesting things that I don't know.

            As for freedom of speech ever hear of a little word called implicit?

            Of course freedom of assembly would refer to persons.  It had to because an assembly is a group, but the right itself is an individual's right not a "group" right.  Thus the reference to persons.

            There was no need to refer to freedom of speech as an individual right.  It could be assumed.

            "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

            by Steven D on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:18:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  There's some room for disagreement here (0+ / 0-)


              here was no need to refer to freedom of speech as an individual right.  It could be assumed.

              Any time you talk about what was "assumed" you have room for disagreement.

              And I'm not so sure that the notion that freedom of speech did not apply to groups of individuals like organizations was what was intended in the First Amendment.  There were organizations back then that clearly "spoke" as an organization.  I think that, even then, the First Amendment would have prevented Congress from passing a law preventing organizations from speaking.  

              •  See the absurdity of your own argument? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Organizations don't speak.

                Individuals speak.  Sometimes they issue statements on behalf of a large group of people who have endorsed their statement as their own or granted those individuals that authority, but that is still a collection of individual statements made through an agent.

                In essence, Citizens United allows corporations to take profits earned by large organizations and claim that their political donations is the equivalent of speech by an individual.  It is not.  It certainly isn't set forth in the First Amendment.

                "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

                by Steven D on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:33:26 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Of course organizations speak (0+ / 0-)

                  Remember, even the founders considered the written word to be speech.  If a written word is put out through an organization, that is speech by the organization.  

                  When a newspaper prints an editorial opinion, that is speech by the newspaper.  When the Democratic Party puts out its platform, that is speech by the Democratic Party.  When a corporation puts out a press release, that is speech by the corporation.  

                  •  When a corporation writes a document without (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    lyvwyr101, esquimaux, burlydee

                    human input or agency and intention then and only then will I grant it and other "organizations" were intended to have first amendment rights.

                    "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

                    by Steven D on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 09:06:26 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  That is absurd (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Steven D, sjterrid

                    when a newspaper prints an editorial, that editorial has an author.  It may represent the views of an entire organization, but it can be traced to the words of one person or group of persons.  A corporate press release isn't speech by the corporation - the corporation didn't think of what to say, consult all its members, and dictate a statement to its secretary.  A publicist or president did.  There are people behind those words.  You've taken the legal fiction of the limited liabiity corporation, a corporation built to shield its members from personal responsibility for business purposes, and are treating it likes it natural law.  The only things that speak in society are human beings.   It is a mistake to build law after law on legal fictions.  That is how you get to the absurdity of Citizens United.  

    •  It's simply easier to bullshit. (5+ / 0-)

      The idea that he can divine the understandings of society simply means he can make up whatever he likes.  

      Some feel more comfortable with the certainty that comes from losing power and letting republicans stab them in the front. It's a failure of nerve.

      by Inland on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:55:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The hard thing about his standard is that it (6+ / 0-)

      means that the Consitution could not have evolved from 1787 aside from the Amendments.  The truth he is seeking is unknowable - and this is only by charitably taking him at his word about originalism.

  •  Don't kid yourself. Jews not welcome. (8+ / 0-)

    Scalia respects Jews, but only so much.  They need to keep their loud mouths shut until they die and go to Hell, which is where Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ says they're going.

    Muslims?  Don't even start.  

  •  Scalia is blinded by (8+ / 0-)

    his right wing ideology.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:43:26 AM PDT

  •  The man deserves to be impeached. (13+ / 0-)

    He hunted with Cheney but refused to recuse himself from a case that was a conflict of interest.

    "It is not too soon for honest men to rebel and revolutionize" - Henry David Thoreau

    by blueoregon on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:44:32 AM PDT

  •  And the Reagan legacy goes on. (10+ / 0-)

    The only thing that will save the sorry asses of the Democrats is the Republicans.

    by ThAnswr on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:44:52 AM PDT

  •  I have to agree (3+ / 0-)

    the Framers did intend religion to be important to government.

    The First Amendment restriction forbidding Congress to make any law regarding an establishment of religion not only forbade a single US religious establishment - it protected existing religious establishments in various states. For example, the Congregational Church was supported by Connecticut tax dollars until 1818.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:46:24 AM PDT

    •  James Madison wrote one of my favorite docs ever (3+ / 0-)

      to warn against such a situation in Virginia and it's pretty clear from the 15 points his lists that his belief was in a strict separation at any level.

      Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments

      Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

      by lockewasright on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:55:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Madison and Jefferson versus (0+ / 0-)

        Washington and some others who wanted a stronger role for religion in government.

        The Founders were far from monolithic on this or any other important topic. The Constitution is a compromise.

        In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

        by blue aardvark on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 09:34:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If it is then it is a compromise (0+ / 0-)

          that mentions religion only twice and both times are exclusionary.

          Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

          by lockewasright on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 10:36:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But as mentioned (0+ / 0-)

            the exclusion in the first amendment cut two ways.

            In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

            by blue aardvark on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 10:57:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Right, a complete separation. (0+ / 0-)

              Gov't stays the heck out of religion and religion stays the heck out of government.

              Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

              by lockewasright on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 10:59:33 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not quite (0+ / 0-)

                The Federal Government could not interfere with local governments using tax money to support an established religion - in other words, the most extreme form of non-separation short of coerced attendance.

                Connecticut funded the Congregational Church until 1818. Later - even post 14th amendment - there were communities founded out west which required adherence to the founding religion in order to be a part of the community.

                Also consider Grant's Quaker policy:

                The innovation in Grant's Native American  peace policy was in appointing "Quaker" or Christian agents to various posts throughout the nation. This in essence destroyed the power of patronage, as Congress would be reluctant to go after Church appointments. On April 10, 1869, Congress created the Board of Indian Commissioners whom Grant appointed volunteer members that were "eminent for their intelligence and philanthropy"; a previous commission had been set up under the Andrew Johnson Administration in 1868. The Grant Board was given extensive power to supervise the Bureau of Indian Affairs and "civilize" Native Americans. After the Piegan  Massacre on January 23, 1870 when Major Edward M. Baker killed 173 tribal members, mostly women and children, Grant was determined to divide Native American post appointments "up among the religious churches"; by 1872, 73 agencies were divided amongst religious denominations

                The Founders - not even Jefferson - never intended "separation of church and state" to mean what it does today.

                Arguing that the people who wrote the Constitution didn't understand what they wrote is not logical.

                In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

                by blue aardvark on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 11:08:58 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  read (0+ / 0-)

                  Madisons letter to Edward Livingston: it couldn't be more clear what they intended.

                  •  Read (0+ / 0-)

                    ONE Founder's intention as to what HE wanted.

                    The Constitution a compromise; our modern interpretation completely at odds with how they actually acted rather than what they may have written.

                    Christian chaplains in the Congress, funded by taxpayer dollars? The continuation of state funded churches? The establishment of communities where you had to adhere to a particular sect in order to be a full legal member? The aforementioned policy of Grant to allot government jobs explicitly to persons of faith?

                    All these acts were carried out while the men who wrote the Constitution (or, in Grant's case, the 14th amendment) were still with us. Whenever there is variance between interpretations of words, the best recourse is to review actions.

                    And the actions absolutely completely destroy to the last atom the idea that the Founders wanted a strict separation of church and state. Based on actions I predict that Jefferson would have been utterly aghast at Murray V. Curlett.

                    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

                    by blue aardvark on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 12:17:16 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Where are you getting this from? (0+ / 0-)

                      What "actions" are you referring to? Thomas Paine's "Age of Reason"? Or perhaps Jefferson writing that he hoped the superstition would "go the way of Minerva"? That's funny. . .I don't think Jefferson would have been "aghast" at Murray V. Curlett at all. . .I think he would have cheered! Religious indoctrination belongs in church on a Sunday morning. . .not shoved down my sons throat in school.

  •  I guess things have changed since the ERA... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle, Onomastic

    ....was blocked.  Back then, it wasn't needed because women already had all the same rights as men in the current version of the U.S. Constitution.

    Now, you need "legislatures".....

    The U.S. Constitution does not outlaw sex discrimination or discrimination based on sexual orientation, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told a law school audience in San Francisco on Friday.

    "If the current society wants to outlaw discrimination by sex, you have legislatures," Scalia said

  •  I believe you when you say he said these things (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but I'd also believe you if you said scalia advocated the stoning of Muslims just for their religion or the burning of witches or even advocating for the abolition of democracy in favor of a plutocracy.  Last I heard, he doesn't allow any recordings to be made of his remarks so I would basically believe anything you said about him.

    A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

    by dougymi on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:49:36 AM PDT

  •  At Least he is Consistent in His Prejudices (5+ / 0-)

    Scalia has repeatedly made public pronouncements such as, if African Americans or women could not get sufficience "white male legislators" to amend the Constitution, they have NO INHERENT right to, for example, vote. He is a prime proponent of the "Dead Constitution" concept, that the Constitution GRANTS people their rights (as opposed to having presumptive rights), and that it is made deliberately difficult to chisel new laws into the stone tablets Constitution.

