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Democracy is best served by strict separation of...

 
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 May, 2005 07:15 am
I think that was a misstatement, a gaffe if you will, Wandel I believe Scalia understands how important religion is to a majority of Americans and how they view that their inalienable rights come from God and all law and government proceeds from that concept. Thus, I think his true views were expressed in the interview and you won't see in his written opinion, if any, that government proceeds from God.

Scalia is such a strict constructionist, I can't imagine him violating his own principles. If I'm wrong about that, then I'm wrong. But I'll wait for the formal opinion to come down.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 May, 2005 07:39 am
Apart from the absurd and arrogant presumption of stating what is the view of a majority of Americans with regard to their unalienable rights and their provenance--the sponge in spectacles once again demonstrates that persistence of prejudice with which we are all only too familiar.
0 Replies
 
Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 May, 2005 07:53 am
Quote:
15 JUSTICE SCALIA: I thought Muslims accept
16 the Ten Commandments.

17 MR. CHEMERINSKY: No, Your Honor, the
18 Muslims do not accept the sacred nature of the Ten
19 Commandments, nor do Hindus, or those who believe in
20 many gods, nor of course, do atheists.
21 And for that matter, Your Honor, if a
22 Jewish individual would walk by this Ten
23 Commandments, and see that the first commandment
24 isn't the Jewish version, I am the Lord, thy God,
25 took you out of Egypt, out of slavery, would realize

Page 16:

1 it's not his or her government either.

2 JUSTICE SCALIA: You know, I think
3 probably 90 percent of the American people believe in
4 the Ten Commandments, and I'll bet you that 85
5 percent of them couldn't tell you what the ten are.


I think this was a rather nice deflection from the subject at hand which was his own ignorance of Muslim beliefs with regard to the issue before the Court. One would think with all the reading the Justices do, he might spend some time researching the views, opinions and beliefs of those who will be affected by his rulings.

Quote:
15 JUSTICE SCALIA: I thought Muslims accept
16 the Ten Commandments.


Well, you thought wrong. What else do you think you think?

Joe(Call 1-800-ASKAMULLAH) Nation
0 Replies
 
Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 May, 2005 09:45 am
Foxfyre wrote:
I think that was a misstatement, a gaffe if you will, Wandel I believe Scalia understands how important religion is to a majority of Americans and how they view that their inalienable rights come from God and all law and government proceeds from that concept. Thus, I think his true views were expressed in the interview and you won't see in his written opinion, if any, that government proceeds from God.

Scalia is such a strict constructionist, I can't imagine him violating his own principles. If I'm wrong about that, then I'm wrong. But I'll wait for the formal opinion to come down.


Scalia believes it is immoral for an individual to impose the death penalty, but it is NOT immoral for government to impose the death penalty because he believes that the government derives its "moral authority" from GOD--and government becomes the "minister of God" with the power to exact vengence and to execute God's wrath through the death penalty. Although Scalia claims his personal views have nothing to do with how he votes as a judge, they have everything to do with how he votes. He believes that any judge who is morally against the death penalty ought to resign the bench; but LUCKY FOR HIM, he's not morally against the death penalty.

http://www.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft0205/articles/scalia.html

Scalia is not a "strict constructionist." He claims to be an "originalist." And, as an "originalist," he has violated his own principles of constitutional interpretation by failing to apply original intent. He conveniently examines historical intent to justify his own views.

As an originalist, he ought to examine how our founders truly felt about the death penalty. Scalia seems to take the flippant view that if the death penalty was allowed for petty crimes when the Constitution was written, it should be allowed now. But he fails to dig any deeper into the original intent of our founders who rarely imposed the death penalty except for crimes considered especially heinous; they believed in proportionality ("an eye for an eye" doesn't mean "an arm, a leg, and an eye for an eye"); and many believed the death penalty was repugnant to our form of government.

http://usinfo.state.gov/products/pubs/rightsof/punish.htm

An originalist would look at the history of the equal protection clause in the Fourteenth Amendment.

Quote:
. . . although the Fourteenth Amendment became part of the Constitution in 1868, almost 90 years passed before this broad interpretation of the meaning of "equal protection" flowered.

