"We have just received word of the death of sitting Supreme Court Justice-"
Stop right there! I first heard the news in the car on the radio, in those words. In that little nano-second, so many things went through my head, as I'm sure it did many other Americans heads. And it shows how reprehensible we've become, as citizens and as people. First was "Supreme Court Justice... who??? I hope it's this one or this one, and not the other one." We think of people in certain positions not as people, but as means to an end. It's like a monarchy. We mourn people's lives or celebrate their deaths depending on how practicable their passing is. That's the sort of citizenry we've become. And of course, depending on which Justice it is, we'll either say "Oh, no!!!" or "Thank God! Perfect timing!" or "Yes!! Rot in hell!" That's the sort of people we've become. Which is fine, it may even be human nature, however base it is. But if you're one of those people, guess what? One of your political or judicial heroes or heroines are also going to die, and you're going to see people speak very unkindly about that person. Please don't act all shocked and offended when that happens.
And yes, I'm as hypocritical as they come. I'll be so happy when Kissinger or Cheney kicks it.
Scalia was a tough-guy, the original "-bro". He was mean, caustic, angry. He was also frighteningly smart, a gifted public speaker (he should've given voice lessons), and if you ever read his decisions - or better yet, his dissents - he was nearly as good as Ben Johnson or Oscar Wilde in his one-liners. Because he was so public and outspoken, people thought he was the devil of the Court. That's debatable. Had he hung on for a few more years, I think you'd see how much worse things could get were President Trump to appoint a justice. Unlike a few other sitting justices, he was actually pretty good when it came to the First and the Fourth Amendment. Hell, he was the AUTHOR of last year's Abercrombie & Fitch decision which held that the store could not discriminate against a Muslim employer/applicant because she wore a headscarf. I know, the small grace moments are probably not enough to make up for his larger, reactionary record. I don't know why I feel I should come to his defense. Probably because a) death is something we should hold as sacred, at least for a day or two; and b) he was on the Supreme Court. I may be totally deluded, but I've always felt the High Court was the one respectable branch, and the members that serve on it are honest people who truly believe what they're doing is a public service.
So.... R.I.P. Justice Scalia. If you're best friends with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, you couldn't have been all bad.
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