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Scalia's Political Theater Flops When Mixed With Anti-Gay 'Animus'

ScaliaIn case you missed it yesterday, Amy Davidson at The New Yorker offered her thoughts on how Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's clear "animus" toward marriage equality, as seen in his stubborn and indulgent commitment to a comparison of same-sex love and bestiality, completely undercuts his pursuit of political theater:

A few months from now, when the Supreme Court hears arguments in the two same-sex marriage cases it accepted for review last Friday, many observers will likely be in [Princeton Student Duncan] Hosie’s position—listening with some amazement to Scalia as he berates lawyers, fascinated by his animosity, wondering about the point where a cruel note removes any enjoyment one might find in intellectual theatrics.

There haven’t exactly been signs that Scalia is mellowing. His dissent, this year, in an Arizona immigration-law case, was as politicized and angry as ever—and gay-rights cases do not exactly bring out his soft side. For the health-care case, we had broccoli arguments; for same-sex marriage, we will likely be coming back to bestiality.

The Los Angeles Times' editorial board also took on Scalia today, writing, "But the reality — and perhaps this is what so dismayed Hosie — is that the Scalia opinions in question bristle with hostility toward homosexuality and homosexuals."

They went on: "Hosie wondered why Scalia couldn't make his points without offensive implications about gays and the lives they live. But what if those slurs were the point? That's a depressing possibility to contemplate as Scalia and his colleagues prepare to rule on cases involving same-sex marriage."

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  1. MARY - Don't mind DAVID, he means well.

    You're cautionary advice is well taken. But I think there is every reason to believe that strong public action would be beneficial. The public generally needs to be fully informed of Scalia's retrograde opinions and effects. We have a liberal roll going in this country now with the leadership to take it to Scalia's shins and knock him down. In fact it's already happening. This one's going to get bigger, and should, but only if we make ourselves heard.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Dec 13, 2012 2:25:38 PM


  2. Uffda, thanks for the moral support. I guess we can agree to disagree on this issue. But I'm wondering if that second post was really you or someone who posted as you, because you sound as if you're ready for armed revolution. The "liberal roll" you're talking about is real, but the election victories occurred in 4 states that were already liberal. Last month's elections should be viewed in historical context. Overconfidence often causes misjudgment.

    Groups like NOM only have two real hopes for victory at this point. The first one is the argument I used to make on Towleroad until this May - the one about how over time the number of people who choose gay relationships over straight ones would bcome significant enough to cause serious problems in the society. The second one is what I'll call "The Sixties: The Sequel" and it involves the gay rights movemement scaring away potential supporters by threats of violence or demands to censor those who don't toe the pro-gay line on all questions. The first hope is pretty much gone (most conservatives won't make the argument because in it they'd have to concede that gay marriage does no immediate harm.) But only the gay community itself can give them hope for the second to happen.

    I've said before that social conservatives often pray (yes,literally PRAY) for the Left to become radical, violent, and "sixties-like" in their protest. The belief is that if we can't win people over with arguments, we can prevail because the Left scares them away by acttng or seeming extreme. Hoping for this type of political chaos isn't very noble (the conflict would be ugly and a number of people would be physicially harmed, possibly even die.) But I'm assuming that I'm not the only social conservative who has ever made it. Mea culpa.

    Mr. Ehrenstein can say anything about me he wants. But public demonstrations against Scalia will be the best Christmas present NOM could receive.

    Posted by: Mary | Dec 13, 2012 2:55:33 PM


  3. Scalia seems determined to position himself for "religious persecution"...or he's simply trying to get his book numbers up. I think Mary is right though...it's bait. On a happier note, if you're given to reading fiction disguised as dogma...Proverbs 23:2 proclaims, “Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.” Are you listing Tony?

    Posted by: PAUL B. | Dec 13, 2012 3:02:46 PM


  4. The US judicial system SUCKS ! It is BROKEN beyond repair.

    How can this animal be allowed to make decisions on people's lives ? He is INSANE. There has to be a legal way to remove him from the Supreme Court. His job is to be IMPARTIAL. His continuing comments of hate about gays show he is not fit to be in the job.

    Do we need to start an online petition to have him removed ? How can a whole country sit back and let this idiot rule on legal issues ? He's no better than having a chimpanzee in that role.