. . . Interestingly, no mention of equal opportunity can be found in either the original body of the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, nor was it deemed necessary until after the Civil War. When it became apparent that the defeated Confederate states had no intention of treating the newly freed slaves fairly, Congress responded by drafting and passing the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which forbade all states from denying any citizens not only due process of law but equal protection of those laws.

Yet, from the very beginning the meaning of "equal protection" has at times been confusing, perhaps because the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment left us no explanation of exactly what they meant. . . .

The origins of the Fourteenth Amendment, as a blueprint for the reconstruction of the Confederate states after the Civil War, informed its interpretation in the courts for many years. Despite its plain language that does not in fact refer to race, everyone understood that the Congress that proposed the amendment meant to protect the former slaves from discrimination, and nothing else.


http://usinfo.state.gov/products/pubs/rightsof/equal.htm

Despite the "original intent" of the Fourteenth Amendment, Scalia did not resort to "originalism" in Bush v. Gore:

Quote:
Speaking before a full house of about 900 in UVM's Ira Allen Chapel, as well as an additional 300 in an overflow area, the man widely viewed as the court's leading conservative intellectual said judges shouldn't read rights into the Constitution that aren't spelled out in the document itself.

Abortion, gay rights and the "right to die" are best left to the legislative and executive branches, he said. "You want a right to abortion? ... Pass a law."

. . . .Scalia defended the court's ruling in the Bush versus Gore decision that settled the 2000 presidential race. He said it met the test of constitutional originalism by relying on the Constitution's clause saying that citizens will have equal protection before the laws.

In the Florida recount halted by the court, "some people had their votes counted and others did not," he said.

In response to to a question from the audience, Scalia acknowledged the doctrine of originalism can't solve all legal problems.

"It's not always easy to figure out what the provision meant when it was adopted," he said, adding of originalism, "I don't say it's perfect. I just say it's better than anything else."


See Scalia talks up "originalism" in UVM speech


WELL? Where in the Constitution is it spelled out that every voter has a right to have his/her vote counted or recounted if the voter didn't complete his ballot in the manner required by law? Black people have the right to vote; women have the right to vote; 18-year-olds have the right to vote--but where in the constitution does it say a voter has a right to have his/her vote recounted during a lawful recount if the government cannot ascertain what vote was cast by a particular ballot?

And yet, for the purposes of Bush v. Gore, Scalia was more than willing to disregard the original intent of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and proclaim that some votes were being counted (legally recognized), some votes were not--therefore, the equal protection clause required a halt to the recount. Why can't we apply that same rationale to same-sex relationships? The government gives legal recognition to some relationships, but not to others. The equal protection clause ought not tolerate that discrimination either.

It is clear that Scalia uses "originalism" as a convenient excuse for result-oriented decisions--and nothing more. If he were a true originalist, he would apply a learned and educated opinion with respect to original intent to all cases. He doesn't do that.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 May, 2005 11:12 am
My opinion of Scalia still hands: the guy is an idiot.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 May, 2005 11:12 am
Correction: he's a dangerous idiot.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 May, 2005 11:19 am
I posted this on another thread, but I think it belongs over here as well

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,156264,00.html

Quote:
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 May, 2005 11:26 am
If they are caught doing so, they can lose their nonprofit status.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 May, 2005 11:28 am
If you'll read the linked article, c.i., you'll see that that is what the proposed legislation will change.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 May, 2005 11:30 am
What proposed legislation?
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 May, 2005 11:36 am
It backfired on Lady Bush:

From NYT:

"Laura Bush heckled in Jerusalem

Laura Bush followed tradition at the Western Wall
US First Lady Laura Bush has been heckled by both Jewish and Muslim protesters during a visit to Jerusalem's holy sites.

As she slipped a note between stones of the Western Wall, Jewish protesters demanded the release of an Israeli jailed in the US for spying for Israel.

At the nearby Dome of the Rock mosque, Palestinians said she was not welcome."
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 May, 2005 12:18 pm
c.i., the information about the proposed legislation is in the article linked here


ehBeth wrote:
I posted this on another thread, but I think it belongs over here as well

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,156264,00.html

Quote:
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 May, 2005 12:30 pm
ehBeth, Thanks for that link. Didn't know Jones was pushing this legislation, but if past history holds true, it would be defeated - over and over and over - until he gets the message or he losses reelection.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 May, 2005 12:36 pm
America's a different country now, c.i.

