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Random Thoughts Arising from Justice Scalia’s Passing

February 16, 2016

A good man dies and instantly social media erupts with conspiracy theories in some quarters and glee in others. The first doesn’t surprise me, and the second only saddens me.  The self-righteous left shows their own immorality by celebrating someone’s death. I can’t think of a time when I did that. Even when the schoolyard bully who made my life a bruised difficulty died, I felt sad he didn’t have the chance to turn his life around. I don’t say that to paint myself as a paragon of virtue, but the opposite. If even I know better, then others should too.

If so many people hate you, you’re either a cad or a good man. RIP Justice Scalia

God is in control, so the sitting president has the right to appoint a new justice. One of the things Scalia had said was that if a strict view of the Constitution doesn’t ever make you feel bad, you’re probably not interpreting it correctly. It holds some hard truths.  One of those is that the president gets to choose. While it is in the authority of Congress to drag its feet and thereby block that choice is immaterial. That he will choose someone who believes the constitution is flexible doesn’t matter. He gets to choose.

I struggle when I hear radio voices say we need a conservative on the bench, or a liberal on the bench. I’d just like a justice who understands it’s his or her job to interpret the actual Constitution and not a wish-it-was-Constitution.  Though it says something about people who don’t want such a Justice…

Justice Scalia stood for the Constitution and its occasional unpleasant truths. He made controversial decisions because he knew it was his job to interpret the big C and not make it say things it doesn’t. That has some difficult applications.  The Constitution demands people live in a responsible manner, and if irresponsible behavior (defined as actions that can result in unwanted consequences) means you’ll be held to those consequences, at least at the Federal level, then ouch.  If it isn’t mentioned in the Constitution, re: abortion, health care, then it’s a matter for states. Scalia got it, and his opinions were consistent, scathing and imminently readable. The court loses a great mind, and you should be able to recognize that even if you didn’t agree with him.

My daughter is visiting the Supreme Court next week. I don’t know if she’ll be meeting any of the Justices, but I’m so sorry she won’t be meeting him.

He called the Court unrepresentative, unelected, and unfit to write laws. By this, he means being unrepresentative is just fine. It doesn’t matter the color, race, gender or orientation a Justice is, because it is the one branch of government that isn’t answerable to the people.  It is answerable to the Constitution, applied blindly and limited to the scope of its words.

Scalia said he no longer recognizes what America has become. Neither do I. I wish we could actually try it. Sometimes I feel alone in that. I think I would have liked to have had lunch with Scalia. Maybe someday, if we eat lunch in heaven, I will.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 16, 2016 2:58 pm

    It’s sad to me that he was one of the last remaining influences that President Reagan had on our government, since he appointed Justice Scalia. It is a sad day indeed. Praying for whomever will fill his shoes (and robe). 🙂

  2. February 16, 2016 4:08 pm

    I’ve been reading blog posts about him, and so many people think he “destroyed” America. Invariably, they were people impatient for change, who didn’t understand the wisdom of the 10th Amendment and the difficulty in amending the Constitution.

    The 1oth Amendment says anything not directly mentioned in the Constitution is reserved to the states, not the Federal government. This prevents the Federal government from passing laws that don’t work in some states (minimum wage is an example. $15 in New York City isn’t the same as in Mobile, Alabama) or amassing too much power.

    The Constitution is mutable, it just is very difficult, as it should be. A constitution easily changed (like the Supreme Court is doing now), isn’t a constitution at all. Yes, it means change at the Federal level will be slow, but it should be. Time is the hobbling factor to overwhelming power.

    It was suggested to me recently that cellphones and internet is a right, because how do you live without them? We’ve lost sight of what a human “right” is.

  3. February 16, 2016 5:15 pm

    It is such a sad thing to lose one you love and how much sadder when the vultures of politics are circling to replace a man who is nearly irreplaceable. I wish there was such thing as a grieving time for the family and the country during which no talk of his replacement could be uttered. It would have to be short due to the importance of his position, but it would be respectful. I know it would not be constitutional, but it would be kind.

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