    WE are paying his HUGE salary. WE need to get him out of that job !

    Posted by: Icebloo | Dec 13, 2012 3:07:43 PM


  5. RAH! ICEBLOO - "this animal be allowed..." love it.

    MARY - there would be no French or America revolution without street action. Ya I wrote the second post. Still you may be right, er, correct. I don't know, none of us do. When is caution cowardice, timidity despair?

    The wind could shift against us, against liberals generally and when that happens they disappear. In this case "pouf" would be the right word.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Dec 13, 2012 3:19:52 PM


  6. Scalia's arguments about gay behavior are not material to any gay marriage debate. It's irrelevant if you have animus towards gay sex, and whether this should influence any marriage rights for gays. The two issues are not conjoined. ie. you can oppose sodomy (the act) but support gay marriage. The reason is obvious once you flip the argument around. The fact gays can't marry has no influence on sodomy (the act) whatsoever.

    Scalia has made repeated references to the conjoining of sodomy rights and marriage rights, but this could only come from the rather Catholic notion that sex outside of marriage is verboten. Therefore, we'd have to get into a rather tricky line of questioning with Scalia, asking if sex within a marriage is a right even if sex outside of marriage is not and where this right is found in the constitution. Too bad the student at Princeton didn't understand these issues better. Perhaps someone will get a chance to follow up on the matter.

    Posted by: anon | Dec 13, 2012 3:28:39 PM


  7. I am delighted that TR *finally* changed the picture of Scalia. I had become tired of seeing him as a self-assured know-it-all. The gesture he's making makes this choice all the more wonderful.

    @Paul B: As he has demonstrated - particularly with the texts of his recent opinions - legal standards are not normative for him. While he has been soundly criticized for his total behaviour, I don't think there is anyone powerful enough to effectively call him out.

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Dec 13, 2012 3:48:09 PM


  8. One is reminded of the recent reports of a study finding that homophobes frequently are actually working out repressed homosexual feelings, or as I like to think of it:

    Real Straight Men Aren't Scared of Penises

    [See: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/29/opinion/sunday/homophobic-maybe-youre-gay.html?_r=0 ]

    Posted by: Buster | Dec 13, 2012 4:30:49 PM


  9. As a Supreme Court Justice, Scalia should conduct himself in a manner expected of someone in his position. His considerable ego and hubris trump his intellect over and over. Doesn't he get it, he's embarrassing himself. Just wait till the history books are written.

    Posted by: Mark | Dec 13, 2012 4:56:39 PM


  10. "Doesn't he get it, he's embarrassing himself"

    @MARK, arrogant pricks tend not to be self-aware in that way. They are all ego with zero humility.

    Posted by: RJ | Dec 13, 2012 5:43:46 PM


  11. Scalia's extremism and mean spirited attude toward LGBT people may have the effect of pushing Kennedy and Roberts toward the more liberal side in their rulings on Prop 8 and DOMA.

    Posted by: andrew | Dec 13, 2012 5:55:28 PM


  12. One wonders if it were completely lost on Scalia that he was making comments equating murder and homosexual behavior in a state where a young man had recently jumped off the George Washington Bridge after having had his privacy invaded while engaging in homosexual behavior.

    Scalia is the moral equivalent of a gay basher and a murderer.

    Posted by: Scalia is a Murderer | Dec 13, 2012 6:27:56 PM


  13. This folks is Ronald Reagan's legacy.

    Posted by: Gast | Dec 13, 2012 8:06:40 PM


  14. @Gast: Reagan also appointed Sandra Day O' Connor and Anthony Kennedy to the Court.

    Posted by: andrew | Dec 13, 2012 9:19:52 PM


  15. His talking points are exactly those of NOM and all the other hate groups. Scalia could not show more contempt for the constitut
    ion if he tried.

    Posted by: Molc | Dec 14, 2012 1:12:55 AM


  16. Here's an interesting side note (from Mary's post): "the one about how over time the number of people who choose gay relationships over straight ones would bcome significant enough to cause serious problems in the society."

    In other words, gay marriage would be so much more satisfying that people would have to be forced into straight marriage in order to maintain the population. It could be true. There's an awful lot of unhappy straight marriages.

    Posted by: I learn something every day | Dec 14, 2012 7:24:11 AM


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