I'm not as optimistic as you seem to be about the outcome of Jones' activity.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 May, 2005 12:39 pm
If that law passes, it may result in a "revolutionary" war in this country.
0 Replies
 
Ray
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 May, 2005 01:29 pm
How fanatical is the U.S. congress right now?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 May, 2005 01:31 pm
As individuals, i doubt that many of them are at all fanatical. As politicians in the aggregate, whose fondest desire is re-election, just as fanatical as they believe they need to be, and not one whit less.
0 Replies
 
Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 May, 2005 05:55 pm
Quote:
August 12, 2002
Professor Laurence Tribe
Harvard Law School
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA

Dear Larry,

This morning, while wrapping up a brief vacation, I read the Washington Post’s editorial criticizing Justice Scalia and his First Things essay on almost exactly the same grounds I did in the Times last month. Then I returned home to find your letter of August 10. As the Washington Post editorial shows, my reading of Scalia is not so patently outlandish after all. While you say I “grievously misrepresented” Scalia, other reasonable and informed persons can read Scalia independently and come to much the same conclusion I did. Is it possible that all of us are right - and that you are the one who is wrong?

Your lengthy letter devotes only two paragraphs to the actual substance of what I wrote. Let me refute those paragraphs. First, you assert that Justice Scalia does not (contrary to my characterization of him) blame the emergence of democracy for the downfall of the biblically-derived traditional idea that the state is God’s minister. Second, you say I wrongly charge Justice Scalia with trying to inject Catholic theology - or, short of that, religious doctrine - into constitutional interpretation. Third, you claim that Justice Scalia would, if he found the death penalty immoral, resign from the court, and that I miss the mark when I accuse him of opportunism.

On the first point: Here, at the risk of getting tedious, is exactly what Justice Scalia wrote, after he quoted from Romans 13:1-5 on the divine origins of government (emphasis mine):

This is not the Old Testament, I emphasize, but St. Paul. One can understand his words as referring only to lawfully constituted authority, or even only to lawfully constituted authority that rules justly. But the core of his message is that government - however you want to limit that concept - derives its moral authority from God. It is the “minister of God” with powers to “revenge,” to “execute wrath,” including even wrath by the sword (which is unmistakably a reference to the death penalty). Paul of course did not believe that the individual possessed any such powers. Only a few lines before this passage, he wrote, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” And in this world the Lord repaid-did justice-through His minister, the state.

These passages from Romans represent the consensus of Western thought until very recent times. Not just of Christian or religious thought, but of secular thought regarding the powers of the state. That consensus has been upset, I think, by the emergence of democracy. It is easy to see the hand of the Almighty behind rulers whose forebears, in the dim mists of history, were supposedly anointed by God, or who at least obtained their thrones in awful and unpredictable battles whose outcome was determined by the Lord of Hosts, that is, the Lord of Armies. It is much more difficult to see the hand of God-or any higher moral authority-behind the fools and rogues (as the losers would have it) whom we ourselves elect to do our own will. How can their power to avenge-to vindicate the “public order”-be any greater than our own?

FT at 19 (emphasis added). The thing speaks for itself. Scalia explicitly blames the emergence of democracy for the decline of the godly State.
Second, nowhere in my essay do I charge that Scalia wants to inject Catholic theology or any other religious doctrine into constitutional interpretation. Rather, I charge that Scalia wants to give the Constitution “a religious sense that is directly counter to the abundantly expressed wishes of the men who wrote the Constitution.” That is, Scalia, like other hard-line conservative officials and writers, many of them Protestants, asserts that our government, like all government, rests on divine authority. Scalia says so, again explicitly, when he writes of democracy’s tendency “to obscure the divine authority behind government.” My point, which you mischaracterize, is simply that the Framers acknowledged no divine authority behind government. Do you disagree?

Third, it is moot whether Scalia would quit the Court if he thought the death penalty immoral. He doesn’t, so he won’t - but he does demand that his adversaries quit. Logically and morally, this is a pretty convenient stance for Scalia to take. But that’s not why I call him an opportunist. He is an opportunist because, in his writings, he repeatedly mislabels his own private observations as “conservatism,” and insists wrongly that his views on divine authority are consistent with strict construction and an originalist reading of the Constitution.

