The man is in the ground now and I can admit that my first thought when I’d heard he was dead was “Ding, Dong the Witch is Dead.” Mean, huh? Not as mean as Scalia.
Just to be clear, Scalia was the judicial equivalent of Reagan in putting into place judicial policies that turned back the clock to pre-New Deal America and in many cases the 19th century. We didn’t just stop progressing, we regressed as a country under the ideas of these people. And it wasn’t just the numerous 5-4 decisions regressing abortion rights, voting rights, undermining elections, gun control, etc. It was the cases heard that shouldn’t have been heard at all except for four ideological votes to bring a case to the Supreme Court that experts never imagined would be heard at that level. Bush v. Gore? Citizen’s United? The Obamacare cases on the law and the contraception mandate? If not for Scalia’s vote, those cases aren’t even heard, no less ruled on.
More and more Scalia resembled, in his dissents and public speeches, a consumer of right wing talk radio rather than a distinguished Justice of the Supreme Court.
Antonin Scalia, who died this month, after nearly three decades on the Supreme Court, devoted his professional life to making the United States a less fair, less tolerant, and less admirable democracy. Fortunately, he mostly failed. Belligerent with his colleagues, dismissive of his critics, nostalgic for a world where outsiders knew their place and stayed there, Scalia represents a perfect model for everything that President Obama should avoid in a successor. The great Justices of the Supreme Court have always looked forward; their words both anticipated and helped shape the nation that the United States was becoming. Chief Justice John Marshall read the new Constitution to allow for a vibrant and progressive federal government. Louis Brandeis understood the need for that government to regulate an industrializing economy. Earl Warren saw that segregation was poison in the modern world. Scalia, in contrast, looked backward.