Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Dionne v. Scalia


Why wait for the Supreme Court’s decision on ObamaCare ? Over at The Washington Post, columnist E. J. Dionne already has put out his own opinion on the makeup of the court.

Antonin Scalia needs to resign from the Supreme Court.

He’d have a lot of things to do. He’s a fine public speaker and teacher. He’d be a heck of a columnist and blogger. But he really seems to aspire to being a politician — and that’s the problem.

So often, Scalia has chosen to ignore the obligation of a Supreme Court justice to be, and appear to be, impartial. He’s turned “judicial restraint” into an oxymoronic phrase. But what he did this week, when the court announced its decision on the Arizona immigration law, should be the end of the line.

Not content with issuing a fiery written dissent, Scalia offered a bench statement questioning President Obama’s decision to allow some immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children to stay. Obama’s move had nothing to do with the case in question. Scalia just wanted you to know where he stood.

Dionne writes that Scalia’s resignation would provide an opportunity for a “searching debate over just how political this Supreme Court has become” [emphasis added]. So in summary, a columnist complaining about the politicization of the Supreme Court calls for a justice to resign because of, well, politics.

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  1. tabula rasa Member
    tabula rasaJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Dionne seems to forget the far worse antics of William O. Douglas (but then he was a liberal).

    Stay on the court, Justice Scalia.

    • #1
    • June 28, 2012, at 6:40 AM PDT
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  2. Mel Foil Inactive

    If that’s EJ’s attitude, why even have states? Make all the states honorary suburbs of Washington DC, and just call the whole federal bureaucracy our Metropolitan Council. Hell of a morning commute from those rim suburbs though.

    • #2
    • June 28, 2012, at 6:40 AM PDT
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  3. paulebe Inactive
    paulebeJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    an insignificant twit daring to judge an amazing jurist. Who, precisely cares what Ernest Joseph thinks (or says for that matter)?

    • #3
    • June 28, 2012, at 7:10 AM PDT
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  4. Profile Photo Member

    So many people in the news media are in bed with this president I am surprised that the first lady hasn’t complained.

    My hope is that Justice Scalia does not resign but re-signs for another life term.:-)

    • #4
    • June 28, 2012, at 7:21 AM PDT
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  5. Scott R Member
    Scott RJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Before this term, Justice Breyer had just come off a book tour during which he forcefully argued his own judicial philosophy (read politics) and not-so-subtly stuck it to Scalia. I missed where Dionne asked him to resign.

    • #5
    • June 28, 2012, at 7:55 AM PDT
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  6. Herbert defender of the Realm,… Inactive

    While I don’t know that resignation is the answer, is there anyone willing to argue that what Scalia did was appropriate or in any way helpful to the role of the judiciary in our system?Political potshots should be left to others.

    • #6
    • June 28, 2012, at 7:56 AM PDT
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  7. Herbert defender of the Realm,… Inactive

    Before this term, Justice Breyer had just come off a book tour during which he forcefully argued his own judicial philosophy (read politics) and not-so-subtly stuck it to Scalia. I missed where Dionne asked him to resign. – -You don’t see the difference between advocating for a particular judicial philosophy and criticizing particular public policies? (which btw one day may come before the court?

    • #7
    • June 28, 2012, at 8:01 AM PDT
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  8. dittoheadadt Inactive

    Ed Whelan itch-bay ap-slays Dionne over at NRO. It’s pretty sweet.

    • #8
    • June 28, 2012, at 8:46 AM PDT
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  9. Scott R Member
    Scott RJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Herbert, I’d agree that Scalia should be more careful, but Breyer likewise should. I heard him, for instance, in a three-hour back-and-forth with Hugh Hewitt, in which his own many prejudices were exposed and defended vigorously. When Scalia is similarly honest, he’s regarded as pushing the envelope — as “Scalia being Scalia”. Not so, Breyer.

    • #9
    • June 28, 2012, at 9:06 AM PDT
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  10. Croix du Sud Inactive

    Dionne needs to learn to read.

    Scalia was very careful not to express an opinion on the merits the President’s policy to grant “amnesty” to as many as 1.4 million illegal immigrants. In fact Dionne himself quoted the relevant words of Scalia:

    The President said at a news conference that the new program is “the right thing to do” in light of Congress’s failure to pass the Administration’s proposed revision of the Immigration Act. Perhaps it is, though Arizona may not think so. (Emphasis added.)

    So there you have it. Scalia did not express an opinion that the President’s policy was wrong. He explicitly conceded that it may be right. What Scalia said was that as a sovereign state Arizona has the right to adopt a different policy from that of the US President (even if you think the President’s policy is the correct one); constitutionally, the two policies can exist side by side. The President can instruct federal officials not to pursue 1.4 million illegal immigrants anywhere within the borders of the United States; and Arizona can instruct state officials to pursue any or all illegal immigrants within the borders of Arizona.

    • #10
    • June 28, 2012, at 9:59 AM PDT
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  11. KC Mulville Inactive

    I can’t take EJ Dionne seriously anymore.

    Scalia is a conservative, and he votes that way. It’s also true that the Republican Party holds itself out as the home for conservatives, and so Dionne blithely associates the two and sweeps everything conservative as political. 

    You can criticize Scalia for whether that statement was appropriate at that point, but I’d argue that Scalia wasn’t being Republican or political there. As a legal conservative, Scalia was complaining about an affront to the Constitution inherent in Obama’s actions. Scalia was definitely being conservative, but he wasn’t being political in the way Dionne wants the reader to think. 

    Frankly, it shows that Dionne doesn’t grasp the difference. 

    In his writings on Catholicism and politics, Dionne thinks that being reasonable and impartial means keeping an open mind; but he thinks an [open mind] and a [mushy mind with no convictions] are the same thing. He can’t tolerate Scalia because Scalia holds convictions; and that threatens guys like Dionne. 

    • #11
    • June 28, 2012, at 10:35 AM PDT
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  12. Herbert defender of the Realm,… Inactive

    • #12
    • June 28, 2012, at 11:36 AM PDT
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  13. Jonathan Horn Contributor
    Jonathan Horn

    The article, I suppose, was a preemptive strike against a Supreme Court ruling that never came.

    • #13
    • June 29, 2012, at 11:23 AM PDT
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