Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has Died

supreme court
Photo by PoPville flickr user Brett Weinstein

From My San Antonio:

“Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead of apparent natural causes Saturday on a luxury resort in West Texas, federal officials said.

Scalia, 79, was a guest at the Cibolo Creek Ranch, a resort in the Big Bend region south of Marfa.”

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62 Comment

  • jim_ed

    Bye Felicia!

  • Rest in peace, great & sharp legal mind no matter what you think of his politics (and shame on you in you rejoice in another’s passing)

  • Yay! As a proud gay man with an African American son, I do rejoice in his passing!

    • northeazy

      What exactly do you know about him to make you think your black son is or your gay self are better off with him passing? Like, specifically. Wondering what anti-black or anti-gay cases he specifically signed on to that makes you happy.

      • I’m not mch, and I don’t rejoice in Scalia’s death, but it’s not a secret that he bitterly dissented from recent Supreme Court opinions that sensibly furthered equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans. See Posner’s commentary in the New York Times, for example: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/03/opinion/justice-scalias-majoritarian-theocracy.html?_r=0

        • northeazy

          Yes. Anything except the Democrat party’s agenda is just not sensible. Any alternative view to the Democrat party simply can’t be viewed as anything other than hate. And yes, Richard Posner, the greatest judge never to be on the Supreme Court. Which makes his legal opinions like every other person not on the Supreme Court: non-binding.

      • A quick Google search should yield an answer. He may have been smart, but he tried to use those smarts to deny basic rights to people.

        • northeazy

          Yes. He hated minorities and gays. Such an intellectually lazy conclusion. Much too hard to delve into he philopsy of strict constructionalism and Judeo-Christian precepts as a foundation of our law. He’s just racist.

          • bfinpetworth

            Well, if he is really a strict constructionist, as he contended in defense of his extreme opinions, how did he honestly rationalize finding that the term “person” in the constitution includes corporations? No strict reading of that term could be expanded to include business entities. He, like many conservatives, engaged in picking and choosing what concepts must be strictly construed and what could be interpreted more broadly. My take on him is that he used constructivism as a fallback to support his narrow view of the world, or in other words, his prejudices.

      • Clearly you haven’t been paying attention. Yes, great legal mind. Also: terrible regressive policies that were especially bad for people of color and gay people.

        • northeazy

          Yes. Hated people of color. That’s obvious. In fact, he hated them so much he even convinced Justice Thomas to hate his own kind. Brilliant racist.

          • Ha, I know you meant that as satire but you’re 100% spot on.

          • Who will Thomas now copy his homework from?

          • You know, you’re the only one here saying (sarcastically, I know) that Scalia “hated” minorities. Others are only saying his rulings often affected them negatively, which is reasonable to say.

            You’re strawmanning your opponents.

    • Proving that you are by far a lesser man than he. And progressives called HIM hateful.

      • It’s all perfect and always was and will be. Even when the haters hate the haters and so on it is all perfect.

  • Sharp legal mind? Diabolical, ridiculous, hide-behind-some-originalist-doctrine-that-he-didn’t-even-follow, just used it to justify whatever he wanted, not what I consider sharp legal mind. Sociopath is what comes to my mind. Good riddance!

  • Glad he lived long enough to see same sex marriage legalized. RIP

  • God rest his soul. But the man was a Class-A asshole.

  • One down, three to go. But seriously, he was a hypocritical, dangerous, evil man. Many say you shouldn’t speak ill of a dead person. Luckily for us, he wasn’t human.

  • Progressive liberal democrats demand that we all be tolerant and accepting of everyone else. But when it comes to someone who happens to be a Roman Catholic conservative Supreme Court justice who spent his life serving our country, it’s perfectly acceptable for liberals to celebrate that person’s death because they believe that person’s faith and ideology to be intolerable.

    • It is the old paradox. Should those who favor toleration themselves tolerate the intolerant? There is a logical fallacy in there somewhere. Can one favor freedom and not condemn those who use their freedom to restrict the freedom of others?

      • This has nothing to do with toleration of opposing viewpoints, it’s about basic decency. I’m a lifelong democrat, and disagree with pretty much every significant decision Scalia has authored or signed onto, but come on. Exulting in another’s death because you disagree with him on matters of Constitutional interpretation is abhorrent. Cheering his passing says more about the people doing the cheering than Scalia.

        • Good Lord, we need more Republicans and Democrats with your heart. Well said.

        • Framing it as a simple political or ideological disagreement conveniently ignores that Scalia used his enormous power to advance his side of that “disagreement” to limit the rights of Americans. His last judicial act was to affirm that it’s fine to execute a man who is very likely innocent. You and I can disagree, but his opinions killed people.

