Saturday, April 01, 2006

Scalia: Gays Criminals with No Rights

According to a clip aired on CNN, on March 8, 2006, Justice Scalia told students at the University of Freiburg in Switzerland:

"Question comes up: is there a constitutional right to homosexual conduct? Not a hard question for me. It's absolutely clear that nobody ever thought when the Bill of Rights was adopted that it gave a right to homosexual conduct. Homosexual conduct was criminal for 200 years in every state. Easy question."

GOI: Ummmm, Scalia? One, wouldn't you want to recuse yourself on such a hot topic that will most likely come before you on the Supreme Court? Second, with this kind of statement how do we know whether or not he is remaining impartial on issues before the court?? Third, (and most importantly) the Constitution also refered to African-American slaves as three quarters of a man. And the Bill of Rights had no amendment specific to African-Americans for nearly a century. It's scary to think that we have a justice on the bench of our highest court who thinks that the Constitution is a rigid document!! He is apparently a strict constructionist and to me that is scary, dangerous and down right ignorant.

Scalia is the reason why (to me) judges for life is a terrible, terrible idea.

---End of Transmission---

16 comments:

Zen Unbound said...

Scalia doesn't think that there is a right to privacy implied in the Constitution.

Of course, any meaning to the concept of freedom breaks down unless privacy having some parameters is sacrosanct.

The medical community determined that being homosexual is NOT "abnormal" in about, what, 1970. At that point, any basis to give homosexual conduct less sanction as a privacy right than heterosexual conduct evaporated.

Your points are right on, James. It is absurd to look narrowly to the thoughts of men in 1776 to interpret law in a culture with the mores of our time.

But while I am troubled by the possibility of what will happen with SCOTUS in the next three years with its many conservatives and the possibility that Bush might get an opportunity to replace yet another justice, I don't know that life-terms is in any way the problem. Both Soutter [appt'd by GHWBush] and Kennedy [appt'd by Reagan] were expected to be conservatives, yet both were pivotal in co-writing the Casey decision [with Sandra Day O'Connor] that kept Roe v. Wade in place.

Having a life appointment allows justices who have a conservative record to be true to their heart and conscience once they're on the Court. It is much more often the case that conservatives become more liberal than the opposite.

As for Scalia, from what I've read, he is mostly consistant in the way he frames his decisions. Sometimes he makes decisions that cheer Progressives. As a lifer, he, like the rest, is not beholden to anyone and is free to do what he thinks is right -- according to his worldview.

james said...

Tom:

Yeah, I'm just getting sick and tired of these attacks on homosexuals. I just want to shout from the roof tops. GAYS AREN'T GOING ANYWHERE!! GET USE TO IT!! THEY'VE BEEN AROUND SINCE TIME BEGAN!!! GIVE IT A REST PEOPLE!!!

Sorry for shouting. I'm just really, really annoyed with the anti-gay agenda. It is utterly bigoted.

Underground Logician said...

I'd shout back to you on my roof-top.

"I KNOW GAYS HAVE BEEN HERE FROM THE BEGINNING; WE DON'T HAVE TO ACCEPT IT."

Besides, the practice is completely AB-NORMAL. I'd like to know how the medical community deemed it normal. Ejaculation into a same sex partners rectum is normal? I suppose hamster in the rectum are normal too, right?

Tommy Gnosis said...

WE DON'T HAVE TO ACCEPT IT."

Besides, the practice is completely AB-NORMAL...Ejaculation into a same sex partners rectum is normal?


About as normal as doing it into an opposite sex partner's rectum, I would think. That happens, too, and there doesn't seem to be much outrage about that. I object to the hamster thing, but mainly on the grounds that it's cruel to animals. If my gays brothers and sisters would prefer to use furbies instead, I have no problem with that.

Besides, who are you to judge what's normal and what's not? Have you been appointed arbiter of cultural, ethical and religious standards and norms? I'd like to see some credentials, please.

