Justice Scalia found dead

Timothy Kincaid

February 13th, 2016

Antonin Scalia

The Supreme Court has been a body in political balance with three liberal justices, three conservative justices, and Justice Kennedy who, in the middle, often swung the majority. But there has been concern for some time that a few of the more liberal justices are aging and may soon wish to retire and, depending on the President at that time, this could shift the bench’s direction.

But I don’t think anyone expected this: (San Antonio Express)

Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead of apparent natural causes Saturday on a luxury resort in West Texas, federal officials said.

A federal official who asked not to be named said there was no evidence of foul play and it appeared that Scalia died of natural causes.

Scalia was a constitutional originalist in that he held that the protections in the Constitution should be interpreted by the original teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Or so it seemed to me.

A man never deterred by compassion or decency, Scalia was quick to denounce those of whom he disapproved in scathing tones. Among such were gays and lesbians who his judicial review never seemed to find in the inclusive language of the Constitution. For Scalia, “all men” came with an asterisk (*except the homosexuals).

He will not be missed by our community.


February 13th, 2016

This is an extremely fair post, Timothy. Your restraint is admirable.

There are, however, 9 justices on the Supreme Court, not 7 as you math suggests.


February 13th, 2016

And Obama is presiding for a replacement.

Good tidings!

Priya Lynn

February 13th, 2016

Lucrece, do you think Obama can get a replacement through before his term ends?

Great day for me. Hubby and I went out for Valentines day and came home to hear Scalia died. Woohoo!

enough already

February 13th, 2016

His was one of the greatest minds to sit on the Supreme Court.
Oh – and I’d dearly love to hear the reason for any gay man to not vote for a Democrat this November.


February 13th, 2016

What’s really annoying to me is that the GOP candidates are saying that we should wait until the next president to appoint a replacement. McConnel says that the American people should have a say in who is appointed next.

Ben in oakland

February 13th, 2016

I will not go for false sentimentality.

I wouldn’t call the man evil, as some have done. I’d call him an authoritarian, a doctrinaire conservative Catholic who had no interest in the first amend meant, lacking in any sense of compassion, full of the despite that marks either a true bigot or a true theocrat, a strict constructionist who was anything but, a man who objected to other people’s religious beliefs, a man who believed that might and not compassion makes right.

And an all around asshole.

Priya Lynn

February 13th, 2016

I’d call the man evil.

Eric Payne

February 14th, 2016

Every seat in the House is up for grabs this election year.

Over 30 Senate seats could, presumably, change hands.

Yet these people, who may not even be lawmakers next year, are going to intentionally block any current nominee made by the President, hoping the Presidency changes party affiliation.

In the meantime… how many 4 – 4 decisions is the Court going to make?

This entire term for SCOTUS could end as another year-long cluster fuck of our government at work.


February 14th, 2016

I have no particular feelings about Scalia’s death, except that it’s always sad for someone when someone dies.

He may very well have been a brilliant legal mind, but he never let that get in the way of his ideology, and he was an ideologue — I always thought of him as the Vatican’s representative on the Supreme Court.

He’s been called a “true conservative,” which perverts the meaning of conservative: he was a reactionary, pure and simple. As a thought experiment, compare him to Richard Posner, who sits on the Seventh Circuit: a real legal scholar, a brilliant analyst with impeccable conservative credentials, and a jurist who doesn’t suffer fools gladly. (His opinion in Baskin [http://pdfserver.amlaw.com/nlj/usca7_ssm_20140904.pdf] is not only erudite, but scathing in its dismissal of the states’ claims. I wouldn’t mind at all seeing Posner nominated to take Scalia’s place — he’s everything Scalia was not.)

What’s going to happen is that anyone Obama nominates is going to be ignored by the Senate. Even if there is pressure to proceed with a confirmation vote, some red-state asshole will put a hold on it.

But then, this is the Republican party, which is still working on making Obama a one-term president.