          • northeazy

            He decided that? Or did he act as a judge and uphold a law by Congress no matter how stupid? Liberals believe in judge made law (their policies are too radical to pass via the people). Conservatives believe the Legislature writes the laws in this country.

        • dcd, I could not have said it any better (and I’m moderate democrat). Sadly, this vulgar bellicosity is de rigueur in the comments section of pretty much any site anywhere on almost any topic (and it comes from all sides). It makes me sad 🙁

        • +1 from a moderate GOPer.

        • I’d probably agree if he died prematurely from unnatural causes, but he lived a full life, and death is the inevitable end for all of us. That his turn arrived now and not in ten years is good for people in this country who favor equality for all. But, sure, condolences to the family.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Agreed completely.

      • Is it really a paradox? Is the intolerance of people’s genetics really in the same ethos as the intolerance of people’s choices, in our free-will-based society?

    • No liberal Democrat or political progressive has ever propose any laws that would limit the rights of people like Scalia to worship whatever petty, vindictive god they wanted, nor have we ever launched petition drives that would subject their civil rights to a popular vote. We did tolerate his existence and accepted his right to be a bigoted, hateful, worthless piece of dog turd. What we have increasingly refused to do is be silent in the face of his disgusting bigotry and not fight for our rights as Americans – rights that Scalia believed the majority could remove by a vote any time they wanted. That is the difference between Tony Scalia and liberals.

    • Progressive liberal democrats want to give the same rights and opportunities to everyone. Religious republicans want to force the same beliefs and lifestyles on everyone.
      Speaking ill of the dead? Only ok if it was an unarmed black man, amirite?

  • Like RBG, I agree with basically none of Scalia’s views on the law. But I can still respect his intelligence and wit.
    .
    Whatever his political views, he was a husband, father, grandfather. Utterly classless to rejoice in another’s death, just because of political differences. And shame on BOTH parties for starting their politicking before the man’s body was even cold.
    .
    Celebrate that he’s no longer on SCOTUS. But don’t celebrate his death. There is a big difference.

    • Completely agree. I won’t miss his decisions on the Court, and I’ll even go as far to say as I disagree with those who say he had integrity in what he believed, as I think he deviated from his originalist stance when it suited him politically. But have respect for the grief of the nine children, 28 grandchildren, and many friends – including liberals like RBG – who are grieving for him.

  • Stomping on the graves of folks that you disagreed with or feel have contributed to your personal oppression or you just thought were a-holes in life is a natural human reaction. I won’t self righteously admonish those representing any part of the political spectrum engaging in such. For me though, death–anyone’s death– provides a moment to reflect on what am I doing to make to most of my days and time on this earth.

    • Is it okay to express relief? Naturally, for his sake, I’d sooner he’d have retired, having recognized that he contributed nothing to the condition of humankind, let alone jurisprudence, but . . . .

  • I felt no joy when say Ronald Reagan died – he did great harm to the world, but his days of doing harm were over before he passed, so no part of me was glad to see him go. The same can not be said of Scalia. On Friday he was doing harm and today he is not. I would have preferred that he just retire, but I am glad he is no longer on the court.

  • RIP. An icon, that made the country slightly more sensible.

  • Imagine if someone to be happy to hear of Obama or Eric Holder passing. What would that person be called?

    • A Republican?

    • I can imagine. I truly believe that there would be open celebration in many corners of this country. And I don’t think people here are rejoicing in the man’s death. They are rejoicing in the fact he is no longer on the Supreme Court. It’s unfortunate that our system is set up so that the only way for that to happen was him dying. We probably ought to change that…

      • bfinpetworth

        That is exactly correct. We would be celebrating in the same manner if he had retired. We do not cheer his death, we cheer his future absence from the Court.

        • Yes. And those who say we are wrong to do so, in my mind, are likely white men who may disagree with his rulings, but don’t feel that they impacted their lives harshly. Try to imagine putting yourselves in the shoes of others whose lives were seriously negatively impacted, (which are the vast majority of citizens) and you might see why others feel differently.

      • “And I don’t think people here are rejoicing in the man’s death. ”
        .
        Really? Not the majority, but I quote:
        .
        “Yay! As a proud gay man with an African American son, I do rejoice in his passing!”
        .
        “Good riddance!”
        .
        “One down, three to go. But seriously, he was a hypocritical, dangerous, evil man. Many say you shouldn’t speak ill of a dead person. Luckily for us, he wasn’t human.” – posted by the classily names “RIP MFer”
        .
        Look, I’m thrilled he’s off the bench. But cheering that someone died really is distasteful.

  • Now Obama should resign, Biden should nominate him to SCOTUS, and then Joe should run for reelection. With one simple plan they could screw the Republicans, Hillary, and Bernie.

