Scalia has cause to be grumpy: He's been jilted

  • Article by: Noah Feldman , Bloomberg
  • Updated: July 2, 2013 - 7:15 PM

You’d be grumpy, too, if your heirs apparent had jilted you like this.

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pumiceJul. 2, 13 7:44 PM

From the article: "Scalia — the sitting justice who perhaps has the best chance to go down as truly great, if deeply flawed...." To characterize as "deeply flawed" a Justice who criticizes others' judgement as "inadequate" and their interpretations as "simply irrational" is generous to a fault. Justices who serve with Justice Scalia don't have any obligation to keep Scalia's faith, their obligation is "to support and defend the Constitution," to "administer justice without respect to persons," and to "do equal right to the poor and to the rich." Scalia's "implacable logic" and "extreme" positions are no more correct and no more admirable than those of his colleagues. His arrogance about his unarguable understanding of the Founders' intent is matched by the arrogance he demonstrated when he "insisted unashamedly that he [has] no idea whether [genetic] science [is] even true."

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crystalbayJul. 2, 1310:35 PM

This man is a cancer on the court. I've watched him closely on a number of interviews and each time come away more disturbed at his most-often literal interpretation of our constitution. If he were an old Testament scholar, he'd insist that the Red Sea really did part "because the Bible said it did". He is a scourge on the bench.

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adliblogJul. 3, 13 7:30 AM

" Scalia's "implacable logic" and "extreme" positions are no more correct and no more admirable than those of his colleagues.*** Some would argue they are even less so. Others would believe, along with the author, that Scalia personifies purer conservative opinion. "This is the twilight of the gods for the 77-year-old red-wine-and pizza-loving legend." Presumably all of the Justices learned to argue both sides of an issue while still in law school. We only assume that they will hold consistent to a predictable philosophy in their verdicts, but maybe these multi-verdict sessions are more like bridge parties on Mount Olympus where mere mortals are fixated on the games played by rival teams of "gods"(whose foibles are like our own) because the outcomes determine our fate.

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FreeMplsJul. 3, 13 8:13 AM

Do you ever notice how, upon occasion, the conservative justices will cross over and side with the liberal bench but almost never - no really never - will the liberal justices move a step off that liberal enterprise they've built upon Roe v Wade to side with the conservatives?

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gandalf48Jul. 3, 13 9:48 AM

FreeMpls - [Do you ever notice how, upon occasion, the conservative justices will cross over and side with the liberal bench but almost never - no really never - will the liberal justices move a step off that liberal enterprise they've built upon Roe v Wade to side with the conservatives?] *** What a great point, I'm very surprised that we see commentary after commentary about the "conservative" side of the Supreme Court but we never address the "liberal" side of the Supreme Court. One in every two or three major decisions involve a so-called "conservative" justice writing an opinion for the so-called "liberal" side of the court. Many of these commentaries attack the conservative justices as being intransigent and immovable, meanwhile the 4 liberal justices get a free pass to vote the exact same way in pretty much every single case (once in a blue moon you might see Breyer side with the government against the individual). While the conservatives seem to be able to voice their own opinion, change their minds and see some merit to the liberal/libertarian viewpoint the "liberal" justices seem to always decide the case fort the side that the Democrat party just happens to advocates for. Sorry but I figured it was time to point out the hypocrisy of the hundreds of commentaries ignoring the "liberal" justices and always making it about the "conservative" ones. In my opinion I wish we had 9 Kennedy's out there, weighing and measuring each case and law by the merits presented in the case.

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jacksoncageJul. 3, 1310:21 AM

Of course Free and Gandalf, the story isn't about Liberal vs. Conservative, it's about an Angry Old Man. But never let the purpose of the story get in the way of a completely irrelevant poinbt you want to make. Yeesch!

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hawkeye56379Jul. 3, 1310:53 AM

FreeMpls said: "upon occasion, the conservative justices will cross over and side with the liberal bench but almost never - no really never - will the liberal justices move a step off that liberal enterprise they've built upon Roe v Wade to side with the conservatives"----------- Actually, if you read the article that you are commenting on, you would see that it mentions one of the many opinions in which a "liberal" justice joined a conservative majority when it mentioned the DNA case: "which was written by Roberts and joined by all the conservative justices and Stephen Breyer."

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gandalf48Jul. 3, 1311:06 AM

hawkeye56379 - [Actually, if you read the article that you are commenting on, you would see that it mentions one of the many opinions in which a "liberal" justice joined a conservative majority when it mentioned the DNA case: "which was written by Roberts and joined by all the conservative justices and Stephen Breyer."] *** That's the single "blue moon" case I was talking about...please name another single major case where that occurred within the last 4 years. I think you'd be hard pressed to find even one single case (besides that one particular case) where liberals didn't vote as a single group.

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hawkeye56379Jul. 3, 1311:45 AM

gandalf48: My comment was directed at FreeMpls. But since you asked, just this term in the case on Obamacare, Breyer and Kagan voted with conservatives to limit the use of federal spending power with respect to Medicaid, permitting Congress to withhold new grants but not existing Medicaid funds from states if they failed to adopt Obamacare. And in the Adoptive Couple v Baby girl case mentioned in this article, Breyer joined the conservative majority with Alito, Roberts, Thomas, and Kennedy.

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martin64Jul. 3, 1312:55 PM

"Do you ever notice how, upon occasion, the conservative justices will cross over and side with the liberal bench but almost never - no really never - will the liberal justices move a step off that liberal enterprise......." - Why should they move when the conservative position is wrong and never leaves room for compromise.

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