    It is interesting how many conservatives justify themselves as having some sort of "Right to Discriminate" such as Rand Paul's arguments evince. I am also of the impression that many of the Constitutional amendments proposed by neoTheoCons since Reagan are about PREVENTING people from exercising their rights, such as flag burning or gay marriage. These are narrow-minded, frightened, and angry people, who clearly intend to enforce their will upon the rest of us.

    Only fools do battle in a burning house

    by Uthaclena on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:50:27 AM PDT

  •  American Taliban (8+ / 0-)

    No separation between Church and State, homosexual conduct subject to majority rule (banned); discriminate against women at will; carry your AK-47 in a public place; go duck hunting with a guy whose case you are working on; scream at your wife, Barbara, until she submits ....

    ...Democracy and the freedoms others saw in the penumbra of our constitution sit on a razor's edge. After "Citizens United", the are beginning to go over.

    Such an odious man.

    British Petroleum: I think that means it's foreign oil.

    by Bensdad on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:51:38 AM PDT

  •  It's insane that a Supreme Court justice (10+ / 0-)

    would even make comments like this in public.  Aren't judges supposed to not proclaim their own views lest people would see them as having a preconceived opinion in a case instead of deciding impartially on the issues?  Or am I just old fashioned and quaint?

  •  Sorry to say this, but he is correct (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    at least regarding some of the Founders. Every New England state save Rhode Island maintained an Established Church into the 19th century.

  •  Fuck Scalia! I know how to prove the founding (11+ / 0-)
    Fathers did NOT want a religious government, its because they didn't make religion enshrined with Gov when they had the chance!

    If the FF wanted a religious/christian gov they would have MADE ONE, and we wouldn't be "debating" it 240 years later!

    More proof that they are NOT true conservatives, they are religious/corporatist radicals. I know how to prove that the founding fathers wanted a strong, centralized federal government too! It's simple, the created one!

    You can always trust "conservatives" to invent their own history and reality when the current one doesn't suit their whims.

    End Corporate Personhood, no excuses

    by MinistryOfTruth on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:52:31 AM PDT

  •  Well Scalia did... (0+ / 0-)

    He did uphold flag burning as a means of self expression whereas such liberal judges such as Earl Warren, and first amendment absolutists Justice Black considered to be beyond the first amendment.
     Now as far as Justice Kennedy is concerned, though a conservative and a Reagan appointee ,he has protected abortion rights to a degree,he voted with the majority on the Reynolds decision stating homosexual conduct was beyond regulation, and has been generally good on first amendment rights.

  •  It is an absurdity that this rascal is anointed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    adigal, terrypinder

    to be a lifelong position in the Supreme is scary to find that he thinks

    adding that the United States is superior to some other countries because it "does God honor."

    World Wars had happened because one country thought they were superior to others..

    •  and on the basis, frequently, that (6+ / 0-)

      their god was the only true god.  More explicitly, that kind of rationalization for war pretty much tore up Europe, and was the reason that the Founders decided to have no state religion, as far as I can tell.

      "The truth is, we are all caught in a great economic system which is heartless." - Woodrow Wilson

      by billlaurelMD on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:05:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As somebody noted above, if the founders wanted (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        terrypinder, Nisi Prius

        a Christian country, they would have enshrined that in the Constitution. But the Christian activist judge Scalia has no conpunction into twisting the Consitution to suit his religious beliefs. The individual gun rights and the rights of corporation as citizens are extreme examples of what these extreme rightwing activist judges are going to prescribe for our country law books..

        •  part of the US was explicitly Christian (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          into the 19th century.

          On or shortly after independence, the colonies that had established the Church of England as its official church diestablished it, largely because all its clergy had taken an oath to support King George. However, as the Purtians in New England had native clergy, the Puritan Church kepts its official status everywhere except Rhode Island (where there never was an established church) into the 19th century.

          Dates of disestablishment:

          Vermont 1807
          Connecticut 1818
          New Hampshire 1819
          Maine 1820
          Massachusetts 1833

  •  He made at least one factual error (7+ / 0-)

    The founders intended to separate church and state.  We know this because a minority of the authors of the Constitution argued in favor of making the US a Christian country, and they lost -- and the arguments both ways made it into the historical record.  (What was unclear before the 14th amendment was whether a state could so so; it is now very clear.)  Thomas Jefferson, in particular, was very clear about this.  That's why the Texas school book board unpersoned him from the history books.

    Then again, Scalia is a guy who writes SCOTUS opinions full of homophobic rants that would get him fired from a lot of US corporations.

    •  not true (0+ / 0-)

      Every New England State save Rhode Island maintained an official state supported church into the 19th century.

      •  actually liberaldregs said that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Steven D

        the 14th amendment and subsequent court cases in the last century pretty much cemented the seperation of church and state advocated by Jefferson and later, President Tyler.

        russia ablaze. pakistan afloat.greenland aslush. gibbs doesn't matter.

        by terrypinder on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:27:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  courts have not gone that far (0+ / 0-)

          Jefferson and Madison would NEVER have accepted school vouchers for religious schools. But the Supreme Court did.

          •  that however has no bearing (0+ / 0-)

            on the fact that the 14th amendment and scotus decisions in the 1800s settled the unsettled issue of whether a state could have a state-sanctioned religion (since it was quite clear that the idea of a federal-sanctioned religion was right out).   in the end the jeffersonian concept of separation of church and state won out.  thankfully.  these facts are neither  negated by your comment regarding school vouchers nor is the school voucher comment in some way a trump card against these facts.


            There is a certain charm in the purity of irrelevance. But the more relevant you get, the more real you have to get. (Barney Frank)

            by dadanation on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 11:35:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  UGH!!! This man is a menace (4+ / 0-)
    The Founding Fathers wanted Religion in the COUNTRY, SUPPORTING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE if they wanted this, and for various religions to COMPETE in the MARKETPLACE of IDEAS.  They wanted to PROTECT Religion from the government by keeping a seperation between government and religion. Even greater than the harm religion does to governement is the harm that governement does to religion.  The Founding Fathers were mostly Deist or Protestant.  They did not want some authority interperting religion for individuals. People were supposed to be able to think and choose for themselves.  If the state joins with religion, it has no choice but to choose one particular sect of one particular religion.  That necc. undermines the free-marketplace of ideas.  Scalia should be ASHAMED of himself!
  •  So, he should be impeached, yes? (8+ / 0-)

    There is much to impeach Scalia on, including refusal to recuse himself in cases he had a financial interest in.

    "When in doubt, be ruthless" - Ferengi saying (-6.62, -6.26)

    by AndyS In Colorado on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:02:23 AM PDT

  •  Hey, people, he was making an (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Superpole, brooklyn137

    academic argument to law students.  And it's pretty much in line with a strict constructionalist view.  And a whole bunch of constitutional scholars agree with that view, while a whole bunch of constitutional scholars disagree with that view.  

    His first point is that a "right to privacy" is not in the Constitution.  And he's right -- words to that effect are simply not there.  Period.  The "right to privacy" arose because the SCOTUS at one point said that it was implied by the "penumbras" in the Constitution (read Roe v. Wade, which relied on Griswold).  Even constitutional scholars who think abortion should be legal question the constitutional validity of the way the SCOTUS did it -- by "implying" a right to privacy that was not stated.  This is simply the long-standing disagreement among constitutional scholars over whether (1) the Constitution means what it meant when the people voted (through their representatives" to put it in place, and any changes should come through amendment; or (2) the Court can decide that the meaning of the Constitution changes over time, so that it can mean today something that it clearly didn't mean when the people voted to put it in place.  That's a long-standing, legitimate debate between Constitutional scholars.  

    Now, you may disagree with strict constructionalists.  That's fine.  Although if you believe that the Court can re-interpret the Constitution to rely on rights "implied" in the Constitution, then you must answer this question:  Do you believe that the SCOTUS was correct in the FDR era to find an implied "right to contract" whereby the government is prohibited from interfering in private contracts between individuals?  There's not a whole lot of difference between the way the SCOTUS found the right to contract (which they used to invalidate certain FDR legislation) and the way the SCOTUS found the "right to privacy."  To  be consistent as a constitutional matter, either the SCOTUS was right both times, or wrong both times.  But both sides are hypocritical on this issue, and base their positions on their political views -- conservatives say Lochner (right to contract) was right, and Roe (right to privacy) was wrong, and liberals (as they were termed in FDR's day) say the opposite.  

    It's a legitimate, long-standing Constitutional debate, people.  It's exactly what a number of other constitutional scholars would say.  Of course, a number of constitutional scholars would say just the opposite.  That's what an academic debate is about.  

    •  It reflects the views in opinions he has written (3+ / 0-)

      in dissents and concurring opinions and these are the same views he would impose in cases decided by the court if he were given a five member extreme right majority on the court.  For now he has to shape his opinions when in the majority to what Kennedy will agree to do but don't kid yourself that he is not dead serious about his extreme radical right views.

      "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

      by Steven D on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:09:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely true that these are his opinions (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        but a strict constructionalist view is a well-recognized (in the academia) view of constitutional interpretation.  He is not the only constitutional scholar who adheres to this.  He is not some crazed wild man.  He is expressing an line of thought by many constitutional scholars.  The fact that many others disagree may make him wrong (in their view), but does not make him some idiot or nutcase.  

