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Monday, October 15, 2007

Supreme Asshole

I'm in the middle of reading a very interesting book on the behind-the-scenes workings of the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin entitled "The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court". I highly recommend the book if you are into this sort of thing.

While I don't plan to do a complete review of the book, sometimes something in particular jumps out at me and I can't let it go until I rant and rave about it. In this case it happens to be that incredible waste of space Antonin Scalia. While he may never be Chief Justice, he will always be Biggest Douchebag of the Supreme Court.

In the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas case, in which the Court struck down a Texas law making sex between two people of the same sex illegal, Scalia wrote a dissenting opinion which should not only compel him to recuse himself from any future cases involving the GLBT community but should send shivers down the spine of every clear thinking person in this country.

"Today's opinion is the product of a Court, which is the product of a law-profession culture, that has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda, by which I mean the agenda promoted by some homosexual activists directed at eliminating the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct," Scalia wrote in his dissent, adding, "the Court has taken sides in the culture war." (p. 192)

First of all, the phrase "homosexual agenda" is merely code for "we hate gay people". Anybody who uses that phrase in this day and age is merely admitting that like their KKK counterparts, they hate gays for the same reason White supremacists hate minorities, simply because of who they are. People who see a vast "homosexual agenda" are the same people who used to think (or maybe still do) that there are too many "uppity niggers". Nope, your appeal to god's law can't get you out of this one. God once told you it was OK to have Black slaves. He was wrong. Now he's telling you that it is OK to hate gay people. Fool me once...

And notice how Scalia uses the phrase "homosexual activists" in the pejorative. I would think that a judge would be especially sensitive about using such a word as "activist" to insult a group of people when judges themselves, and not just the more "liberal" judges, are routinely threatened by right-wing wackjobs as being "activist judges" who need to be taught a lesson. Remember how a few Republican members of the House made implicit threats on judges (including the Supreme Court) after the Supreme Court refused to hear the Terry Schiavo case?

Scalia is upset that "activists" are trying to remove the "opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct". Hmmm, I read through the Constitution and it doesn't mention anything about "homosexual conduct". I did find things in there about equal protection clauses and such, but nothing about the wickedness of homosexuality. So I wonder how an Originalist like Scalia can justify the Constitutionality of a law that makes being gay a crime? He can't. So then what is his basis for making such a statement? His own personal views, which he would be the first to call any other judge who used merely his own personal views to rule on a case an "activist judge". You see, it's only activism when the other guy does it. When you want to put your own personal agendas into the law, especially when you are a religious conservative wackjob, you're merely defending the Constitution.

And then as a parting shot, Scalia derisively notes that "the Court has taken sides in the culture war." Holy shit, can this guy be any more dishonest. He uses the phrase "homosexual agenda" and supports the "moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct" and has the balls to criticize the Court for taking sides in a Culture War. He is the Culture War. He is the last of a (thankfully) dying breed of bigots who think they have the right to impose their morals on everyone else. If tomorrow every state in the Union were to suddenly legalize gay marriage, there would be an outcry from the fundies for a few months and then the controversy would die down, every one would go on living their lives as usual and a few years later we'd all look back and try to remember what the big deal was. The only thing stopping this from happening now is a loud gradually shrinking minority of religious gay haters who are trying desperately to cling on to their fading power by playing the "gay card" whenever they get the chance.

Scalia represents the worst that this country has to offer. A relic from the past who refuses to broaden his educational horizons and takes pleasure in his narrow views of how the world ought to be. And as the book makes clear, he relishes his ignorance and prejudice and wears it as a badge of honor. I know the fundies are real proud to have a man like Scalia on the court. And I'm sure their god approves.


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