Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Un-American Lies of Antonin Scalia

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

It's time the American people fired the man who thinks himself 'too smart for the (Supreme) court'. Scalia has done it again. The architect of Bush v Gore, the disingenuous decision that stuck us with Bush, has stooped to yet another low. Scalia will tell bald faced lies to prop up his bullshit 'opinions'.
To bolster his argument that the Guantanamo detainees should be denied the right to prove their innocence in federal courts, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in his dissent in Boumediene v. Bush: "At least 30 of those prisoners hitherto released from Guantanamo have returned to the battlefield." It turns out that statement is false.

According to a new report by Seton Hall Law Center for Policy and Research, "The statistic was endorsed by a Senate Minority Report issued June 26, 2007, which cites a media outlet, CNN. CNN, in turn, named the DoD as its source. The '30' number, however, was corrected in a DoD press release issued in July 2007, and a DoD document submitted to the House Foreign Relations Committee on May 20, 2008 abandons the claim entirely."

--Scalia Cites False Information in Habeas Corpus Dissent
Neither logic nor the 'rule of law' is among Scalia's strong suits. How did he manage to get a law degree? Until this latest outrage, Scalia had said that the high court's decision restoring Habeas Corpus would 'almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed’. Hey! Scalia! Debate me on that one. I need fresh meat.
Conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, however, is outraged. In his dissenting opinion, he devoted an entire section to “a description of the disastrous consequences of what the Court has done today,” a procedure “contrary to my usual practice,” he admitted. Scalia adopted extreme rhetoric about the impacts of the decision, calling it a “self-invited…incursion into military affairs” that would “almost certainly” kill Americans. Some lowlights:

– “America is at war with radical Islamists. … Our Armed Forces are now in the field against the enemy, in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

– “The game of bait-and-switch that today’s opinion plays upon the Nation’s Commander in Chief will make the war harder on us. It will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed.”

– “Today the Court warps our Constitution.”

– “The Nation will live to regret what the Court has done today.”

It is unlikely that the Supreme Court’s decision will have the impacts that Scalia claims. As Kennedy explained, “Liberty and security can be reconciled; and in our system they are reconciled within the framework of the law.” Discussing the restoration of habeas at Guantanamo last year, Colin Powell noted:
The concern was, well, then they’ll have access to lawyers, then they’ll have access to writs of habeas corpus. So what? Let them. Isn’t that what our system’s all about? And by the way, America, unfortunately, has too many people in jail, all of whom had lawyers and access to writs of habeas corpus. And so we can handle bad people in our system.

--Scalia: Court’s Decision Restoring Habeas ‘Will Almost Certainly Cause More Americans To Be Killed’»
I am still amazed that a court whose job is to measure the nation's statutory laws against the 'supreme law' of the land could have ruled in Bush's favor on any issue. One had hoped SCOTUS would redeem itself for a bone-headed decision styled Bush v Gore, a disastrous, politically motivated decision that replaced the rule of law with political expediency.

Later, by ruling that habeas corpus protections apply to detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, the high court held out the promise that it might yet rise above the muck left us in Bush v Gore and by Bush's war on the Constitution!

In the majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote: “We hold these petitioners do have the habeas corpus privilege”. For an administration that thought the fix was in, that it had sufficient ringers on the court, the decision must have come a shock.

Scalia's 'war on logic' is even older. In Bush v Gore, the 'decision that made no law', Scalia argued that 'continuing the recount' would be harmful to Bush. Well, I would hope so! That's the very purpose of elections. The candidate who gets the fewer number of votes is supposed to lose!

Being a disingenuous, snake oil salesmen is one thing. But telling a bald face lie in support of an argument in a decision of the high court is 'intellectual dishonesty' of the highest order.

It's time to impeach Scalia! Scalia doesn't like his job anyway. He thinks himself 'too smart' for it. Let's oblige him by firing his sorry ass.
According to news reports, Scalia, speaking to the ultra-conservative Intercollegiate Studies Institute, read from the Lawrence opinion in mocking tones. Ironic, inasmuch as the 50-year-old institute has says its mission is to "enhance the rising generation's knowledge of our nation's founding principles - limited government, individual liberty, personal responsibility, free enterprise and Judeo-Christian moral standards." The organization, like its famed speaker, draws the line at your individual liberty. They get theirs, you don't get yours if it is contrary to theirs. And there is only one Judeo-Christian moral standard--their own.

Scalia is not alone in his condemnation of his colleagues on the high court. Clarence Thomas has repeatedly talked about the cold and lonely place that is the Court. He shows his contempt for oral arguments by generally refusing to participate.

Why is it that the right, especially the religious right, represented by the likes of Scalia on the court, are so totally unaccepting of another's point of view? Do they truly believe that they have all of the answers to all legal, legislative, and social issues? This week I gave a legal seminar to attorneys in a part of Virginia where Rev. Pat Robertson seems to have a lock on "truth." A couple of religious zealots in the seminar derided other attorneys who tried to talk about life and death issues such abortion, end-of-life treatment, stem cell research, and health care for all Americans. We were supposed to be talking about legal conundrums and challenges.

--ELAINE CASSEL, Antonin Scalia's Contempus Mundi
Let's take the longer view. This government has become illegitimate by every definition of that term. Therefore, according to sound principles practiced by the Barons who forced King John to sign the Magna Carta and, more recently, the principle espoused by such disparate figures as Thomas Jefferson and Che Guevara, it is the right of the people to abolish the government.

It's time to start all over. And when we've done it, when we've plugged up the loopholes that even the disingenuous Scalia can't slither through, then a new government should give Scalia the notice that his 'services' are no longer required. He should have no complaints. After all, Scalia has said that he is 'too smart' for the court!

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