    •  Yes but.. (0+ / 0-)

       The "right to contract" is more or less an economic liberty which one could also apply the Commerce Clause to as far as regulating. Remember too for the longest time the Bill of Rights didn't apply to the states then only through the 14th amendment did it's safe guards get applied to the states ,a process that didn't end till the late 60's.

      •  Did you read "Lochner"? (0+ / 0-)

        It is based on notions of "substantive due process" and the "rights" that are implied in that.  

        Not all that different from the right to privacy being found in the "penumbras" of other amendments (Roe v. Wade)>  

        •  Yes I know that... (0+ / 0-)

          But didnot the Court get around alot of that by using the Commerce Clause?

          •  We must also remember.. (0+ / 0-)

            That the Right to Contract applied to states and the Federal Government was forbidden to intervene because of a very restrictive interpretation of the what was interstate commerce or not,i.e. "Dual Federalism".

            •  I understand those arguments (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              And you may well be right about that.  

              My point was that the way that the SCOTUS found the "right to contract" was startlingly similar to the way the SCOTUS found a "right to privacy."

              I find it amusing that conservatives can be so in favor of the SCOTUS finding implied rights in Lochner and so against it in Roe, and liberals (as they were called in FDR's day) can be so against finding implied rights in Lochner and so in favor of it in Roe.  

              Either the Court should find rights that are implied in the Constitution, or it should not.  

              •  Oh yes... (0+ / 0-)

                 I myself support the decisions protecting the rights of gun owners . As per Lochnerism rights I wished the court would apply some Lochnerism type rights to the issue of forfeitures,but I digress it won't happen.

          •  Of course.. (0+ / 0-)

             Sorry about all the posting I got some of the decsions mixed up!!!! However I think most would accept regulating one's buisness concerns far more then one's personnal life ,i.e. My ex-GF lived with me about 3 years ago and would get far more infuriated if somebody tried to outlaw living together as opposed to saying that when I was 16 I could work in a hazardous envoirment in violation of child labor laws.

      •  Also... (0+ / 0-)

        It wasn't till 1964 that public accomodation statutes were upheld by the court.

    •  Yes, But You're Missing the POINT (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Steven D

      that being anything stated by anyone in authority the next few weeks that looks/sounds even remotely threatening to we "Progressives" must be turned into a very urgent call to get out there and vote Democratic!!

      this is exactly what I stated was going to happen just a few weeks ago.

      "The U.S. isn't withdrawing from Iraq at all, it's rebranding the occupation". Seumus Milne

      by Superpole on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 10:51:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Megadittoes from Clarence Thomas... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stagemom, esquimaux, J Brunner Fan

    and his little dog too.

    h/t to ridemybike for the image.

  •  That is one obscene man (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle

    I know it because I've seen it.

    "Can you dance faster than the white clown?"

    by otto on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:05:45 AM PDT

  •  there is no Liberty without Privacy (7+ / 0-)

    Scalia needs to retire

    "can you please continue the petty bickering...I find it most intriguing" DATA

    by KnotIookin on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:08:57 AM PDT

    •  YES. Seems to me the history of Americans (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Steven D

      tells us that we like our privacy a whole lot.

      The far right should certainly see a right to privacy or else I will register all their guns and demand to see them  whenever I want to come into their homes.

      4th amendment is all about privacy or we would be fine with being searched all the time for any reason.

  •  Time to amend the Constitution, then (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Goobergunch, J Brunner Fan

    An amendment guaranteeing a well-defined right to privacy would solve a lot of problems.

    And it would probably be popular. Most people like the sound of the word "privacy," even right-wingers are always yammering about how desperate they are for the Guvmint to Leave Them ALOOOOOOOOOOONE!

    If I wanted to shut up, do what I'm told, and like it, I'd be a Republican!

    by MadLibrarian on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:11:33 AM PDT

    •  Never happen. The right-to-lifers will (correctly) (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Goobergunch, MadLibrarian
      see a privacy amendment as an end run around getting a current or future SCOTUS to repeal Roe v Wade. You would have Operation Rescue, Focus on the Family, Family Research Council, the entire Catholic church, etc, etc, roused into action by just introducing it in a Congressional session that had any chance of passing it.

      The one saving grace of American politics is that the Libertarian Party invariably makes the Democratic Party look like a highly organized hive mind.

      by jayjaybear on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 09:16:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And not just Roe v Wade, but Griswold, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lawrence and probably a bunch of what we consider to be landmark civil liberties decisions.

        The one saving grace of American politics is that the Libertarian Party invariably makes the Democratic Party look like a highly organized hive mind.

        by jayjaybear on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 09:17:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And not just Roe v Wade, but Griswold, (0+ / 0-)
        Lawrence and probably a bunch of what we consider to be landmark civil liberties decisions.

        The one saving grace of American politics is that the Libertarian Party invariably makes the Democratic Party look like a highly organized hive mind.

        by jayjaybear on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 09:17:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Don't you think he looks tired? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Oh damn, does that only work with British Prime Ministers?

    Elizabeth Warren has my back.

    by nightsweat on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:12:55 AM PDT

  •  Dumbass. Not heard of fucking Puritans? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DelRPCV, terrypinder, louisprandtl

    God, damn it.

    At the time of the founding of the nation, the reason the rationalist 'Founders' didn't want connections between state and religion was that their forebears had suffered the consequences of having government oppression of non-official sects and religions and beliefs.

    Do these nimrods want government fucking with sects and denominations again?

  •  There is something absurd here, but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, rainmanjr

    it ain't privacy.  It slays me that Scalia and his Catholic counterparts on the court could think that we (Catholics) won't be thrown under the bus if the Christian right gets its way.  They only tolerate us in order to get power.  After all, as the "Whore of Babylon," we're expendable - and maybe executable.

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:14:49 AM PDT

  •  In some other countries (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    amk for obama

    Voicing such opinions would cause a national scandal and would result in the judge in question being impeached and removed.

  •  Ah, I see. So he's one of these guys (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, JL

    Who believes sex should be had while both parties are covered from head to toe in sheets with a little cut in both sheets are strategically placed positions.

    Good to know.

    "They proved that if you quit smoking, it will prolong your life. What they haven't proved is that a prolonged life is a good thing." - Bill Hicks

    by Moon Mop on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:21:18 AM PDT

  •  Posting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D

    Amen to that!

  •  Here's the Privacy Right in the Constitution (10+ / 0-)

    Amendment IV

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    "Secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects" means privacy. The right to privacy isn't just mentioned in the Constitution, it's itemized. Now, there's some legitimate argument about whether the Constitution's explicit protection of the privacy right from unreasonable searches and seizures is a legitimate basis for protecting abortion or any other medical procedure. Even if it doesn't, the privacy right in our persons is explicit, and the government doesn't have any power created to invade that privacy, except under "general welfare" protections that would protect most abortions, not make them vulnerable to prohibition.

    Scalia is arguing with the clearly written privacy right that the Founders signed and has never been amended. He's not actually stupid, he's no more crazy than any other highly functioning fundamentalist professional. He's simply evil, yet another Republican who will say anything to enforce their selfserving and internally contradictory agenda, no matter how it destroys the country and people in it.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:23:51 AM PDT

  •  This man is dangerous. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, esquimaux, Nisi Prius, JL

    But he is simply one of the more visible representations of the rich and powerful who hate anyone who is not like them.

    I wish we could impeach this jerkoff, and several others on the court, for malfeasance or something and get him off the Supreme Court.

    I know we most likely can't, which adds to the despair I feel about anything ever changing for the better in this country.

    There are too many rich and powerful people with the time and the money to either work hard or pay others to work for them to continue to steal our futures.

    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

    by Brooke In Seattle on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:26:39 AM PDT

  •  Justice Scalia's dishonesty is blatant (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, amk for obama

    Early U.S. leaders intended religion to play a major part in the government, Scalia said.

    There is not reference in the Constitution for this whatsoever, but Scalia still infers it because he is so bound up in his personal religious superstition.

    At the same time he divines some religious basis underlying the Constitution, he insists on direct evidence that anything he doesn't like be directly mentioned before he will even consider it.

    That's textblook intellectual dishonesty.

    And, we haven't even delved into his states' rights beliefs ... that, of course, is code for Jim Crow laws.

  •  If this won't make you vote in Nov, what would? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, lightfoot, amk for obama
  •  Well (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, milkbone, amk for obama
    If Scalia wants to play that game ... we must ask whose religion the Founders wanted to play in government.  Somehow I doubt it was Scalia's Roman Catholicism.

    "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

    by TLS66 on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:32:31 AM PDT

  •  He is an evil man just like the Founding Fathers (0+ / 0-)
    •  sheesh (0+ / 0-)

      The founders were not "evil". They were products of their time, just as we are. And with all their weaknesses, they still crafted an amazing set of documents and a system for governance. They also created an amendment process, which is constitutional, to allow for changes and corrections.

  •  That's why I keep arguing that rights (0+ / 0-)

    are not the issue -- i.e. they do not come out of the Constitution.  The Constitution puts limits on our agents of government by specifying that they may only do what's been authorized, no more and no less.  In addition, the amendments incorporate some prohibitions -- what the agents of government may not do, unless they have a good reason and get a warrant from the judiciary.

