By Tom Carter Excerpted from: httpss://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/02/15/scal-f15.html
Scalia has personified the rightward march of the US political establishment over the past three decades, as it jettisoned democratic institutions and erected a police state.
The establishment has in nearly uniform language closed ranks to praise Scalia as a national treasure, worthy of universal mourning. Obama called Scalia “a towering legal figure.” The Washington Post described him as “the intellectual cornerstone of the court’s modern conservative wing.” George H.W. Bush wrote, “his admirers and detractors agreed Scalia was one of the sharpest constitutional intellects.” From Trump to Sanders and Clinton, all issued statements praising Scalia as a “great legal mind.”
Nonsense. Scalia had more in common with a medieval cleric than a bourgeois jurist. Scalia determined the result and bludgeoned the law into the predetermined shape. Precedent and facts were falsified as necessary to produce the desired result.
Appointed by Reagan and confirmed almost unanimously in 1986, Scalia’s career on the Supreme Court included some of the following highlights:
The stolen election of 2000. In December 2000, the Supreme Court intervened to halt the counting of votes in Florida and install George W. Bush in the White House. According to Scalia, “there is no universal right of suffrage.” When asked about the ruling, Scalia replied, “Get over it.”
Dictatorship and the “war on terror.” Scalia was a major force behind the infiltration of fascistic doctrines into jurisprudence, under the guise of phrases such as the “unitary executive theory.” Under these doctrines, the president enjoys unchecked “wartime” powers, and the courts have no power to intervene. The essential content is indistinguishable from the “state of exception” theory of Nazi “crown jurist” Carl Schmitt.
Arbitrary detention and torture. Scalia opposed the right of Guantanamo prisoners to habeas corpus, or the right to petition for judicial review of their detention. “The Constitution says nothing whatever about torture,” Scalia said in an interview with Swiss radio network RTS in 2014. According to a theory invented by Scalia, “torture is not punishment.”
The death penalty, including for children and the mentally ill. Scalia favored the death penalty for children aged 15 at the time of the offense in Thompson v. Oklahoma (1988). In Miller v. Alabama (2014) he favored the death penalty for 14-year-olds. He favored the death penalty for the mentally ill. Scalia’s last action as a Supreme Court justice was to deny a stay of execution.
Repudiating the separation of church and state. The separation of church and state, according to Scalia, was the result of words “spoken by a serpent, addressing a woman named Eve.” Asked whether he could be impartial on this question, he responded with an obscene under-the-chin Italian hand gesture.
Political corruption. In Citizens United (2010), the Supreme Court found that corporations have a “right” to spend unlimited sums on elections. Scalia joined the majority and filed a separate concurring opinion to attempt to establish that corporate political influence is rooted in US history.
Defending big business and attacking workers’ rights. Scalia consistently upheld the interests of corporate interests, abrogating the rights of consumers and employees. In Wal-Mart v. Dukes (2011) , the Supreme Court significantly undermined class action lawsuits, a major legal vehicle for challenging corporate misconduct. Scalia voted to block regulations that address climate change.
Attacks on civil rights. In 2013, Scalia voted with the Supreme Court majority to gut enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. December 2015, Scalia ranted that black students would be better off in “less-advanced” and “slower-track” schools.”
When the Court struck down Texas laws prohibiting homosexuality (2003), Scalia raved that the decision created “a disruption of the social order,” and denounced the majority for having “signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda.”
Immunity for killer cops. Scalia [upheld] the authoritarian doctrine of “qualified immunity,” which shields police from lawsuits arising from misconduct. He claimed that a TX cop didn’t use “deadly force” when he shot and killed a man in a moving car, since he was shooting at a car, not a person.
Sens. Cruz, McConnell and Rubio announced that no successor would be confirmed before the Nov. elections. Obama, meanwhile, declared that a successor would be nominated within weeks. However, the unanimous deference to Scalia’s “brilliant legal mind” from the political and media establishment is significant. It expresses the collapse of a constituency for democratic rights in US ruling circles, which despite internal divisions is united behind social and political reaction [and] a state of permanent war.