And now, it seems, the Washington Post, independently, has arrived at exactly the same conclusion that I did: that Scalia’s First Things essay proclaims what the Post calls a disturbing “radicalism,” based on Scalia’s apparent rejection of the fact that “the American state was not conceived as an arm of God.” (Here, in case you missed it, is the URL for the Post editorial: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A6702-2002Aug11.html)

Contrary to your portrayal, my op-ed is actually measured in my claims concerning Scalia’s “bitterness against democracy,” referring only to what he sees as democracy’s errors in obscuring the divine foundation of government. And as for the Framers’ views and the Constitution, I relish the opportunity to engage the various eccentric claims, some of them quite scholarly, about the supposedly divine foundations of our national government, if that is what you have in mind.

As you’ve gathered, I will retract nothing that was in my New York Times piece. But like Cromwell to the Scots, I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you are mistaken.

Yours sincerely,

Sean Wilentz


Source



Quote:
God, Death and Justice Scalia
Monday, August 12, 2002; Page A14


SUPREME COURT Justice Antonin Scalia, in a recent article published in a religion journal called First Things, offered thoughts on the moral foundations of the death penalty and the relationship between God and the democratic state. Justice Scalia is one of the court's most impressive intellects: His views command attention. In this instance, they are striking for a different reason: their radicalism.

The purpose of Justice Scalia's article, published in May and adapted from an earlier speech, is not to defend the death penalty -- about which the justice professes neutrality -- but to argue "that I do not find [it] immoral." In doing so, Mr. Scalia -- a devout Catholic -- aligns himself with the moral views of St. Paul, whom he paraphrases as saying "that government . . . derives its moral authority from God. It is the 'minister of God' with powers to 'revenge,' to 'execute wrath,' including even wrath by the sword (which is unmistakably a reference to the death penalty)." This view of government, the justice acknowledges, was complicated by the emergence of democracy. But, he insists, "The reaction of people of faith to this tendency of democracy to obscure the divine authority behind government should not be resignation to it, but the resolution to combat it as effectively as possible."

This ambiguous statement is disturbing. America is a society built around suspicion of government action, not worship of it. The source of power is popular sovereignty, not a divine right to rule. While popular sovereignty -- as the Declaration of Independence announces -- presupposes that the people were "endowed by their creator" with their rights, the American state was not conceived as an arm of God.

Almost as remarkable is Justice Scalia's contempt for the past century of Supreme Court opinions concerning the meaning of the Eighth Amendment's ban on "cruel and unusual punishment." He laments the court's decisions, for example, abolishing the death penalty for crimes other than murder and imposing age limitations on the penalty's application. These are examples of the "living Constitution," he sneers, the idea that the scope of the prohibition shifts with society's judgments about cruelty. In his view, the Constitution "is not living but dead -- or, as I prefer to put it, enduring." It prohibits only those torturous deaths that it banned when adopted. The death penalty "was clearly permitted when the Eighth Amendment was adopted (not merely for murder, by the way, but for all felonies -- including, for example, horse-thieving, as anyone can verify by watching a Western movie). And so it is clearly permitted today." Translation: Execute children for shoplifting? Fine by the Constitution.

The Court rejected the static vision of the amendment as far back as 1910. Justice Scalia refights an old, and long-lost, battle. Since he has neither sought to reopen this battle in his judicial opinions nor assert that the government's source of power is divine, it may be wrong to put too much weight on the views expressed in this article. But they are worth bearing in mind, the next time Justice Scalia pronounces on the death penalty or on the relationship between church and state.


Source
0 Replies
 
Ethel2
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 May, 2005 09:40 am
ehBeth wrote:
c.i., the information about the proposed legislation is in the article linked here


ehBeth wrote:
I posted this on another thread, but I think it belongs over here as well

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,156264,00.html

Quote:


Beth,

This is horrifying.
0 Replies
 
Algis Kemezys
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 May, 2005 09:58 am
Church and state can only be separate if the quality of life is accepted by all.
0 Replies
 
 

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