    The nation was set up to insure life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but the complete enumeration of human rights was not attempted, probably because once you start counting, you're almost certain to leave something out -- of which the Amendments are evidence.

    I think what Scalia is doing is telling conservatives they shouldn't get their hopes up, relying on the Constitution to establish right behavior for society in general.

    The Constitution is not a menu for an exclusive diner.

    by hannah on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:40:09 AM PDT

    •  those not ennumerated are with the people. nt (0+ / 0-)
      •  Right. And there is to be no deprivation (0+ / 0-)

        of rights without due process of law and as punishment for malfeasance.  What some of our agents of government want to argue is that the security of the nation and their mission to "protect" the nation (an idea, not a person) trumps the natural person's rights.  And, if not that, if a person can be "persuaded" to voluntarily surrender rights (like when signing up for military service) then the state's obligation to respected them is nullified.

        Human rights are a burr under the saddle of the authoritarians.  But, instead of getting down off their high horse, they dig in their heels.

        The Constitution is not a menu for an exclusive diner.

        by hannah on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 01:40:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Scalia=WYSIWYG (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    He's a turd.

  •  either Scalia is losing his mind (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, JL

    or he is participating in a deliberate, engineered full frontal assault on the Constitution by the American Taliban

    •  He was always more than a little crazy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Red Phone Is Ringing

      There's clearly something wrong with him. Like most wingnuts he was brought up in a socially, culturally and ideologically sheltered world, and upon exposure to the real world couldn't handle it, freaked out, and found comfort and shelter in the company of fellow ideological neanderthals, who, by repeating their nonsensical mantras to each other and shielding themselves from the progressive ideas of the post-enlightenment world, fool themselves into believing that their flat earth ideas are sound and correct. And when forced to confront a modern idea, they freak out and lash out, as Scalia regularly does.

      He may be "brilliant", but he's also just plain nuts.

      "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

      by kovie on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:51:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Right to Privacy is So Fundamental (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D

    I doubt if any of the Founding Fathers thought it necessary to explicitly add it to the Bill of Rights.

    •  Then it's not in the constitution, is it? (0+ / 0-)

      Consider this view.  The Constitution itself is a democratic document.  It exists because, and only  because, the people (through their representatives) put it in place.  And the people decided what rights would be in it and what rights would not.  Because the Constitution is a democratic document, it is up to the people to decide if there are additional rights that should be constitutionally protected -- as they did with numerous amendments.  

      Since the Constitution is a democratic document, only the people -- not singular judges -- can decide what is in it, through the original ratification and the amendment process.  If the people didn't put it there, the argument goes, it's not there -- no matter how much a court thinks it ought to be there.

      That view of the Constitution (which is pretty much Scalia's, by the way) would indicate that the Court should not "find" rights unless the people put them there.  

      •  And yet (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the right wingers on the Court have found the term "person" to refer to corporations.  How can one honestly argue that this is less of a stretch than finding a right of privacy that while not explicitly stated as such, is described fairly well in the fourth amendment, among others.

        The fact is that Scalia is perfectly happy adding his own interpretation of the Constitution, absent legislative direction, if it furthers his agenda.

        Scalia is a fraud.

      •  From this perspective (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Steven D

        Scalia should not be issuing opinions because according to the original intent doctrine judicial review is not in the constitution; that  john Marshall guy was really out of line when he decided 'Marbury'.

    •  4th ammendment has privacy in it. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      burlydee, rainmanjr

      Why can't you search me or my home?


  •  We need a new Constitution. (0+ / 0-)

    I don't agree with Scalia that right of privacy isn't granted by the Constitution but I do think you need to search for it way too hard than should be necessary.

    The country has already gone to hell so if/when we get around to rebuilding it, we may as well start with new founding documents.

  •  ALL the Dems in the Senate voted to confirm (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TracieLynn, Steven D, esquimaux


    that's been a problem for decades now... Dems who vote for shit judicial appointments.

    "History is a tragedy, not a melodrama." - I.F.Stone

    by bigchin on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:44:46 AM PDT

  •  To understand the mind of a wingnut (6+ / 0-)

    --and Scalia et al are clearly wingnuts, meaning that they're not quite right in the head in ways that don't necessarily make them insane--you have to realize that this isn't really about the specific issues on which they have such clearly radical and crazy ideas, be it evolution, global warming, god and government, abortion, gay rights, etc., but about a deep sense of alienation from a society that's left them behind, because they cannot and/or will not adapt to and change with the times, as all of us must. They're stuck, they don't know how to get with the program, they don't understand or like modernity, it terrifies them, and they respond not by accepting the inevitability of progress not only in technology, but in ideas, morality, values, society, culture, etc., but by lashing out at it and pointing to some ideal mythical time in the past when everything was the way it's supposed to be. They are, in short, like children who never quite grew up, and refuse to and/or are unable to even try. They are "special"--or, less charitably, problem children.

    I'm not entirely snarking here. There's something deeply wrong with these people, and they have to be seen and dealt with as such, as pathological, and not merely as people with different ideas that we don't agree with. Their ideas, and the way in which they discuss them, are deeply un-American, because they're anti-liberal (and yes, this is, was and hopefully always be a liberal country, from day one, flaws and all, because it was founded on liberal ideas, the most liberal ones in circulation at the time, and has advanced due to liberalism, not conservatism). And yet these meshugenahs deludedly think (or dishonestly claim) that their ideas are the true American ones. Bullshit. Scalia & Co. are living in a reality of their own making, and we have to call them on their bullshit, and stop trying to reason with them. You can't reason with nutjobs and liars. You can only ignore or marginalize them. The ideas that these people espouse, express and try to impose on the rest of us contradict what America has always been about. They are stuck in an ideological cul-de-sac and instead of figuring a way out, they're trying to force the rest of us to join them there. I say that we brick up that cul-de-sac and let them rot in there.

    Crazy ideas by crazy people, that must be seen and dealt with as such.

    "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

    by kovie on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:45:31 AM PDT

  •  He's right. He is correct on this. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laughing Vergil

    And this is why we need to push for an Equal Rights Amendment - the unfinished businesses of the 1970s.

    Wonder if we could get Sarah Palin to work with us on that?

    15 million voters in 44 days. Sign up at OFA today.

    by Benintn on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:45:50 AM PDT

  •  Impeach him (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    before he makes us an arm of the Vatican

    "just give me some truth" --John Lennon

    by vernon nackulus on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:48:01 AM PDT

  •  Any dogmatic imbecile (0+ / 0-)

    Saying there is no difference between electing Republicans and Democrats should read this. More Republicans = more Scalias = Christian sharia laws for all of us

  •  The Reconstruction Amendments changed everything (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Iberian, lalo456987, Nisi Prius, Lopez99

    by correcting the really profound flaws that existed in the Constitution of 1787.  Scalia and the like are fundamentally just skeptics and denialists about that.  In Scalia's mental universe that set of profound errors- which the Framers and ratifiers knew to exist- merits a remarkable respect and adoration and sentimentality which the Framers would have rejected with a belly laugh and ridicule.

    I say: watch Scalia and enjoy his entertaining fantasies and absurdity.  He's mentally a Roman Empire judge displaced into the present, a clever fool who wants to regress us to an idealized Ancient World.  In essence because it's a happier and safer place for the mentally unstable and insane.

    We have literally suffered an outbreak and 90%+ concentration of popular insanities and idiocies into the American political right wing for about forty years.  And Scalia is the head PR flak for the affirmative action program.

    The good news imho is that by becoming politically engaged and victim-making they are subjecting themselves to eventual defeat and destruction.

  •  How about this (0+ / 0-)

    "If the current society wants to outlaw discrimination by sex, you have legislatures,"  Scalia said during a 90-minute question-and-answer session with a professor at UC Hastings College of the Law. He said the same was true of discrimination against gays and lesbians. [...]


    "If the current society wants to outlaw handguns by law, you have legislatures,"  Scalia said during a 90-minute question-and-answer session with a professor at UC Hastings College of the Law.

    After all, if civil rights aren't spelled out to the letter in the USBoR, neither is what constitutes a firearm.

    •  Pertinent concept: (0+ / 0-)

      "In the hands of conservatives, federalism is a wonderfully malleable concept. They love to pay homage to the rights of states and condemn the evils of federal encroachment of state sovereignty. Yet when states try to protect the environment, protect consumer rights or prevent discrimination, these same conservatives are the first to argue for federal laws (or interpretations of existing federal laws) to snuff out state sovereignty." - Legal analyst Paul Gordon, of People for the American Way, in response to the US Circuit Court of Appeals' overruling of NY State's Airline Passenger Bill of Rights

      I must agree with those commenters who have said Scalia lacks any principles except those which allow justification of a result he already desires to enable. Thus do our authoritarian rulers decree...

  •  I give thanks every day that Scalia (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    failed in his attempt to become Chief Justice of the United States.

    "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
    I don't want to take my country back. I want to take my country FORWARD.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:56:01 AM PDT

  •  Scalia opens his own mouth but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Thomas needs his wife to do that for him because he is too busy collecting Coke cans.

