Following the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, every newspaper, blog, politician, and facebook post praised the late Justice for his commitment to service and honored him for the 30 years he spent on the court. Words like "intellectual" "pragmatist" "textualist" "constitutionalist" and "courageous" were often used to describe Scalia following his death while journalists often ignored the controversial parts of his tenure on the court to instead focus on his "commitment" to the Constitution. There is no doubt that Scalia was influential and his decisions will impact America for generations to come, but make no mistake, the words in Justice Scalia's opinions and dissents are filled with evil beliefs, massive contradictions, and a blatant disregard for humanity.
I know its bad to speak ill of the dead, which is why I am writing this piece after the mourning stage has ended. I have been biting my tongue since February, and its finally time to let it be free. Anyone who is still sad about the death of Antonin must either have the last name of Scalia or wears a white hood on Wednesdays. In either case, they aren't reading this article and it is much more important to ensure the last word said about Scalia's legacy not be "brave" and instead be "monstrous."
Scalia was not some brilliant man who was able to look over the facts of the case and look to the larger precedent. Nor was he a "textualist" who demanded to stick to the letter of the law. Scalia was a bigot who changed whether he was an "originalist" or a "functionalist" depending on which interpretation was more suitable to harm a specific group of people he wanted to hurt that day.
Below are 3 examples that illustrate where Scalia contradicted himself, used insults to justify monstrous decisions, and ended up on the political spectrum to the right of Joseph Gobbels. These examples were not hard to find because Scalia was a pompous ass who always either had to write the opinion, a concurring opinion, or a dissent to make sure he was on top of the soapbox, even if he already agreed with the court.
1.Atkins v. Virginia and Citizens United v. FEC
These two cases are widely different, but Scalia flip-flops on his need of textual proof so blatantly, you will wonder why anyone called him "consistent". In Atkins, he attacks his fellow Justices for not having any textual argument rooted in the Constitution when the court protected a mentally challenged man from receiving the death penalty. In Citizens United, Scalia writes that money equals speech and corporations are people, therefore unlimited corporate donations to political campaigns are protected under the 1st amendment.
In Atkins v. Virginia, the Supreme Court ruled on whether or not sentencing a man who had an IQ of 59 to the death penalty violated the 8th amendment's protection against cruel and unusual punishment. It is worth noting that Atkins' conviction resulted because his own admittance of killing a gas station attendant even though most of his original statement did not line up with the facts of the case and he originally claimed that his accomplice and William Jones pulled the trigger. It was only after Jones testified against Atkins did Atkins admit his guilt even as his affidavit contained " a number of inconsistencies."
The Supreme Court ruled in a 6 to 3 decision that sentencing Atkins to the death penalty did constitute cruel and unusual punishment. As you can imagine, Scalia was furious that his "liberal, activist" colleagues merely made up this section of the Constitution and stretched the meaning of the 8th amendment. Scalia even went further saying "seldom has an opinion of this court rested so obviously upon nothing but the personal views of its members." However, Scalia was more than willing to stretch the meaning of the 1st amendment to fit his personal views when a few of his rich buddies were upset about campaign finance laws.
In Citizens United v. FEC, Scalia dismisses the power of money in politics saying that "Americans are smarter than to be controlled by what they see on TV. They’re not sheep." This has come from the man that believes cameras in the Supreme Court would be unfair saying televised access would "miseducate the American people, not educate them." Scalia's flip flop doesn't come with just the level of respect he has for American's intelligence, but it comes with how he twists the 1st amendment.
Scalia says "The fact that speakers may have influence over or access to elected officials does not mean that these officials are corrupt: Favoritism and influence are not . . . avoidable in representative politics." This might be true about the limit of money in politics if you are willing to look at our current political system with rose colored glasses on, but it certainty has no textual reason for the defense. Scalia needed to have a concrete section of the Constitution to point to in order to save a man's life from execution. However, when it came to allowing corporations to donate unlimited amount of funds to politicians, Scalia invokes the nature of money rather than any specific section detailing congress' ability to limit campaign donations.
2. Lawernce v. Texas and Planned Parenthood v. Casey
These two cases rest in a phrase that Scalia used over and over and over again to justify immoral decisions:"a legitimate state interest." This phrase is vague and allows for judges and lawyers to stretch what they believe to be in interest of the state. In both of these decisions, Scalia stretched this definition beyond belief in order to justify his bigoted words.
In Lawernce v. Texas, Scalia wrote the dissent saying the state could make laws against homosexuality for the reasons it would have an interest in outlawing murder or bestiality.
“The Texas statute undeniably seeks to further the belief of its citizens that certain forms of sexual behavior are ‘immoral and unacceptable,’ . . . the same interest furthered by criminal laws against fornication, bigamy, adultery, adult incest, bestiality, and obscenity. Bowers held that this was a legitimate state interest. The Court today reaches the opposite conclusion. The Texas statute, it says, ‘furthers no legitimate state interest which can justify its intrusion into the personal and private life of the individual,’ …The Court embraces instead Justice [John Paul] Stevens’ declaration in his Bowers dissent, that ‘the fact that the governing majority in a State has traditionally viewed a particular practice as immoral is not a sufficient reason for upholding a law prohibiting the practice,’ . . . This effectively decrees the end of all morals legislation.”
