13 February 2016

Justice Antonin Scalia, Requiescat in Pace

Justice Scalia is dead.

There is so much that can be said, but I'll keep it brief, with my immediate thoughts, in no particular order:

1. The intellectual force of the Court is dead; fitting, as the rule of law died at the hands of the same Court.

2. No human judge is perfect, and Scalia could be faulted for a number of opinions, but taken in all he was the greatest Justice that served the Court since Roger Taney, if not ever. Certainly his deft skewering of the idiocy of the Court's recent civilization-killing agenda will be sorely missed.

3. I coached a mock trial team of local homeschoolers, and at the national finals banquet dinner in June 2015 we were privileged to hear remarks by Justice Scalia. A memory I will keep.

4. You can now let go any dream you had of the Court blocking the Obama parents-of-USC-children legalization edict.

5. For that matter, we will feel the loss of protection against the sure to come future deprivations of what used to be considered rights. At least he will miss the "fun" our leaders have in store for us.

6. I hope there is an autopsy. But then again, Kennedy had an autopsy.

7. One could not but help note that Scalia was one of those radical trads that Dave Armstrong fears so much. In other words, he was a Catholic who took his faith and vocation seriously. His intellect was informed and guided by his faith. His faith was rooted in the timeless tradition and the ancient liturgy that safeguards it. His writings reflected his Catholic mind. Only the Catholic Church is the foundation of true culture.

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.

May the soul of Antonin Scalia, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.


CurmudgeonKC said...

The most honorable man I met in my legal career, even if it was a brief meeting. He met with us at my law school and we talked about hunting and about his priest son. There wasn't much to talk about on jurisprudence...his was too straightforward...no nuances ( much less "emanations and prenumbras"). I think the visit to KU was just an excuse to go pheasant hunting. Iat the time, I asked the CSO (his bodyguard) if it was worrying to have him surrounded by other people with shotguns, and the guard said he wwasn''t as worried about the others' guns as he was about Scalia's. I also remember attending Mass at St. Mary's in DC, and while (perhaps the same) bored CSO looked on, he was carrying on on the steps after Mass just like any of the gregarious old farts at my home parish. A friend says he left a big hole to fill...and not just on the Court.

St. Corbinian's Bear said...

Some people who don't watch the Court closely may not understand this: the court was evenly split with Kennedy being the swing vote. Essentially, Kennedy ruled America. If Obama is allowed to appoint a liberal justice, that skews the court to the left, period. It is not unlikely that a Republic president would have the opportunity of appointing a conservative justice (actuarially speaking) and restore the status quo ante. But Scalia was not any old conservative justice. It is doubtful (but not impossible) that another Scalia is going to be plucked from the ranks of federal judges.

The Republican leadership needs to be meeting and figuring out a way to run down the clock on Obama and let a Republican president (hopefully) replace Scalia, and possibly a liberal with a conservative. Ginsburg (a liberal) is 82 and has suffered many health problems. But I don't see her going anywhere as long as they can keep her head in a jar, should it appear that she would be replaced by a conservative.

As Scalia frequently pointed out, the liberal wing of SCOTUS has no problem departing from the Constitution and founding principles and simply making law from the bench.

Anonymous said...

Ah, lets go back a few years. Remember when 7 of the 9 court justices were appointed by Republicans? Oh yea - that's the court that gave us the Roe V Wade ruling.

Scalia sat on the court that did not overturn Roe v Wade, but it did say that corporations are human, and thereby can express their political views with as many billions as they want.

The Republican party is in an ugly marriage. One side are the cultural conservatives who seem to value traditional life. The other is the side that is beholden to extreme wealth. (Rex Sinquefeld, the Koch brothers, Shel Adelson, Stan Kroenke, etc.) This is the tax the poor crowd and open the banks to the 397 families that own 40% of America's wealth.

I do think Scalia was more the former than the later. Still, I think the only reason the right-to-life group isn't up in arms that the court said corporations are human is because of how much the Republican party benefits from the billions pouring in.


Pete said...

TIYS: bud, honey, whatever...Both parties have their "extreme wealth" resources. They could not survive without it. The Dem party is owned by Goldman Sachs and WS. Hillary's their best bud in secret. Obama's been funneling cash via the Fed to WS. My (and your?) 401ks/IRAs were artificially doing well, but we can't find jobs and maintain decent cash flow in the meantime. And our IRAs are now plummeting as the QEs stop.

These claims that the GOP is the (only) party of wealth are silly. Of course, the party has its "donor class."

Businessmen have a right to defend their property and interests as much as any one else. They have a right to fund campaigns as much as wealthy union interests do. The law should not be prejudiced against people b/c of their income. So, we used to be taught in this nation.

Corporations are a way that people organize themselves. Surely you and 10 other friends have a right to start an organization to speak out on an interest of concern to you. Would you not want that right? Why on earth not?

Sometimes the interests of the wealthy are our interests as well. We should be grateful that some one has the resources to defend rights that we enjoy as well.

I have no problem with freedom for large businesses. I want small businesses to be as free, if not freer since they do not have the resources to absorb the costs of silly regulations.

God bless Antonin Scalia. He is irreplaceable. We can only pray that the GOP holds the line and that a GOP president is elected who can find the most conservative and trustworthy jurist possible. Funny, Ted Cruz himself could be that jurist.

Kathy said...

Maybe I'm misunderstanding the way you phrased point no. 2, but are you saying Roger Taney was a great justice? That would be the Justice Taney who was chief justice and wrote the majority opinion in Dred Scott v. Sandford, saying that black people are not persons, and have no rights that white people are bound to respect. The Dred Scott decision was the Roe v. Wade of its day (and indeed, several books have been written about how the Roe decision parallels the Dred Scott decision), declaring that a whole segment of humanity is not really human.

thetimman said...

You misunderstand partially. Taney was not great because of the Scott decision, but due to his restrained constitutional jurisprudence over many years and cases. That being said, Scott was decided before the 13th and 14th Amendments were ratified, before the civil war, and interpreted the constitution correctly, the text of which specifically acknowledged the institution of slaves, and that some humans could and did own other persons as slaves. That evil was formally debated and agreed upon by the founders and ratified by the states in the formation of the constitutional republic. That evil is on them; the justice's job is to interpret-- not make-- the laws. If slavery was an evil there was, and still is for other evils, a constitutional mechanism to fix that, by the party with proper authority to do so.

This notion that a judge should act outside the law to right a perceived wrong leads to all kinds of mischief. Ask St. Thomas More, who said he would give the devil himself the benefit of the law. And what else is Roe but the application of this, and how you would have wanted Taney to rule in Scott? The justices interpreted a constitution there, the text of which gave no power to the federal government to prohibit states from criminalizing abortion, and said, "Gee whiz, we disagree and we seven who know best will force the states to right this (as they saw it) wrong."

Like it or not, Scott and Roe are on the opposite sides of constitutional jurisprudence. And I ask you to ponder that. In the end, though the war was despicable and wrong, the states did change the constitution to remedy the evil of slavery. It would have happened without the war, if the example of nearly other nation that outlawed slavery can be trusted. And by the party whose authority it was to do so. Yet because of the judicial usurpation of power in Roe, Abortion cannot be remedied by state legislatures (who have the authority but now lack the raw power), nor for that matter even the federal legislature.

The tyranny of Roe is the tyranny of emperors. And we await like serfs an emperor who will appoint enough little emperors to overturn that monstrosity.

Maybe Taney was great, in part, because of Scott, or at least for trying to prevent the Roe regime 120 years before the fact.