  •  theocracy is what the right wing wants (7+ / 0-)

    The closer they get to theocracy, the closer they get to eliminating the Democratic party and having no competition, because if you're a theocrat, the GOP is the only game in town.

    That's why they have control of the South, and if they stealth it in to the government itself, they'll be able to spread it all over the other states, too.

    If you want to control a lot of naive, trusting people, religion is the way to do it... and even though religion has ruined their party with all the sectarianism it brings with it, it's still the only thing the GOP has left now, because they're proven failures in governance.  So, expect 'em to be playing a WHOLE lot more religious cards now.  They'll be hammering at the separation of church and state as hard as they can, because their evangelical base wants that gone: they want government out so the church can make the rules for the rest of us instead.

    They see what the Taliban did in Afghanistan and they're jealous of it.  They'll fight as hard as they can to bring that here.  That's really what the Tea Parties are about... shrinking government... until it's small enough that the church can beat it down.

    "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

    by Front Toward Enemy on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 09:07:35 AM PDT

    •  Theocracy is the bottom line (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Steven D, Front Toward Enemy

      I agree with Front Toward Enemy. Everything the Tear (intentional) Party folks believe is rooted in Christianity - fundamentalist Christianity, the Christian equivalent of radical Islam.
      The music that gets made, the movies that get made, the books that get published, the blog sites you read, the places you go, the things you buy and own, the environment we live in - they want everything under Judeo-Christian law. Winning control of government will give them the chance to do it all - erase the freedoms and protections for the 85% of us who are not them. And they use the word "tyranny"!
      You may have to hold your noses to vote Democratic in November, but the stink you are avoiding then will be nothing compared to the stench arising across the country if people who hate everything you love about America AND feel marginalized get power.

  •  Judicial "Activism", conservative hypocrisy... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, JL

    ...and random (though sadly not likely to become reality) thoughts of impeachment run through my mind when I hear about the increasingly blatant Tea-Partyization of the Supreme Court's uber-GOP'er majority's decisions.  As this article pointed out, conservatives for years have loudly complained about "activist judges" when the Supreme Court positions were supposedly filled by more "liberals".  The conservatives complained that rulings were based on political beliefs of the Justices rather than on the Constitution.  

    Oddly enough, now that the uber-right wing faction of the GOP has the majority of SC positions, they don't care so much about objective Constitution-based rulings.  As long as the rulings reflect the views of the GOP and their corporate sponsors, the conservatives are okay if the Constitution is ignored and/or misinterpreted; apparently for them it's actually more important that decisions reflect the platform of the republican party.

  •  frankly, the constitution COULD be a lot (0+ / 0-)

    more clear about the right to privacy. I do not believe privacy is even mentioned until you get to some of the ammendments... this has always troubled me.

    •  not even then (0+ / 0-)

      The word privacy is not in our constitution.

    •  It's a fairly modern concept (0+ / 0-)

      There was a sort of ill-defined "my stuff is not your stuff" in regards to personal property, land, wives, children, etc, but local legislature was supposed to take care of specifics regarding violations of personal property.  The closest we got was "unreasonable search and seizure" - again, because a man's property was his, and not yours.  

      We've expanded it over the centuries to include the body itself as a possession, as well as the homestead.  This is a fairly libertarian, or classical liberalism, school of thought, which really didn't come up until the 19th century.  Not only our things, but our thoughts, and our very lives, are ours and ours alone and it's no one's damn business what we do with them provided we're not injuring others.

      Conservatives: They love America. They hate actual Americans.

      by catwho on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 09:40:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So ask Scalia (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TracieLynn, sawgrass727, GTPinNJ

    What is the definition of "Arm" that we have the right to bare.  If he says anything other than a single shot muzzle loaded weapon then he is a phoney. No amendment to the constitution says we have the right to bear an Uzi or even a cartridge loaded weapon of any kind. Let's hear him answer this question and dance around the gun lobby.

    •  We already know he is a phony. n/t (0+ / 0-)
    •  i suspect he's thought of that already (0+ / 0-)

      Seems simple enough. An 'arm' would be the sort of thing that the founders would have recognized as an arm.

      If i could show George Washington a colt 45, would he consider it an arm? i'd say yes.

      A 12 gauge shotgun? yes again.

      An M-16? yeppers.

      Though the technology has changed, they still perform the same essential function so all are clearly arms.

  •  Dern Activist Judges (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated


    -space unintentionally blank-

    by hillgiant on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 09:15:05 AM PDT

  •  The Vatican (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    croyal, JL

    used to be the Supreme Power..I guess he likes the example and is sorry it is no longer.

    If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. Dalai Lama

    by ohcanada on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 09:15:31 AM PDT

    •  See my other comment below (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I talked a little about authoritarianism within the GOP.

      The Vatican is a form a liberal authoritarianism, meaning they care about the greater good but want to retain a centralized power to determine what the greater good is.

      What Scalia and Thomas represent in the American political spectrum is conservative authoritarianism. They want centralized power, but it's about power, not the greater good.

      I can see Scalia admiring the Vatican for its power, but like many American conservative Catholics who think like him, as well as most other very authoritarian-leaning conservatives in the US right now, he really couldn't give a damn about the greater good. At least Pope Benny cares, even if we non-authoritarian liberals disagree with his positions on what really is the greater good.

      -8.50, -7.64 Autism Speaks does not speak for me. I can speak for myself. I am a person, not a disease. I want to be respected, not "cured."

      by croyal on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 09:31:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  SCARY. In his book "Broken Government, (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raatz, KayCeSF, Steven D, fhcec, Lopez99, JL

    How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, the Executive and Judicial Branches", John W. Dean, lawyer of Nixon turned whistleblower, said EXACTLY the same thing. That is, if there is ONE REASON to keep the republicans out of power, it's the Supreme Court.

    To the progressives who are disappointed and plan to sit home in November, for the love of God, wake up !!!  Look at the big picture, think LONG TERM! The FIRST battle is against  extreme conservatism. It's about turning the big ship of State away from an ICEBERG !!

    Giving the state of the country and the political system, I view the first term of the Obama presidency as a transitional presidency. If democrats succeed at turning the ship of state away from the "iceberg", then, other battles for a progressive agenda will be a bit easier.

    Thank you for an important diary.

  •  I thought we arleady new this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nisi Prius

    Scalia and Thomas, both rabid authoritarians.

    We've seemed to have forgotten that many of these older, long-time conservatives are still clinging to the ideals of the conservative side of the American political spectrum that predate the neo-conservative movement. You know, not too long ago, there were a good portion of American conservatives who weren't ashamed to admit they would be happy to dispose of our Constitution in favor of an absolute monarchy, especially in the South.

    So when the GOP focused on their Southern Strategy, this sort of unchecked, anti-Constitution and ironically anti-republic authoritarianism became a major current in their ideology. It's just been digested and re-branded to make it not seem what it really is. They wanted centralized power that they can control and they want to take away our power to question and challenge that.

    -8.50, -7.64 Autism Speaks does not speak for me. I can speak for myself. I am a person, not a disease. I want to be respected, not "cured."

    by croyal on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 09:25:18 AM PDT

  •  Doesn't Scalia cite (0+ / 0-)

    his right to privacy for why his speeches cannot be recorded?

    No, it's never just been in the South.

    by conlakappa on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 09:27:30 AM PDT

  •  Of course Scalia and company can be co-opted (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annrose, rainmanjr

    Just pass an ammendment on privacy, abortion, gay marriage.

    Then they'll be required to uphold it based on their own philosophy.

    •  Privacy might pass but abortion or g.m. (0+ / 0-)

      Even privacy is no longer possible thanks to this medium on which we all chat.  Our world has changed pretty dramatically since 1779 but we haven't kept pace.  Therefore, serious inequities continue to confound our understanding of what The Constitution allows for.  We should have a Constitutional Convention to explore these newer concepts and clarify them.

      "There's really nothing I want out of the past except history." - Autoegocrat

      by rainmanjr on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 04:54:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  They were Deists for crying out loud (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annrose, KayCeSF, Steven D, fhcec, Lopez99

    They believed in God, and refer to "the creator of Man" and whatnot, but they believed God made the universe and then just left it alone.  They thought Jesus was a great philosopher, but so was Socrates and Mohammed.

    They thought that morality should play a role on government, in that we should uphold justice and the law and treat all other human beings with dignity (as long as they were white male landowners), but religion itself was never supposed to play a part.  They knew that was a major reason why so many people fled the British Isles - they were sick of the monarchy also being the head of the church.

    Conservatives: They love America. They hate actual Americans.

    by catwho on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 09:33:12 AM PDT

  •  Scalia's perspective is neither new nor uncommon (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, rainmanjr

    Scalia's narrow view is fundamental to Republican ideology and we need to stop pussy-footing around it. It's not shocking. It's simply not the way we want to live and we should clarify legislatively expansive, inclusive Constitutional rights including what privacy means to us today. I think Scalia's wrong but why waste any more generations even discussing this? We can and should stop allowing this domestic threat to the Constitution.

    "People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy," Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins.

    by kck on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 09:33:35 AM PDT

  •  Disqualified. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annrose, Steven D, fhcec, Pandoras Box

    ...(Scalia) said, adding that the United States is superior to some other countries because it "does God honor."