    • I keep hearing Obama for SCOTUS. I know he has been a civil rights lawyer and a law school professor in the past. But never a judge. Is there precedent, say in the last 50 years, of an successful appointment of a person to SCOTUS who has never been a judge? I have no idea…

      Selfishly I’d love to see Obama in a position to continue to impact structural change in this country rather than just become someone who gets paid for speaking engagements and participates in charity like Bill Clinton. But I’m not sure Barack realistically has the credentials for SCOTUS. I’m not entrenched in this position. I can be swayed if someone can make a strong case that his credentials are just as strong as a judge who has sat on the court in the last 50 years.

      • There have been Justices who were not judges, but I don’t have the time to research it. It would be great to nominate someone who’s held elected office, as the current court has no idea what it’s like to have to wage a modern political campaign. They wouldn’t equate free speech with money if they had experience fighting back Super PAC spending from anonymous donors who have no fear of spreading lies to defeat them.

      • Constitutionally speaking, there are no credentials required to sit on the Supreme Court. One doesn’t have to be a judge; one doesn’t even have to be a lawyer. (Though personally, I think it would be a train wreck if a non-judge, and especially a non-lawyer was confirmed.)
        .
        That said, this is a delightful fantasy, but I’m concerned that anon really thinks this is a reasonable possibility. It isn’t. It is an article of faith among many in the GOP that Obama has completely ignored the Constitution on multiple occasions. There is no earthly way he’d ever be confirmed.

      • Oh please, I’m not a litigator, and haven’t spent time in court since my days as an appellate law clerk, but I would make a better supreme court justice than the right-wing nut jobs we’ve seen lately. It is about respect for law and constitutional rights. Many lawyers (and some non-lawyers) would do a far better job – and have, many times in the past – on the high court than these blatany right-wing so-called conservative (but not really in their rulings, more like activist) justices we’ve seen of late. Law isn’t rocket science, people, not even close. No need to have been a judge. Having studied law helps, but in the past has not always been necessary. There are many jobs in which one can gain an understanding of the framework of our laws and constitution.

      • Justice Kagan was never a judge. . .

  • He hated minorities, and he was not afraid to express how he felt. I am amazed how most of you are supporting this guy. OMG!! Are you serious?I guess you support Trump, too. One cannot Right Wrong, bc simply, Wrong is Wrong. Why are you guys advocating for this guy? I am a Veteran; this really breaks my heart. I recalled preparing for Kuwait in the 90’s; i was fresh out of Basic Training. I was ready to die for this country. I am glad i lived to see how much most of you feel about me. If you support that fool, then you dont give a crap about All Minorities who served this country. Funny, most of you were probably against Beyonce. Interesting to say the least.

    • justinbc

      I’m not sure you’re accurately reading what the majority of people here are writing.

      • Or Scalia’s opinions. With respect to this comment, “He hated minorities, and he was not afraid to express how he felt.” – if that’s true, it shouldn’t be too difficult to provide some quotes that demonstrated that Scalia hated minorities.” I’ll be interested to see what you (A Finn, not Justin) cn come up with.

          • You’re going to have to be a little more specific. I read all the quotes in the first link (I couldn’t access the second) and only two reference minorities (unless jiggery-pokery has some meaning of which I’m unaware) , and neither indicates hatred. Unless, of course you ascribe to the same logic as the GOP when they claim that Obama hates America? I’d like to think liberals/progressives are better than that, but maybe not.

          • The sentiment that blacks belong at lesser schools is a common characteristic of White Supremacist rhetoric. Those that adopt that rhetoric typically feel that blacks are intellectually inferior genetically to their white counterparts. Being a judge at the highest court in the land with that sort of ideology is dangerous.

            Personally i do not identify with the liberal, progressive, conservative boxes that people always try to categorize each other with. I am my own man with my own views that transcends party lines.

          • Scalia adhered to white supremacist ideology? Come on. He referenced a brief filed by a law professor and a lawyer/journalist that advocated a different affirmative action standard than either of the litigants wanted, and that was chock full of social science studies and citations. You can quibble with the science, or the proposed outcome, but suggesting that a Supreme Court Justice who refers to a brief before the Court during oral argument while questioning one of the parties held white supremacist ideology is really a leap.
            .
            Again, it’s this kind of sloppy thinking that I hoped (vainly, I see) was confined to the GOP.

  • Scalia will go down as one of the great SCOTUS Judges. RIP.

    • Accountering

      Scalia will go down as being on the wrong side of history, and as a racist bigot who made life very difficult for several groups of people unnecessarily. He was a nasty, evil man, and the country is better to have him off the court.

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