A Case of Confirmationus Interruptus

Ed Raymond

Fact: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Was Gay

Even before Justice Antonin Scalia’s body at that exclusive Texas ranch-resort had assumed room temperature, leaders of the American Taliban, the Republican Party, said it would be useless for President Barack Obama to nominate a replacement because Republicans would not allow an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor. Other Republican right-wing nuts Twitterized and Facebooked that they were sure Democrats had killed him. Donald Trump, the savior of the white race, declared he had heard poor Tony had been found with a pillow over his face. Evidently we are now living in a third-world country covered with banana trees saturated with corrupt and murderous politicians, with all on the take from treacherous business CEOs, prosperity-minded TV preachers, and carnivorous hedge fund managers. Our politics have reached a dangerous bi-polar stage.
If there is anything more anti-constitutional and insane than the Republican position on the appointment and vote on a Supreme Court replacement, it may be the Republican position on the closure of our prison on Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Obama has been trying to close it since 2009 because the alleged torture taking place there is the best recruiting device ever designed for Osama bin Laden, Al Queda, and ISIS—steel cages, orange jumpsuits, hoods, forced feedings, shackles and handcuffs, hot and cold boxes, and feces and vomit flying around. We presently have 91 “detainees” at Gitmo, with only 15 classified as high-value real bad guys. It is now costing the U.S. taxpayer $450 million a year while the prisoners watch 300 TV channels. We employ 1,200 guards to watch the prisoners watch TV and 400 “contractors” to keep things working—like TVs, air conditioners, and leaking roofs.  Prisoners can pray for 20 minutes, five times a day, have access to a recreation yard, take computer and life skill classes, select books from a 34,000-book library complete with magazines, DVDs, video games in 15 different languages, and if they have a medical problem we have 100 medical staff at a clinic. Divide $450,000,000 by 91. So it’s costing us $4.93 million per prisoner to keep Gitmo open because Republicans don’t like Obama.  We could keep them in Colorado in a well-designed maximum-security prison for about $45,000 per. Amazing how liberal conservatives can be with our money. What insanity.

Are Supreme Court Justices Just A Bunch Of Politicians In Black Robes?

Scalia was, according to most reports, a gregarious, witty, fun-loving extrovert and excellent story-teller who had an insatiable desire to win arguments and to be the center of attention in courtroom or bar.  He readily admitted that in court “I often ask a question just for the hell of it.”  Rather a casual approach to the people’s law. Most likely in 18th Century parlance he would be called a “gay” person. But can we call him a “gay” person today in the 21st Century? The results would be interesting with his rants against homosexuals, same-sex marriage, and all things “gay.” In the Romer vs. Evans case involving a Colorado statute he opined in a dissent: “I had thought that one could consider certain conduct reprehensible—murder, for example, or polygamy, or cruelty to animals—and could exhibit even ‘animus’ toward such conduct. Surely that is the only sort of ‘animus’ at issue here: moral disapproval of homosexual conduct.” In another case in 2003 he dissented with this line: “A law banning sodomy is on par with laws forbidding bestiality or murder.” The satirical newspaper The Onion announced his death this way: “Justice Scalia Dead Following 30-Year Battle with Social Progress.” He was also known as the Fox News Justice. Looking at his opinions and dissents, he consistently served the few instead of the many.
Scalia brought the idea of “originalism” to the Court, the strange idea that anything not specifically written in the Constitution was not legitimate law. His silent dark shadow Clarence Thomas usually was the only other justice to agree with him. Scalia said we must interpret the “dead” Constitution as it was written, even if the meaning of words changes over time. That’s why I used the headline “Fact: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was gay.”  Yes, he was gay using the 18th Century solitary meaning of the word describing personal, fun-loving characteristics. But what is the first reaction to the word “gay” in the 21st Century? It’s about sexual orientation, not exhibiting life-of-the-party attitudes. Look at the time and effort involved with eliminating sexual discrimination over the last decade in the U.S. Elimination is not completed yet.

Scalia Was A Knuckle-Dragging Troglodyte When It Comes To Civil, Women’s, And Religious Rights

When Charles Dickens wrote about English income inequality, debtor’s prisons, and the evils of poverty in practically all of his 19th Century works, he always accused the law of being harder on the lower classes. In “Oliver Twist” when the bumbling Mr. Bumble, one of the most henpecked husbands ever created by pen was told by the law that his domineering and abrasive wife by law had to “act under his direction,” he shot back at the bobby: “If the law supposes that, the law is a ass—a idiot.” This response is another example of Scalia’s “originalism” gone bonkers. I suppose in the Magna Carta and succeeding19th Century English law the husband ruled the household. But not in Bumble’s household or now in 21st Century English law. Scalia said we had to follow the meaning and intent of the language of the “Founders” written over 240 years ago. The founders knew only the musket which in skilled hands could fire about one round every 45 seconds. Should we base our 21st Century gun control laws on 18th Century muskets? We now have automatic rifles that can fire 700 rounds a minute and AC-130 four-engine gunships that can fly 1,500 miles and fire 1,800 rounds of 25mm ammo a minute from a Gatling gun design. Did Alexander Hamilton, one of our founders and the first Secretary of the Treasury, ever give us guidance on computer trading and the use of credit default swaps, collateralized debt obligations, and sub-prime mortgages on Wall Street? Did Thomas Jefferson ever include statements in the Constitution about pay equity, the female right to vote, the tampon tax, the equal rights of women as he was fondling his black slave Sally Hemings?  Scalia constantly promoted the idea that the “dead” Constitution prepared by dead slave-holding white men should be our guide. On the other judicial hand, his “buddy” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says the Constitution must be “an expansive charter of an evolving society, celebrating through amendment, judicial interpretation, and practice the extension of rights and protections to once ignored or excluded people, to humans who were once held in bondage, to men without property, to the original inhabitants of the land that became the United States, and to women.”  Scalia turns the law into “a ass—a idiot.”