    Wow. Automatic disqualification from public office, serious discussion, and civilization in general.

    People shouldn't be let into kindergarten with this kind of attitude, never mind SCOTUS.


    I mean holy shit. Fucking psychopath.

    When President Palin decides to bomb Mexico City, will Clinton, Kerry, Franken, et al. hem and haw before ultimately deciding it all sounds pretty reasonable?

    by VictorLaszlo on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 09:34:12 AM PDT

  •  What an asshole. Can't wait for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    this jerk to retire.

  •  Gawd (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Goobergunch, Steven D, Big Tex
    I'm a lawyer.  When I debate my "strict constructionist" friends about Constitutional law and philosphy, I ask this question:  If you maintain that the Constitution must be interpreted in accordance with the Framers' worldview and their times, do you agree that the establishment and maintenance of the United States Air Force is unconstitutional?
  •  Apparently the 10th amendment only covers the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    right to oppress gays, and not the right to be gay. Seriously, it explicitly says "Just because it's not in here doesn't mean it's not a right", and conservatives scream "You (individual people) can't do that, it's not in the Constitution!".

    They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

    by Ponder Stibbons on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 09:44:31 AM PDT

  •  I also “may not like” (0+ / 0-)

    being talked down to as if my policy demands are all mere preferences like chocolate versus vanilla. I don't need a lecture; I already know how important the Supreme Court is, thanks much.

    Oh, and due to Obama's choice of Elena Kagan, those four justices comprise fully half the Supreme Court for the purposes of half of this year's docket, including several critical privacy cases. So, um, yay.

    Formerly known as Jyrinx.

    “If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.” ― Emma Goldman

    by Code Monkey on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 09:45:07 AM PDT

  •  not Jefferson, but yes, forgot, he was recently (0+ / 0-)

    erased from history

  •  Can you impeach a Justice? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It would seem that stating these views publicly is tantamount to offering to rule favourably should a state challenge the current laws.

    Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't.

    by EdgedInBlue on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 09:51:51 AM PDT

  •  Maybe the framers... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    were just so caught up in trying to figure out how to count slaves that they plumb forgot to include what is so intuitively obvious?

    Or maybe the framers (blessed be their privileged, white penises) were wrong?

    Better Dems: Niki Tsongas

    by lalo456987 on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 09:52:52 AM PDT

    •  Either case is irrelevant. (0+ / 0-)

      Our Constitution, right or wrong, is the law.  We do have the right to make amendments that address issues we'd like to see resolved but, barring an amendment, saying the framers were wrong does not help.

      "There's really nothing I want out of the past except history." - Autoegocrat

      by rainmanjr on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 04:58:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well I for one know that Thomas (0+ / 0-)

    doesn't believe all that.  Scalia has become a worse and worse example of the originalist point of view over time.

    Thomas wished to overturn Wickard in Raich v Gonzales and opposed Kelo v New London as well.

    That said there is a lot of history behind the selected Scalia quotes.  I don't find it at all odd that the Founders meant for religion to pay a part in our nation.  They meant for it to play a part at the state and personal level (Many state constitutions had religious components or outright religious tests for elected office.)  

  •  Scalia has demonstrated through his comments (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nisi Prius

    that he is fundamentally unfit to be a member of the Supreme Court, and he should be impeached and removed from office.  He has an open and unashamed hostility toward the written language of the Constitution and any reasonable interpretation thereof when it contradicts with his Christianist, corporatist worldview, and has a demonstrated propensity toward ignoring the Constitution as necessary to advance his beliefs.

    Proud member of the unpaid "professional left" since 8/10/2010 / Viva Canadian healthcare! Death to the Pentagon! Free Mumia!

    by Big Tex on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 10:00:31 AM PDT

  •  Look at his history (0+ / 0-)

    "Scalia is the primary henchman. When you're out of plays and you've exhausted all of the efforts you go to a guy like Scalia. People don't understand what Scalia is all about. Look at his history--his father ran the American fascist party in New York. Not only that he attended the same schools those people attended. He is their man whenever they're in trouble......snip

    •  I checked around on this (0+ / 0-)

      There is no evidence that Scalia's father was associated with any fascist organization. Unless there's a little more back-up, I think that that charge shouldn't be made.

      Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

      by milkbone on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 12:54:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So his Bible is living and can change with the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D

    times but the Constitution is dead and must stay the same ...

    Oh his Bible can't?  Does he wear two different fabrics?

    Bumper sticker seen on I-95; "Stop Socialism" my response: "Don't like socialism? GET OFF the Interstate highway!"

    by Clytemnestra on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 10:10:50 AM PDT

  •  Scalia is a complete jackass (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D

    How he rose to his position is beyond me, but I wouldn't rule out cronyism (federalists)

    A word to the wise is infuriating. Hunter S. Thompson

    by pickandshovel on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 10:20:24 AM PDT

  •  I can see his argument on privacy to some degree (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D

    I have some sympathy for the notion that the expansion of privacy rights under a series of cases that began with Griswold v. Connecticut has a shakey foundation if you examine it very carefully.  In that case, Justice Douglas discussed "Penumbras of privacy" that emanated from specifically enumerated rights under specific amendments, such as the right of association and its attendant right of privacy under the first amendment.  He discussed the notion that just because something is not specifically stated in explicit terms in the constitution, doesn't mean the court cannot locate it in order to give meaning and life to specifically enumerated rights.

    So Douglas, in a way, fabricated a way to keep the government out of married couples bedrooms, literally, in the search for contraceptives, which were at the time prohibited in Connecticut.  It's unclear what specific amendment provided the specific penumbra of privacy that would protect married people from the intrusion of government into their bedroom.  It was the fourth amendment, the first amendment, a mish mosh.

    Please everyone just google "Griswold v. Connecticut" and read it yourselves.  It's short and sweet.

    That being said, I think it was a brilliant expansion of rights and one that is completely within the spirit of the constitution.  

    I think Scalia is completely wrong to threaten this vaguely secured right to privacy on the basis of constitutional literalism.  His religiously based personal disdain of sexual privacy is clear, and that is what makes him so itchy to overrule precedent.  So that makes him wrong in two ways:  1.  He is biased, the worst sin of all in a judge

    1. The personal right of privacy has come to be embraced and relied upon by the people.  We, as a people, do NOT want government involved in our sex lives, in our intimate relationships and other deeply personal matters.  The notion of privacy in personal matters, beyond the reach of government, particularly consensual sexual matters and family planning matters, is fundamental to our way of life.  Most people don't know how this right to privacy was derived, and don't care.  It is as essential as breating to them.  

    There is also a notion of stare decisis, which means courts are obligated to follow previous cases in order to maintain stability and predictability.  Just because you personally, as a judge, disagree with a ruling, doesn't mean the court should go around reversing important decisions, particularly so if reversing those decisions results in the reduction of rights.

    Imagine if Scalia and his buddies were to overturn the precedent of Griswold v. Connecticut and all the cases that came out of that, including Roe v. Wade:  We would literally go back to the bad old days, when states could outlaw contraception, abortion, unharmful sexual practices, gay relationships and on and on.  It would be a a disaster.

    Many state constitutions have specific provisions setting forth the right to privacy.  Perhaps we should get that ball rolling right now to protect ourselves against the unfortunate possibility of creeps like Scalia getting the majority on the court.

  •  Hmmm about those founding fathers... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, rainmanjr

    Mr. Scalia. If they truly wanted religion in government as you say then you, Roberts, and Alito wouldn't be setting on the Supreme Court today, because most of the founding fathers were Protestants that had no love of the pope and Catholicism. How ironic!  

    New improved bipartisanship! Now comes in a convenient suppository!!! -unbozo

    by Unbozo on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 10:37:31 AM PDT

  •  "I interpret it the way it was understood (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe

    " by society at the time." [...]

    Am I missing something, or is he saying that not only are we bound by what the founders explicitly wrote into the constitution, but by societal attitudes of the 18th century?

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. --Bertrand Russell

    by denise b on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 10:38:17 AM PDT

    •  That is what he is saying. Yes. (0+ / 0-)

      Only in the area of Catholic's rights does he differ from the views of 18th century society.  We don't want everyone to be a SCJ.  Do we?
      Strict constructionalism is what the Federalist Society advocates for, as I understand them, and much of the document's intent is based on societal attitudes in their time.

      "There's really nothing I want out of the past except history." - Autoegocrat

      by rainmanjr on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 05:07:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Zz (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Justice Scalia has expounded these views a hundred times before. Why anybody is shocked I cannot tell. I think there is a vague idea that a Justice ought not to air his prejudices so freely. That's true if he were to discuss some pending case.  Other than that, though, he can say he is a devotee of Yogic Ayurvedicism and the Constitution therefore requires us to drink pee.

  •  I wonder what dictionary Scalia uses (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D

    when he's reading the Constitution. Since he restricts himself to original meaning he can't be using any modern dictionary (that would be hypocritical!). So I sincerely wonder what 18th century dictionary he uses in his daily work; the language has changed since then and any dictionary published in the 1800s or 1900s would mislead because they would present the words used by the constitution-writers but would add meanings the constitution-writers didn't recognize.

