a thoughtful web.
Share good ideas and conversation.   Login or Take a Tour!
comment by tacocat

Has Scalia ever experienced a human emotion other than contempt? His dissents seem like a slowly written biography of someone who's unhappy being at odds with the progress of humanity





BrainBurner  ·  1627 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Scalia isn't arguing that same-sex marriage should not be passed. In fact he's arguing his personal opinion is irrelevant. He's merely stating that he does not think same sex marriage should have become legal in the matter it did, by the ruling of nine naturally biased persons. These people do not represent all 320 million Americans and their viewpoints. Accordingly, this ruling by 9 persons undermines the views of the other 320 million of us. I'm glad this ruling occurred, but I'm inclined to agree with Scalia. It would have been better if the states had passed their own laws to similar effect, after due public discourse.

Is this cold hearted? Yes, but let's not have personal emotion and beliefs interfere with the basic processes and beliefs that underline the American Constitution. I do think the 14th Amendment does guarantee the right to same sex marriage, but the precedent set here is more worrisome.

tacocat  ·  1627 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I understand strict constitutionalism but this is like coming down against Brown v. BOE and expecting the states to sort out segregation on their own. The Court has to at times drag the country into line with what is just even if it isn't through democratic means

BrainBurner  ·  1627 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I suppose we just have different views on how our government should work. Fair enough.

Vox_R  ·  1627 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I can see where he's coming from on that extent, but at the same time, you could view it as a sort of escalation.

Someone brought it before a court, and the court said "such and such verdict". To those seeking that verdict, things made sense. To those who disagreed, it did not. So, they exercised their freedoms and pushed further.

It eventually lands at the feet of the Supreme Court. It's clear, when it has reached that point, that the opinions of 320 million Americans are difficult to sort through when it comes down to constitutional interpretation, so we're trusting our final "escalation point" to interpret it for us, because "Well, we can't agree on this. What do you say?"

And then they pass their verdict.

This didn't remove the rights of 320 million Americans; on the contrary, there are those who exercised them to reach this particular point.

Then again, in a contrary vein, when the question is really "do we treat these other humans like we treat us humans?" and there were people saying no we obviously shouldn't because reasons... well, we're just glad the Supreme Court is there.

MYGODWHATHAVEIDONE  ·  1626 days ago  ·  link  ·  

> the opinions of 320 million Americans are difficult to sort through when it comes down to constitutional interpretation

> "Well, we can't agree on this. What do you say?"

Opinions of 320 million Americans don't and shouldn't matter in Constitutional interpretation—that's the whole point of an unelected judiciary. The court's job isn't to reflect the balance of public opinion, nor to anticipate the long-term direction public opinion is heading in. The court's job isn't to be the final arbiter of public debate, it's to assess whether statutory laws are in violation of the Constitution.

> This didn't remove the rights of 320 million Americans

I'm not convinced. Every single referendum on the subject of gay marriage came down against it until Iowa. The majority of states that had legal gay marriage before this decision had enacted it via judicial fiat, overturning public referenda or statutory law passed by the public's representatives. What is happening when five justices invent something unwritten in the actual text of the Constitution in order to overturn both the existing results of the democratic process and any future democratic initiatives/revisions?

wailingmandrake  ·  1619 days ago  ·  link  ·  

If the 14th Amendment guarantees the right to same sex marriage, then same sex marriage has to be legalized. That was the precedent set here--following the constitution and the rights it guarantees to all citizens. Many of the arguments that Scalia made could easily have been made against allowing interracial marriage. Likewise, they could have easily been made against abolition, or integration. What the 14th Amendment does is fight the "tyranny of the majority"--it protects the rights of marginalized groups from majority rulings.

If the majority always had its way, slavery and segregation would still be legal. Sometimes the majority is wrong. Just because a lot of people believe something does not necessarily make it right. Several hundred years ago, the majority of the people believed that the sun revolved around the earth. Seventy years ago, the majority of Americans believed that the races should be segregated. Sometimes, the majority takes away the rights of the few--and in those instances, we should be grateful that a document like the Constitution gives the Supreme Court the (seldom-used) ability to overrule the majority.

BrainBurner  ·  1615 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Avaiihn's comment sums up my response better than I could in my own words

kleinbl00  ·  1627 days ago  ·  link  ·  
b_b  ·  1627 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Not sure he beat his own dissent from yesterday in terms of rhetorical flourish. I give you jiggery-pokery.

insomniasexx  ·  1627 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I hate Scalia but you need Scalia. He forces shit to be more solid by way of providing a dissenting opinion. I don't think any ideas are truly thought out until you've had a few people shit all over them and try to prove you really, really wrong. If your idea still stands after that, you know you did the right thing, instead of assuming you did the right thing.

thenewgreen  ·  1627 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Wait, are you suggesting that b_b was the Scalia of team hubski?

"That's the fucking dumbest idea I've ever heard." -b_b, multiple times after suddenly reengaging the conversation between hockey periods.

And I miss it.

insomniasexx  ·  1627 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I was actually thinking about that as I wrote that comment! However, I didn't want to compare b_b to Scalia because... Fuck Scalia.

ll  ·  1624 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Oh boy. Scalia... That guy should've been a drama writer, but obviously you make a lot more money from supporting things like Citizens United and trying to ban abortion.

He always falls behind really smart and important rhetoric and calls towards the spirit of the writers of the constitution and what the people of the time perceived to be true, but when it's something that his super-religious-self cares about, he suddenly forgets all of the spirit of the writers of the Constitution.

It's so easy to dislike that guy...

b_b  ·  1624 days ago  ·  link  ·  

At least I had the decency to quit when I realized I had nothing positive to contribute :)

b_b  ·  1624 days ago  ·  link  ·  

At least I had the decency to quit when I realized I had nothing positive to contribute :)

b_b  ·  1624 days ago  ·  link  ·  

At least I had the decency to quit when I realized I had nothing positive to contribute :)

b_b  ·  1627 days ago  ·  link  ·  

If you want a real mind-bender, check out Roberts' opinion on the Obamacare thing. He pretty much wrote all the most relevant passages by entirely quoting Scalia's (very recent) opinions regarding reading an entire law in context. Scalia's cognitive dissonance is impressive.

flagamuffin  ·  1627 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Interestingly, I just that exact phrase in my little soapbox-rant on where SCOTUS' dissenting opinions are trending toward.

b_b  ·  1627 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Haha. I saw that I thought you were cribbing me :)

flagamuffin  ·  1627 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Nope, I think it's just the phrase that immediately comes to mind when any intelligent person is forced to think about Scalia.

The other is "holy shit, he believes the devil is real."

flagamuffin  ·  1627 days ago  ·  link  ·  

"...and he's making our laws."

insomniasexx  ·  1627 days ago  ·  link  ·  
tacocat  ·  1627 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I saw that on Facebook but I try not to submit Onion articles here so I submitted a song about gay marriage causing gay people to release gay spores that make straight people gay. Weird personal ethics I have for this website.

insomniasexx  ·  1627 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I have a lower threshold for comments. If you want something deeper than the Onion, Check out 29 pages of Robert's dissent. I've made it through 15.

tacocat  ·  1627 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I wanted to submit that article but didn't is all. The Onion does great work when presented with something so rife for satire. I submitted the Trevor Moore song because I really like it and wanted to share it today and didn't think it would go over so well with some people on my Facebook.