–Quite the hubbub regarding Justless Antonin Scalia’s having spoken at a gathering in Dee Cee sponsored by those friendly to Tea Party interests. I think Michelle Bachmann-Turner-Overdrive was there, too, no doubt as a comic warm-up act. “I just flew in from Mars, and boy, are my arms tired.”
Many opiners think Scalia’s decision to attend is evidence of politicizing the Court, and they think he should not do such things.
I say, “Bosh.” Or maybe just, “Bah.”
With regard to politicizing the Court, I have two points to make: It has always been politicized. Impartiality is the stuff dreams are made of, like the Maltese Falcon. Two, after Gore v. Bush, this particular set of Supremes (at least the majority) showed they were as impartial as a referee in professional wrestling. I know, I know: If you supported Bush, you probably think the decision was correct and impartial, and you want everyone else to “get over it.” But I’m just talking (writing) about how bad the decision itself was, as it would have been had Gore and Bush traded places. I think it was Justice Breyer who alluded to the Dred Scott decision, which, for all I know, Scalia thinks was okay.
So I say: go to all the Tea Parties you want, Scalia. Get down with your bad self. Go to the Republican Convention and hold a sign. Make yourself useful. Offer seminars to Birchers. Have a Coke with the Koch brothers. The more open the Supremes are about their political leanings, the better. Same goes for their religious beliefs. The court is chiefly Catholic now, and it’s a brand of Catholicism with which quite a few Catholics are uncomfortable. In religious terms, the minority on the Court is Jewish. No Protestants. No Buddhists, Hindus, Swedenborgians, Atheists, Agnostics.
I also think cameras should be allowed to follow the Supremes when they go to Law School reunions at Harvard, Harvard, Harvard, Harvard, Harvard, Yale, Yale, Yale, and Columbia. I want to see those secret handshakes and hear fond memories of being paddled in the Skull and Bones rumpus room.
Question for Constitutional scholars: Are Harvard and Yale (we’ll leave aside Columbia) really that much better at producing good judges, and if so, by what criteria do we assess the matter?
I’d love to see a Justice who doesn’t have a law degree. It couldn’t hurt, obviously; there is no “floor” regarding how awful the Supremes have been through history. They are capable of pulling any nonsensical decision out of their . . . robes.
I’d like to see much broader academic representation, too, and much wider regional/geographic representation.
As far as ideology, I think that game is over. As with politics, the center keeps moving right, and the left either chases the center or gets left (so to speak) behind. I don’t even perceive a Left to exist on the court. Does anyone?
But back to the main point: behave as politically as you want, Scalia. Shoot shotguns with Cheney (just stay sober and don’t aim at friends). Belly up the bar with the Koch Brothers. Put Bachmann Turner Overdrive on the turn-table. Boogie on down with Karl Rove and Glenn Beck. Shake your money-maker.