  •  Still More Fear Mongering...Weak, Very Weak (0+ / 0-)

    Scalia shoots off his mouth in front of some students, and this automatically means:

    This is why it pays to fight to retain Dems in the House, Senate and especially in the Oval Office.

    Uhhh, no.

    Last time I checked, the SCOTUS does not craft and pass legislation... that's the job of Congress.

    and if congress is considering doing something "radical" then the question becomes which "democrats" in congress are going to stupidly go along with it in order to serve their corporate masters and their own political careers.. i.e. extension of the bush tax cuts being one example. NAFTA, the iraq war resolution, and the repeal of Glass-Steagall being examples as well.

    "The U.S. isn't withdrawing from Iraq at all, it's rebranding the occupation". Seumus Milne

    by Superpole on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 10:44:55 AM PDT

    •  Uhh, yes... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Steven D, rainmanjr

      The senate confirms judicial appointees; that's how we got four conservative radicals on the court in the first place.

      If republicans get power back, we can look forward to a radical conservative majority on the court.  How does that sound?

      "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

      by La Gitane on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 12:58:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Conservative Radicals, eh? (0+ / 0-)

        I suppose these "radicals" were confirmed only by repuglicans in teh Senate?

        you're wrong, and thus you prove my original point: the actual problem is conservative "democrats" in congress.

        "The U.S. isn't withdrawing from Iraq at all, it's rebranding the occupation". Seumus Milne

        by Superpole on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 07:00:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The SC (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      decides if legislation is constitutional so yes, it matters a great deal.

      "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

      by Steven D on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 01:13:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The thing about "original intent." (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D

    I'm not a lawyer.

    I'm not even a law student.

    I'm kind of a pro se junkie though, and I spent way too much time in the last few weeks writing an appeals brief on a traffic ticket case. :-) So I've learned a bit about how caselaw works, and how courts interpret statutes and precedents.

    Long story short, you really can't read law literally. It cannot be done.

    In my case, there could be a (very minor) side issue of relying on a statute that regards "records made in the usual course of business" as evidence. Past courts have ruled that the register roll at a Seven-Eleven is a "record made in the usual course of business," and so are the notes that a nurse made on an elderly patient's chart.

    What about the notes a cop wrote on a citation? Hard to say--the Seven-Eleven and the hospital weren't parties to the cases that featured them, but here the cop isn't an outsider or third-party. And law enforcement isn't really a "business" in a normal sense. (But then again neither is a hospital, right?)

    And this is on a matter as simple and inconsequential as how much you can rely on handwritten notes on a traffic ticket.

    Given that bit of dabbling, I'm convinced. You simply cannot write statutes (or constitutions) that don't require extension, interpolation, or improvisation.

    If I wanted to support a literal reading of the Constitution, I wouldn't know what such a thing would look like. What's an "unreasonable" search? What does it mean for the people of a state to "chuse" their members of the U.S. House? What is "free exercise of religion" if your religion requires you to wear a veil even in court?

    Language is imprecise. The argument against "judicial activism" is an argument against life being complicated. Statutory law can't think of everything. It just can't.

  •  Two Big problems with his view (5+ / 0-)

    besides the obvious clause about "No Religious Test" for holding office, there's the 9th Amendment.

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

    Rights that are enumerated, should not be used to deny rights that are NOT specifically enumerated, like the clearly implied right of privacy (via the 4th Amendment right to be "secure in your person, house and papers")

    Simply because a right isn't specifically listed doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. The purpose of the Constitution isn't to be a laundry list of right, but rather a parameter of limitations on Government.

    The other issue is the 14th Amendment which specially changed much of the Constitution as it was originally written and conceived "at the time".

    All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    No state shall deny the equal protection of the law - for any person within their jurisdiction.  It doesn't say just the "straight people", or the "Christian people" it says ALL PEOPLE, comprende?


  •  Impeach Scalia's sorry ass (0+ / 0-)

       for those anti-American comments.  The Birchers went after Justice Douglas if history recalls.

       Let's see how those bastards like it.

  •  Scalia is ill, possibly mildly demented. (0+ / 0-)

    He needs to consult with a physician, preferably a shrinko.  He may have Alzheimers.  The man has gone off the deep end, and should immediately resign his position.

  •  Incorporate! Incorporate! Incorporate! (0+ / 0-)

    Maybe in the short run, before we see Scalia off the court, all of us individually should incorporate ourselves. That way, according to Scalia, we'd have a stronger claim on civil rights than citizens. And then we could work, anonymously, to impeach and remove him and his fellow travelers from the court.

  •  I guess Scalia has never read. . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    . . .Madisons letter to Edward Livingston. That letter puts to rest for all times exactly what the founders thought about Separation of church & state. Jackass Scalia has either never read it or, like all Republicans, he just does not allow facts to influence his stupid assed opinions.

  •  I understand Scalia's logic, sort of (0+ / 0-)

    There is no right to privacy in the Constitution.

    Later came that thing about no unreasonable searches......and corporate personhood.....but corporations need privacy to protect themselves against competitors.

    Then there is the right to privacy for doctor, clergy, lawyer contacts.

    Scalia's willful ignorance is extremely dangerous.

    Yes, please make sure no more Republican appointees to SCOTUS.

    Media Reform Action Link

    by LNK on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 11:35:32 AM PDT

  •  This is a preview... more to come if (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pete Rock, LynneK

    we don't maintain a majority and the WH.  

    He went duck hunting with Cheney while hearing a case involving whether or not Cheney should reveal the names of the people who were involved in his energy policy decisions.  Need you be reminded what the decision was?

    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 11:59:24 AM PDT

  •  Two WASHINGTON POST pieces today begin shedding (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fhcec, burlydee, dmhlt 66, TofG

    MSM light on just how far the Robert's court has tilted "THE CHANGED COURT New look at school integration" and "Breyer on the Constitution".

    The first begins with:

    Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. made it sound so simple that day in 2007, when he and four other members of the Supreme Court declared that this city's efforts to desegregate its schools violated the Constitution.

    "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race," Roberts wrote, "is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."

    This court is another hypocrisy, a set of very activist--even radical--judges tearing through precedent and trying to reimpose 19th Century robber baron and religious strictures on a 21st Century, diverse society.

    The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

    by pelagicray on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 12:11:40 PM PDT

  •  Who has the authority to define Person in U.S.? (0+ / 0-)

    Does the lack of privacy entail lack of Personhood?  Does it entail lack of individualism?  Does it support communalism over individualism?

  •  Time to INVADE his privacy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    taonow, LynneK

    Time to looking for GOD in his rulings

    He's nothing but a rationalizer for bad behavior for his cronies.  Sign him up to go hunting with Cheney!

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 12:39:13 PM PDT

  •  And Clarence Thomas is just as nutty. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Anyone wanna make a bet on the 2 GWB apointees? 4 loons on the SC. Bottom line question is: how reliable is Kennedy to stand up against the Corporatists and Theocrats/Fascists?

  •  Scalia: Catholics are Good; Protestants are Bad. (0+ / 0-)

    Strange, but probably expected (since humans are what they are) that "Justice" Scalia didn't like anything that a Protestant American tried to do against Constitutional restraints, but finds it wonderful whatever Catholic America does to push you around.

    Ain't that so typical?

    Wouldn't it be better to keep religion out of all of our governmental machinations, as Justice John Paul Stevens always ruled, rather than one that lets Catholic America to hammer us all whenever they want to? Justice Stevens always ruled that the "wall" was always up to keep any and all "establishment" of religion from becoming a problem in our lives.

    Then again, all Protestants are now eradicated from our SCOTUS (even though Protestants make up more than half of the American population) and keeping religion out of government was, historically, a distinctly Reformation concern. (Not one Protestant, out of 9, are allowed on our SCOTUS, the most powerful of our 3 branches of government, due to the regional, ethnic, religious makeup of the Senate Judiciary Committee). Protestants have been successfully cleansed from that most important branch. Catholic "Justices", like Scalia, Roberts, Thomas, Kennedy & Alito seem to think that religion (theirs) should take a leading role in dominating American discourse & law. That is a radical departure for all of us. Perhaps they could explain?

    The ride could be bumpy. Fasten your seatbeat. It could be a rough ride.

    Greenspan admits his free market faith was "a mistake" - Reliance on self interest creates a flaw "in how the world works."

    by Otherday on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 12:49:02 PM PDT

    •  1986 Belfast called, they want their time machine (0+ / 0-)


      Don't frame this as a Catholic/Protestant divide.  It is a battle between people who believe in a secular government and puritanical pudwackers who want a theocracy.  There are Catholics and Protestants in both groups. And one of the largest threats to our freedom is theocratic Protestant GOP politicians.

      Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

      by bigtimecynic on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 01:19:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe not! (0+ / 0-)

        Keep an eye on the pedophile protectors. Good idea?

        Several of the recent SCOTUS Protestant Justices have been about as good as it gets. Stevens. Souter. Blackman. Those who control our discourse may not say so, but those folks took care of you. The USA was fortunate to have their services. They were independent justices, as the Constitution requires, and for that they may very well never appear again. Partisans, who now dominate, won't allow it.

