As a new U.S. Supreme Court session begins, Justice Anton Scalia dishes with New York magazine during a looooong interview on why women shouldn’t swear, flogging is perfectly constitutional, and how the Devil is at work among us in the modern world.
And… Hooo boy! This reactionary right-wing troglodyte sure had lots of fascinating things to say, especially when it comes to women.
In the twisted, Bizarro-World landscape that forms Scalia’s mind, the “coarseness” of manners in today’s society is caused by “ladies” constantly using “the F-word.”
One of the things that upsets me about modern society is the coarseness of manners. You can’t go to a movie—or watch a television show for that matter—without hearing the constant use of the F-word—including, you know, ladies using it. People that I know don’t talk like that! But if you portray it a lot, the society’s going to become that way. It’s very sad.
Scalia: Some discrimination against women has a “reasonable” basis.
Oh, and race discrimination’s not okay, but discrimination based on gender has a “reasonable basis” in some situations. When asked if the 14th Amendment covers sex as well as race discrimination, Scalia replied:
“Does the 14th Amendment cover it? Of course it covers it! No, you can’t treat women differently, give them higher criminal sentences. Of course not.”
But naturally this sexist right-winger (are there any other kind?) qualifies this with an equivocation that puts Bill Clinton’s “it all depends on what is is” to shame.
“What I was referring to is: The issue is not whether it prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. Of course it does. The issue is, ‘What is discrimination?’”
Because Scalia has “some intelligent” reasons to treat women differently. Because, as with Texas Governor Rick Perry’s “intelligent” glasses or the creationism-in-disguise term “intelligent design,” right-wingers enjoy making stupid things look “intelligent.”
“If there’s a reasonable basis for not letting women do something—like going into combat or whatnot … But there are some intelligent reasons to treat women differently. I don’t think anybody would deny that.”
And totally-not-sexist Scalia’s totally-not-racist, too.
“And there really is no, virtually no, intelligent reason to treat people differently on the basis of their skin.”
Scalia says flogging is “immensely stupid” but “not unconstitutional.”
As for Scalia’s claim that flogging is “immensely stupid” but “not unconstitutional,” despite our 8th Amendment‘s ban on “cruel and unusual punishment,” we can only shake our damned heads. What about the U.S. constitution does this constitutional conservative not understand?
“Flogging. And what I would say now is, yes, if a state enacted a law permitting flogging, it is immensely stupid, but it is not unconstitutional. A lot of stuff that’s stupid is not unconstitutional. I gave a talk once where I said they ought to pass out to all federal judges a stamp, and the stamp says—Whack! [Pounds his fist.]—STUPID BUT CONSTITUTIONAL. Whack! [Pounds again.] STUPID BUT CONSTITUTIONAL! Whack! STUPID BUT CONSTITUTIONAL … [Laughs.] And then somebody sent me one.”
Given Scalia’s excessive relish while using that “STUPID BUT CONSTITUTIONAL” stamp, we sure don’t want to be around his office while all that stamping is going on.
Did the Devil make Scalia do it?
At one point during the interview, after explaining how the Pope doesn’t really mean all that stuff about taking care of the poor or being more tolerant towards people, including gays, Scalia leans in and stage-whispers:
“I even believe in the Devil.”
In response to what surely must have been the look of stupefied astonishment on the interviewer’s face, Scalia explains:
Yeah, he’s a real person. Hey, c’mon, that’s standard Catholic doctrine! Every Catholic believes that. […] You know, it is curious. In the Gospels, the Devil is doing all sorts of things. He’s making pigs run off cliffs, he’s possessing people and whatnot. And that doesn’t happen very much anymore.”
Well, gee, maybe that Devil stuff “doesn’t happen very much anymore” because it was all made up?! But no, Scalia says we don’t see Satan much any more “because he’s smart.”
Scalia on Pope Francis, gays, and abortion.
For “good Catholics” like Scalia claims to be, the Pope is always right, as per the doctrine of papal infallibility. Yet Scalia’s absolutely positive that Pope Francis can’t possibly really mean that stuff about the Catholic Church taking a softer stance on gays and abortion.
“Yeah. But he hasn’t backed off the view of the church on those issues. He’s just saying, ‘Don’t spend all our time talking about that stuff. Talk about Jesus Christ and evangelize.’ I think there’s no indication whatever that he’s changing doctrinally.”
And despite the fact that, like the Pope, a clear majority of Americans are pro-gay, Scalia still apparently lives under a rock.
“I still think it’s Catholic teaching that it’s wrong. Okay? But I don’t hate the people that engage in it. In my legal opinions, all I’ve said is that I don’t think the Constitution requires the people to adopt one view or the other.”
Never mind that the U.S. Constitution Scalia loves so much clearly mandates separation of Church and State, so his “Catholic teaching” should have no bearing on his legal reasoning.
Scalia still stands by his appalling dissent against the Supreme Court’s Lawrence v. Texas ruling (which struck down sodomy laws in Texas and 13 other states). Like his hateful fellow right-wing fossils, Scalia believes Americans have the right to defend “themselves and their families from a lifestyle that they believe to be immoral and destructive,” but that other Americans have no right to expect our nation’s justice system to protect us from people whose vitriolic hate and discrimination are even more immoral and destructive.
h/t: Daily Mail.