Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Day After Scalia's Death

I was busy on other tasks yesterday, and so only heard the news about Antonin Scalia's death from a New York Times email on my phone. Wow.

Here are a couple of articles I'm reading about him and what happens next:

From Mother Jones, eight current cases that are all but decided without Scalia's vote.

From Charlie Pierce, writing for Esquire, Sometimes, Scalia surprised the living sh*t out of me.

From a long-time death penalty opponent, writing on the Daily Kos, Let's not twist it: My differences with Scalia were more than political. A sample quote:

Since when did adjectives like “passionate” become a good thing without context? A man who is passionate about causing pain isn’t one to celebrate. In fact, it would have been better if he’d pursued his agenda with far less passion. The “service” of a man who dedicated his career to marginalizing the already marginalized is not a service we should honor.
Jeffrey Toobin's obit for the New Yorker, which starts off with a bang:
Antonin Scalia, who died this month, after nearly three decades on the Supreme Court, devoted his professional life to making the United States a less fair, less tolerant, and less admirable democracy. Fortunately, he mostly failed.
Twitter quickly informed me that there has never been a Supreme Court confirmation that took anywhere near as long as Obama's remaining term. That many justices were appointed in election years (most recently Anthony Kennedy in 1988). But that having, essentially, a four to four tie for a while is not such a bad thing either, and arguably better -- from a progressive standpoint -- than what we've had for the past decade or so.

I find it kind of sad that Supreme Court justices generally don't retire. Maybe they love their work so much that they want to keep doing it? I hope that's why they stay, rather than because they feel compelled to die in office.


Some of the links were added after I first posted this so I could keep track of the links.


Carl said...

In the last 30 years, Burger, Brennan, Marshall, White, Blackmun, O'Connor, Souter, and Stevens all retired. Only Rehnquist and Scalia died in office.

Daughter Number Three said...

Good point, Carl. I guess I was thinking of the current justices who are well past the age most people retire (like Scalia), who seem as though they plan to die in office.

Carl said...

Not necessarily! Stevens retired at age 90!