        Greenspan admits his free market faith was "a mistake" - Reliance on self interest creates a flaw "in how the world works."

        by Otherday on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 01:29:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Search and Seizure (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LynneK, bigtimecynic

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    This certainly implies that your person, papers house and effects cannot be examined by the government unless a witness comes forward to affirm probable cause. If this did not imply privacy then the government could simply look into your person, house papers, etc and find whatever evidence exists and there would be no need for a witness.

  •  Well, I'm no lawyer but Scalia is a dumb fuck. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The Fouth Amendment declares a person's property and papers off-limits in the absence of a justifiable court warrant. And the amendment isn't just about arresting you; it is also geared towards preventing the government from trolling through your records and confiscating your property.  That, my friends, translates to the fact that the Founders think that privacy is a right. The question isn't whether this right applies today (it clearly does), but to what extent and under what circumstances.

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 01:11:36 PM PDT

  •  Scalia is a fucknut. And I am a lawyer. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    taonow, ninkasi23, Nisi Prius, zenox, tennegirl

    I can't wait until he is dead and gone and all who share is backward, bigoted way of thinking are with him (as if the day will ever come).

    To me, he is philosophically bankrupt. The equivalent of a pro-apartheid lawyer in South Africa in the 1980's.

    It is up to us to ensure that way of thinking goes extinct (via better argument and calling it was it is).

  •  Yes - Constitution doesn't outlaw discrimination (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laughing Vergil

    That's why there are civil rights laws laws and why there was attempt to pass an ERA.

    The Constitution is silent on how we treat each other, it only speaks to our relationship with government.

    The notion of redress for violating someone's rights is purely a legislative creation.

    On the other hand, Scalia's nuts about religion.  As to the privacy rights in Griswold, that's been settled for a long time now, so he's wasting his breath.  

    It's called the Dodd-Frank bill. What else do you need to know?

    by roguetrader2000 on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 01:24:14 PM PDT

    •  the constitution speaks to discrimination (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LynneK, absdoggy

      "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. "

      The notion of redress for violating someone's right is a 14th amendment creation, which is part of the constitution.  

  •  Good thing he came up with those ideas now (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LynneK, Nisi Prius

    because the 1800s were filled with people who would have loved to legislate against Catholics and make sure that people like him(Scalia) would NEVER make it to the bench unless it was to appear as a defendant!

    Sheesh, what a legal mind!

    Courage is what you are in the dark. Emilio Lazzardo in Buckaroo Bonzai

    by Temmoku on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 01:29:51 PM PDT

  •  it's time for Scalia to resign (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    taonow, LynneK

    on the basis of "inability to fulfill the duties of office".

    A SCOTUS justice who can't remember the Treaty of Tripoli of 1796 that explicitly says:

      Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

    is too senile to keep his job.

    Note: the Tripoli of the treaty is the Libya of today.

    That treaty was literally approved and signed into law by the President and the US Senate, a group largely constituted of the same bunch of people who wrote the Constitution.

    Without dissent, it passed unanimously and there's no record of public protest, despite the fact that this treaty which settled America's second big war was very well known to the American public of the time.

    . Early U.S. leaders intended religion to play a major part in the government, Scalia said.

    "Don't tell me that the framers of the American Constitution never had that in mind,"

    Why not? It is obvious that they didn't.

    Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

    by alizard on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 01:33:35 PM PDT

  •  Impeach (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    totally out of line...

    It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument.

    by GrinningLibber on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 02:54:52 PM PDT

  •  Scalia is Dick Cheney's best friend... (0+ / 0-)

    I heard they went fishing together before the supreme court "elected" George W Bush in 2000.

    I would not have expected anything better from Scalia.

  •  The Right of Privacy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Griswold v. Connecticut may have spelled it out, but the Right of Privacy is really the only right that has language in all four of the founding documents.

    The Declaration of Independence's "indictment" passage against the British includes the violation implicit in the quartering of troops.

    The Aarticles of Confederation, in defining a country of limited government, gave citizens the right to the sanctity of their homes.

    The Constitution prohibited the forced quartering of troops and defined rights implicit in owning property..

    The Bill of Rights extended the rights of one's home to include a prohibition of undue search and seizure, and against having to testify against one's self.

    Over time, the privacy of identity slowly received equal footing to the privacy of property. Too late for Dred Scott, but you do what you can do.

    There is no definition of America that does not include a Right of Privacy.

    Have you heard? The vice president's gone mad. - Bob Dylan, 1966

    by textus on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 03:31:55 PM PDT

  •  This is Your Supreme Court on (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    drugs Republicans.

    Get the picture?

    Discouraged? Disillusioned? Think about the roots of those words. Then take courage and resolve to avoid illusion.

    by Into The Woods on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 03:38:06 PM PDT

  •  I don't even know what to say, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm just shocked.   I wish I was surprised.

  •  We're going to be paying for the SC extremists (0+ / 0-)

    for a long long time thanks to Reagan and GWB. Whole court is going to be skewed far right for a few decades.

    And when we ask you why, you raise your sticks and cry and we fall.

    by Ninbyo on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 04:14:30 PM PDT

  •  We need to GET THIS FIXED! as soon as we can.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The Supreme Court can become the "rule maker" and mess with our freedoms- well the ones that "give us the right to choose" and the ones that let us choose our religion.

    This supreme court has named corporations as people and that is NOT WHAT OUR FOUNDING FATHERS WOULD EVER HAVE WANTED.

    Let us not forget this.

  •  I'll decide what "should" matter to me. (0+ / 0-)

    I appreciate hearing what matters to you and many other people, and then I can make my own decisions, but when I'm told what I "should" be doing, my immediate response is...

    And it should matter to you.

    Republicans want a do-over. No, really, a do-over -- do it the same way all over again. Every Dem should make that clear every day.

    by gooderservice on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 04:28:30 PM PDT

  •  I would love to discuss 2nd Amendment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    with Scalia.

    He has, on earlier occasions, supported the death penalty on the grounds that if it wasn't "cruel and unusual" when the Framers wrote the Constitution, then it's not "cruel and unusual" now.

    Combined with what you've posted here, what I really want to say is "Why don't you follow your own logic with the second amendment?  If muskets were good enough arms to bear for the framers, then they are good enough arms for us."

    Maybe flintlock pistols could be our concealed weapons.  

    Just to be clear, I DO believe the framers intended individual citizens to be able to carry guns, but I also think they would have wanted reasonable restrictions.  Still, I don't really know that for a fact and admit it's just my personal interpretation of the letter and intent of the documents (and I've read a fair number of the Federalist Papers too).  

    But by his own logic, if it was what was in vogue when the Constitution was drafted, it is how we should settle questions of law, and therefore muskets and flintlock pistols should be allowed, and anything more sophisticated should be banned.   Because if your rationale is that it's not a "flexible" document, then that must apply to all rights and not just the ones you want to see removed.

  •  He didn't only say sexual orientation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ... discrimination was OK.  Look at the comments closer:

    "If the current society wants to outlaw discrimination by sex, you have legislatures,"  Scalia said during a 90-minute question-and-answer session with a professor at UC Hastings College of the Law. He said the same was true of discrimination against gays and lesbians. [...]

    Yes, that's right.  Justice Scalia believes that discrimination against someone just because they are (Female / Male : Choose 1) is OK under the constitution as well.

    Anyone want to reconsider the ERA again?

    A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.
    Dave Barry

    by Laughing Vergil on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 04:57:54 PM PDT

  •  Serious question (0+ / 0-)

    What on earth did Citizens United have to do with privacy??  Citizens United was a First Amendment expression case.  It was a bad decision and Scalia is wrong on privacy, but I seriously don't have any idea how one is linked to the other.

    •  To be more specific... (0+ / 0-)

      ...what did Scalia's opinions in Citizens United have to do with privacy?  He didn't write an opinion or join an opinion suggesting the disclosure provisions were unconstitutional, far as I know.  I don't think any of the justices did.

  •  Scalia's latest utterance begs the question... (0+ / 0-)

    What Constitution is he freaking reading from? I would think that the "right to be secure in their persons" equates to a right to privacy and "no religious test" seems to suggest that the Founders most adamantly did NOT want religion and government intermingling.

    Oh, wait...this is Antonin Scalia we're talking about...the "Justice" who wouldn't know constitutional if James Madison himself told him exactly what the document actually meant.

    "Truth never damages a cause that is just."~~~Mohandas K. Gandhi -9.38/-6.26

    by LynneK on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 05:34:23 PM PDT

  •  so much for that whole 4th amendment thing (0+ / 0-)

    yeah, the founders must have been kidding there.

    George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

    by nathguy on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 05:42:00 PM PDT

  •  So the same founders that supposedly wanted our (0+ / 0-)
    nation to heed "Judeo-Christian values" also believed that man-made, fictitious entities (i.e. corporations) should be granted the same inalienable rights as human beings created by God.  These people never cease to amaze me.  I wonder what Jesus or Moses would have to say about C-Street, Wall Street, and all the other dens of greed & mammon that exist in this nation at the moment?

    We have nothing to fear but fear itself

    by bhouston79 on Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 05:43:37 PM PDT

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