Antonin Scalia is 77 today. There are other people born today who have made the world better, like the great American composer Carl Ruggles. Scalia has made it worse—much worse. But I can’t get past the man today.
On one hand, Scalia is a proud iconoclast. I’m an iconoclast. I love iconoclasts. But on the other hand, Scalia is evil. Like Hitler, he combines iconoclasticism with villainy. And that is always a recipe for disaster when such a person gets power. And Scalia sadly has power and has had the annoying tendencies to outlive Hitler by 21 years (minus 10 days). (That’s right: I’m counting the days.)
Don’t get me wrong: I have no problem with conservatives on the court. There are 8 of them on the current Supreme Court and I’m fine with 3 of them. And 2 more are not totally reprehensible. Unfortunately for Scalia, he is a member of the Totally Reprehensible Three (TR3). I can’t decide if he is worse than Alito, but shocking though it may seem, he is certainly worse than Thomas. Thomas at least is fairly consistent. I don’t agree with where he’s coming from but I at least understand it. I don’t have a good take on Alito, because he hasn’t been there that long. He is, however, clearly a racist and sexist asshole. Sadly, that doesn’t really say much about how he stacks up in the TR3.
In the old days, Scalia had a brilliant mind. But no more! All he has to offer now is arrogance and abuse. He seems to stay on the court primarily to continue his long running protest against modernity.
Corey Robin explains Scalia well in his three part series on the colorful judge:
I don’t want to think about the man. I am just counting the days before he has a massive stroke. But I don’t expect that to happen anytime soon. Dying would be a kind thing to do for our country. Scalia doesn’t do kind.
A salve for our woes:
Update (11 March 2013 7:48 pm)
I found this comment by Alex Bailin to Corey Robin’s review of American Original: The Life and Constitution of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in the London Review of Books. It gets more at my thinking regarding Scalia than Robin’s:
And that is what I find so troubling with Scalia. He decides what he thinks and then comes up with something to justify it. He may have had a brilliant mind but he was never a brilliant jurist.