Sunday, March 19, 2006

Orgies..good or bad? Justice Scalia weighs in.

That indelible moment in Supreme Court history came to mind the other night when Justice Antonin Scalia, speaking to supporters of the New England School of Law at a banquet in Boston, allowed as how he was prepared to ''accept for the sake of argument that sexual orgies eliminate tension and ought to be encouraged." Loosen up with the Supremes, indeed. It's not every day that one gets to hear a justice of the Supreme Court share his view of orgies. A latecomer entering at that moment might have thought that Scalia was explaining what it really means to be one of the high court's ''swing voters."

In fact, he was making a serious point about democracy and the blight of ''judicial hegemony" undermining it. In case after case, the people's right to decide difficult questions of social policy democratically has been usurped by judges who fashion constitutional mandates out of their own moral preferences. Scalia cited a case dealing with an orgy not just to make sure that nobody would be snoring through his speech, but to illustrate what happens when ''abstract moralizing" turns into judicial compulsion

Comments:
Scalia is right. Court decisions should be based on the Constitution, and on judicial precedent, in that order. Original intent gets fuzzy, since some 21st Century legal questions were unthinkable 200+ years ago.

Strict constructionism is good. Court opinions based on surveys or (even worse) decisions from foreign courts are not.
 
I hope this helps puts to rest the false premise that conservatives are just a bunch of theological fascists who like nothing better than to meddle from the bench into the private lives of Americans.

Scalia rules! Thank God for conservative jurists.
 
Seneca,

You know if we could just ignore that little thorn in our sides known as the Iraq War, we could probably enjoy a hearty lunch of large intestine soup!
 
Seneca,

I heard a talk from Scalia once where he tears down the whole notion that there is any fuzziness because of things the founders couldn't envision. His point was that just because they couldn't envision the vehicle, the Constitution was written in such a way that any situation could be deemed Constitutional or Unconstitutional and that the argument that that couldn't be done was just a liberal argument to try to make the Constitution a "living document".

I'm not sure precedent should carry the weight you afford it either. There's been some pretty piss poor precedents over the years.
 
I was in a three-way tonight, in fact. It was stressful for some, but not me.

Sorry Chickadee! (State Bird of Massachussetts)
 
RW,

Yes indeedy! Piss poor precedents would include Dred Scott and Plessy vs. Ferguson, I imagine. I think (I'm too lazy to google) Scalia is leery of "true" strict constructionism, favoring "reasonable" constructionism, or something along those lines. That suggests he realizes some 21st Century issues don't have an 18th Century context, and I won't argue with that.

But he definitely doesn't like "conscience" rulings, or ones based on polls or foreign courts, and I won't argue with that, either.

I'm not even gonna touch Roe vs. Wade, so don't ask.

Buy Danish,

I may not always agree with you, but I always respect you in the morning! And even after a fine shared meal of Chinese chitterlings soup, I'm sure that wouldn't change.

I hope the soup comes with beer. Lots and lots of beer.
 
Seneca,

I wish people could discuss Roe without all the back alley abortion hyperbole. Roe is simply bad law and judicial activism at it's worst. It turns States rights on it's head in any number of areas and overturning it would NOT make abortion illegal.

And see ^ ^ I didn't ask. I think I'm more fond of pontificating anyway.
 
RW,

Good catch! You're right - original intent matters far more than precedent. That'll teach me to speed read.

I've heard Scalia a few times - years ago, on some judicial ethics show whose name I don't recall. He is brilliant, measured and witty - completely disproving the liberal stereotype of the stodgy fascist who goes hunting with Cheney. Shame Shame.

Of course they get away with it because virtually nobody ever sees him "in action".
 
OO or is it @@?,

Massachusetts has mare than one State bird. This one is for games of some sort.
 
By mare I mean more. I really wasn't horsing around.
 
RW,

I certainly agree on one point you make about Roe. Overturning it would NOT make abortions illegal. It would simply turn the issue over to the states.

It's a point that most people on both sides of this issue don't seem to grasp.
 
RW,

I'm game on Roe V Wade, but have to do the dishes. Maybe I'll pop back later.

In a nutshell, what does "privacy" have to do with it?

OO,

I think that Socialist-Dick-tater was in a three-way too, but I don't imagine that you were at the same party!

There's the "A" list and then there's the "untouchables"...

Seneca,

Don't the Chinese drink any hard stuff? I want a sure fire amoeba killer before I do the "when in Shanhai" routine.
 
Buy Danish,

I've got a feeling you and I wouldn't have much to discuss on Roe.

Now Chinese is another story, lots of Sake and don't think of Wasabi as just a Japanese thing. I'm pretty sure Wasabi kills anything and the Sake goes down real smooth chasing it.
 
Whoops! Wikipedia is very revealing on sexual slurs. Scratch the three-way and make it a "group effort." And all these people visited after me. I am so embarrassed!!!

I even had to go back and change the original word I used ^^^ to "visited." Must be careful...must be careful. So sorry!

I had appreciation for Scalia's message and approach. I'm outta here.
 
Nothing ruins an orgy like talking about Roe vs Wade.
 
getalife,

There's no getting around it when you try to mix the issues of orgies and the Supreme Court.

OO,

You should see the trouble I had trying to find a suitable picture for this topic. It had to be text only.
 
RW,

You're probably right. My view is something like this:

Judge to Defendant: You are charged with beating your wife. How do you plead?

Defendant: That's none of your business - I cite my right to privacy.

Judge: You have a point. Case dismissed.

Re Chinese, I love wasabi, but Sake is a too bit sweet. I guess it'll have to be beer then. I'm getting thirsty (but I'm still not all that hungry).
 
Buy Danish,

I've never had Sake that tasted sweet I drink this hot when I'm having it at home. Maybe it's so hot I don't notice it being sweet or it could be that it is always accompanied by wasabi.
 
sexual orgies eliminate tension

That Scalia wouldn't know an orgy if it bit him in the ass....

Listening to Scalia talk about orgies is a bit like listening to Paris Hilton making pronouncements on rabbinical law...
 
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