Paul Douglas

February 14th, 2016

You know I never thought of Scalia being the next Justice to die but when you think about it, its not surprising. He was quite overweight, and venomous in personality. Old overweight men just don’t often live into their 80’s, even with modern healthcare.
He’ll lie embalmed in some coffin for a hundred years and eventually, back to stardust.
And become some kind of saint for the catholicists and the reaganistas.


February 14th, 2016

“Venomous in personality”? I don’t think so. Ginsburg and Kagan would not have considered him a friend if that were so.


February 14th, 2016

« He may very well have been a brilliant legal mind, but he never let that get in the way of his ideology »

Ooph, scalding! Gave me a big ol’ smirk.


February 16th, 2016


I agree with Buster. Great summation of his career.

One asterisk on his “Vatican vote” on the court:

I am guessing it might be part of Opus Dei ideology, but the official Vatican policies against the death penalty and for compassion for the underprivileged seemed to have no influence on his decisions dealing with those issues. His interpretation of Catholic doctrine was as sketchy as his interpretation of the Constitution.

john (not mccain)

February 16th, 2016

And now America is a little bit safer, a little bit freer, and a little bit cleaner.

Mark F.

February 16th, 2016

Nice, some people here are actually celebrating the death of another human being.

Yes, he was a terrible homophobe. Something very common in people of his generation. It’s a shame he never got over that. But I’d bet few here actually read many of his opinions, many of which were decent and well argued.

“A man never deterred by compassion or decency.”

A complete falsehood. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was one of his best friends. Are you going to condemn her, as well? She must have been an evil witch for hanging out with him. In fact, almost everyone who interacted with him socially found him fun and pleasant to be around.

By all means, have a robust discussion of his judicial philosophy, good or bad. Condemn him for his homophobia. But cut out this grave dancing. It’s repulsive.

Priya Lynn

February 16th, 2016

Yeah, I don’t buy the idea that you are supposed to stop saying what a nasty person someone was just because he’s dead.

I’ll happily dance on Scalia’s grave.


February 16th, 2016

Elderly overweight smoking angry desk-jockey man with high blood pressure and heart disease – why are people surprised that he had a sudden death?

Priya Lynn

February 16th, 2016

Timothy wrote “A man never deterred by compassion or decency.”

MattNYC replied “A complete falsehood.”.

You couldn’t be more wrong Matt. Keep in mind that one of Scalia’s opinions was that exonerating evidence of a crime should never be reconsidered, even in cases of the death penalty. The guilty are guilty, end of story, as far as he was concerned or as he put it “Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.” No person with any compassion or decency would express that opinion. The man was truly evil.


February 16th, 2016


Please aim those arrows correctly! :)


February 16th, 2016

Agreed, he was a monster. A eloquent monster, but a monster nonetheless

Priya Lynn

February 16th, 2016

Sorry Matt.

john (not mccain)

February 17th, 2016

Wouldn’t it be funny if one day Mark, completely innocent of any crime, was executed perfectly legally by the government because of violent big thug Antonin Scalia? I know I’d laugh!

Priya Lynn

February 17th, 2016


The quote I attributed to Scalia, “Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.” cannot be verified.

Here’s a verified Scalia quote from the court ruling:

“I can understand, or at least am accustomed to, the reluctance of the present Court to admit publicly that Our Perfect Constitution [n.1] lets stand any injustice, much less the execution of an innocent man who has received, though to no avail, all the process that our society has traditionally deemed adequate.”

In other words, in Scalia’s opinion, your Constitution would let stand the execution of an innocent man who has received all the due process your society deems adequate and there is nothing that Federal courts can or should do to stop such an execution.

Priya Lynn

February 17th, 2016

My apologies for not verifying that first quote before I posted it.


February 17th, 2016

Anyone know if there’s a Black, Lesbian Appellate judge anywhere? SHE would be the best replacement for Scalia…

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