Scalia Was A Great Representative For The White Party—The Political Party Of The Founders

In another year or two whites will be members of a minority group in the United States. It’s their own fault. Corporations seeking cheap labor sent labor recruiters called coyotes throughout Latin America advertising good jobs, so millions crossed our borders looking for a better life. They pick most our vegetables and fruit, process our beef, pork, and chickens, fish our waters for bass, tilapia, and shrimp, clean our offices and motel rooms, make our beds, cook our food, nanny our kids, drive our taxis, toil in our retail stores, plant our flowers and mow the grass. My God, now they want $15 an hour!! Good Heavens, who hired all of these illegals?
Although the Supreme Court hears about 90 cases each session, sometimes thousands are referred.  Issues of importance to all segments of society usually end up in the Supreme Court, whether its unions, abortion, health care, taxes, voting rights and wrongs, marriage and sex, property rights, racial issues, affirmative action, civil rights, and hundreds of other important issues. Actually The Onion was right when it said Scalia battled social progress for 30 years. He voted against affirmative action programs used by universities to try to maintain diversity on campuses, in classrooms, and in student activities. He claimed such programs did not serve a social or educational purpose! He voted against efforts to establish special legal status or special rights for LGTBQ Americans. Many jurisdictions still uphold the firings of workers for being gay. He voted against same-sex marriage. He voted against voting rules that would make it easier for citizens to vote.

Scalia’s Attitude Toward Women Is Of The-Keep-Them-Barefoot-And-Pregnant Variety
   Throughout his long tenure on the Court he has expressed his opinion that women are not protected by the Constitution, an opinion he reinforced in a 2011 interview with the publication California Lawyer. His 30-year legacy is regressive and anti-woman. He always opposed reproductive and sexual health issues and had expressed a desire to overturn Roe vs. Wade. Scalia has said “the Constitution says nothing about abortion.” He said protesters at abortion clinics screaming “murderer!” at women were trying to comfort them! I would add the Constitution is also silent on in-vitro fertilization, genetics, airplanes, steam engines, horseless carriages, and travels to the moon. (Should we allow Utah and Mississippi to have nuclear weapons?)  He has always opposed equal pay for women. He has said, “There are some intelligent reasons to treat women differently,” but has never bothered to list them. He said a lot of stuff, such as he was disturbed by women who swear. Dahlia Lithwick, who often covers women’s issues when the Court is in session, wrote this about his legacy: “He was a three-dimensional justice with an often two-dimensional worldview. History will remember him as someone who was gloriously, powerfully on the wrong side of so many important questions. But history will surely remember him.”
Scalia has been called “brilliant” by followers in arguing the law, but his written opinions and dissents do not glow with historical and literary references. In fact, he said the Supreme Court should never evaluate or consider  decisions of other courts around the world. Is it “brilliant” to pay no attention to decisions made in other countries that have managed to survive politically and economically for a thousand years? Some of them must have done something right. In 2013 he admitted he never read the New York Times or the Washington Post, at that time two liberal newspapers. He read the Washington Times, a conservative paper created to answer the Post, and the Wall Street Journal, owned by that great liberal icon Rupert Murdoch. He also listened to talk-radio and political commentators. Gee, I bet it was those two great sources of truth: Rush Limbaugh and Fox News.

The Obama Message: “Don’t Mess With Us, We Can Murder A Justice And Get Away With It”

Rick Wiles, a fanatical supporter of Ted Cruz and an evangelical Christian “end-times” preacher, not only names Obama as the anti-Christ, he accuses him of suffocating Scalia and leaving a pillow on his face as a message. Wiles preached that this is the way a dictatorial, fascist, police state regime takes over a nation. He further explained his position: “Barack Obama is the most lawless president we have ever had in the history of this great country.”  
   Despite the efforts of Scalia, Alito, and Thomas, time, humanity, and a living Constitution moves inexorably forward. Blacks can marry whites. Women, renters, and sharecroppers can vote. LGBTQs can serve in the military. Laws and institutions advance along with the progress of the human mind. The founders in their ignorance were human. They did not have the eternal wisdom of white gods. As an example of how we progress, after a very black Jesse Owens won four Olympic gold medals in the 1936 Berlin Olympics to completely upset the idea of Hitler’s “Master Race,” he was invited to be honored at a dinner in New York’s Waldorf Astoria. He was not allowed to take the regular elevator to the site of the dinner. He was forced to take the freight elevator. In 2016 President Barack Obama and his wife welcomed 106-year-old “Grandma Virginia” to the Oval Office. As the daughter of a black sharecropper, she had thought she would never see a black occupy the White House.