A legitimate state interest? End of all moral legislation? I think what Scalia meant to say is that there is absolutely no way in hell there is a legitimate state interest whatsoever in preventing gay sex in any economic, societal, or health safety reason and "moral legislation" has no constitutional defense. Or rather that is what a textualist would say, but Scalia wanted to go on his anti-gay rant in this case because that monster loves talking about how same-sex sexual activity will lead to the moral derogation of society. Scalia is not the genius that articles will have you believe. He did not have a doctrine and if he did it was one of hate and not one of judicial consistency.
In Planned Parentood v. Casey, Scalia attempts to further the argument against abortion by using the phrase " a legitimate state interest" to uphold the belief that abortion should be banned. Now this belief that banning abortion benefits the state is argument not rooted in facts. Allowing legal abortion increases the survival rates of pregnant women, dramatic reduction of "spontaneous" fetal deaths, promotes women as heads of households, and even lowers the occurrence of abortion. There is little ground for Scalia to stand-on and at the very least, these facts can show that Scalia's stance is one of his own beliefs, instead of what should be the interest of the state.
Scalia makes his bias blatantly clear in his dissent from the case:
The issue is whether [abortion] is a liberty protected by the Constitution of the United States. I am sure that it is not. I reach that conclusion not because of anything so exalted as my views concerning the “concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” Rather, I reach it for the same reason I reach the conclusion that bigamy is not constitutionally protected-because of two simple facts: (1) the Constitution says nothing about it, and (2) the longstanding traditions of American society have permitted it to be legally proscribed.
Make no mistake, this is a dumb argument and one that Scalia violates more than a few times a year. The argument that government can ban something because the constitution doesn't explicitly mention it would limit constitutional freedoms such as freedom of the press, the right to privacy, and right to purchase a condom. Not only would this absurd judicial interpretation wreck havoc on human rights in the United States, Scalia only uses it when he wants to wreck havoc on human rights in the United States. We can see this flip-flop again in Citizens United v. FEC where Scalia is able to stretch the meaning of any constitutional passage to meet his decision. This is not the evidence required to defend a pragmatic, intelligent career, but evidence that Scalia was a monster who was willing to tear the Constitution to shreds when it fit his medieval interpretations.
Scalia isn't the smart pragmatist that the news wants you to believe he was, he was just a slow-witted monster.
3. Fischer v. University of Texas and Flag Pole Sitting
With these case examples, it is quite clear that Scalia will say and use anything to defend his arguments, even if it contradicts previous arguments made by him. However, the veil completely comes off Scalia when we start to examine his personal statements a little bit more closely.
In the oral arguments in Fischer v. University of Texas, a case involving the use of race in college admissions, Scalia spoke out against Affirmative Action. However, Scalia's opposition was not because of any constitutional argument made, he made no references to 'reverse racism', but rather just delivered a plainly racist argument to deny African Americans the right to go to college.
“There are – there are those who contend that it does not benefit African Americans to to get them into the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a less – a slower-track school where they do well.
“One of – one of the briefs pointed out that – that most of the – most of the black scientists in this country don’t come from schools like the University of Texas. They come fro
m lesser schools where they do not feel that they’re – that they’re being pushed ahead in – in classes that are too too fast for them.”
You read that right. Scalia believes that black students would do better at schools that weren't "too fast for them." Forget constitutional debates, Scalia felt as though it was necessary to point out that he thinks African American students are too slow for places like the University of Texas. A place where beer pong is both a degree program and a scholarship opportunity.
Scalia also reveals his lack of knowledge for basic human interactions and his own personal bias during the oral arguments for Lawrence v. Texas. In his defense of the ban against same-sex sexual activity he said:
[S]uppose all the States had laws against flagpole sitting at one time, you know, there was a time when it was a popular thing and probably annoyed a lot of communities, and then almost all of them repealed those laws,” Scalia asked the attorney fighting the Texas in the Lawrence v. Texas case. “Does that make flagpole sitting a fundamental right?”
Flag pole sitting? What does that even mean? Does he think that is what gay men do? Scalia accidentally revealed by issuing this statement that he has never met a gay man, has no idea what goes on in the bedroom of gay men, and that he himself should never, ever be asked about same-sex sexual activity in any capacity.
This isn't a case of men trying to shove their assholes around our nation's flagpoles. This is about love between two human beings. But as Scalia shows time and time again, he doesn't view those in the LGBQT community as human beings. That some how making love to your partner is no different than shoving a metal rod up your anus because you are sexually perverted. Scalia shows he has no mind at work with this statement. That he has no regard for humanity or the Constitution. He is not the intellectual giant conservatives want him to be. Scalia is not a defender of the Constitution, but rather a defender of racist oligarchs who wrap themselves in the cloaks of dead elephants.
When it comes to minority rights, Scalia demands that the Constitution must be perfectly explicit in its text in order to offer any protection to these groups. When it comes power of the state to kill, then you can start having a broader interpretation of it. Then once we get to things that can currently help the Republican establishment, Scalia is willing to throw the baby, the bath water, and yes the Constitution all over board in order to protect the party's bottom line.
Scalia was not a genius, an consitutionalist, or brave . Disenfranchising large groups of citizens (the young, the old, the black, the gay, the women, the poor) is not courageous. Calling Antonin Scalia anything else besides the racist he was would be a disservice to humanity and would embolden his long string of shit decisions. If I ever get the chance, I am going to piss on that old man's grave and wrap his decaying anus around a rusty flag pole so every American can finally see the stick that has been stuck up that rat bastard's ass.