In the meantime, until you furnish those, if something that doesn't affect you directly bothers you, don't obssess about it. Think about baseball or something. But probably not Mike Piazza. I hear he's gay.

andi said...

I think at some point the argument that something is wrong just because you believe it's wrong has to collapse.

My own beliefs about whether something is wrong is generally based on the amount of harm it does.

So I don't see how homosexuality hurts anyone. I don't see how it threatens anyone. Maybe it's even nature's way of curbing overpopulation.

UL has said that homosexuality has led to awful sexual abuses. I would have to argue that it's not necessarily homosexuality, but sexuality untempered by ethics or compassion. Sexual abuse is not restricted or encouraged by one sexual preference or another.

People are just messed up in lots of ways. How they express love to each other hardly seems worthy of attention in my book. It's difficult for me to see the merit in an argument that condemns the way two people connect with each other based on physical or gender-based characteristics.

Underground Logician said...

Gee, guys, you sure figgered me out. I think something is wrong, therefore, it is wrong.

Paolo migli: You say I need credentials to know what is normal. Hmmm, that's good. Where can I get these credentials? Tell me, where did you get yours? And, what is needed to qualify? Hmmm?

When you answer that, I go get my "normal identification" credentials and come back.

andi said...

UL, I'm not saying your beliefs don't have validity just because you have them - we all have beliefs and that doesn't make them wrong. I just think it's important to really examine your own biases and the roots of your beliefs.

Obviously it's up to you whether you share that with the rest of the world. But what's that lovely quote from Socrates - "a life unexamined is not worth living."

From what I understand, your beliefs are structured around faith and reason. I suppose my question to you is how do these facets of belief interrelate? What happens if your logical thought systems stand in the way of your faith? Has that ever happened to you? I'm just curious.

And now I'm totally off topic, as usual. (My husband often teases me about how my trains of thought regularly jump their tracks. James, thanks for being such a sweetie about it. :))

Tommy Gnosis said...

UL, your comment lacks humor, intelligence and clarity. I suggest you work on honing those things before littering someone else's blog with your judgmental nonsense again.

Zen Unbound said...

The medical/psychologists/psychiatrist community -- professionals -- are those whose determinations of what is normal and what is abnormal matter so far as the Supreme Court is concerned.

Our opinions and, indeed, each of the justices' opinions on what is or is not normal are not material. The Justices are there to make legal and constitutional determinations, not to make amateur psychiatric assessments.

In 1973, the new 'Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders' determined that homosexuality was not a mental disorder. <q.v.> Since then, homosexuality has been less and less stygmatised.

I am no legal expert, of course, but Scalia has no basis for treating the private sexual conduct of adult homosexuals differently than that of adult heterosexuals. He would have for the first 200 years of our country's history. But not now.

I am a little uncertain if Scalia isn't merely saying that for 200 years there was no constitutional right and that he isn't acknowledging that NOW -- post 1973 -- he may agree that there IS a right to homosexual conduct. Somehow, I am sure that that is too much to hope for.

Jeremy said...

Underground Logician - allow me to be more to the point than others might be with you.

Your argument is fucking retarded, for several reasons.

1. Something is not deemed illegal simply because it's abnormal, or because you're using a bodily function for which it was not originally intended. Mouths were not biologically designed for blowing bubbles, yet we don't make doing so illegal because it's "not natural."

2. You're wrong about animals and homosexuality. Researcher's with science degrees a lot more in depth than Mr. Scalia's have written numerous reports and observations about homosexuality in nature, among many different species. In fact, it's almost a cliche to site such scientific study when debating this issue, the simple fact that you believed it didn't exist makes me think you're just a redneck "who don't care for them gays" more than you are a scholar on this issue.

3. If you're basing civil rights on where people ejaculate, than you're not bright enough to follow anything I'm writing here. But on the off chance you're not basing your argument on that severe stupidity, I can tell you as someone who banged chicks in college like it was a whack-a-mole game (hey, I was in a band, what can I say), there are some pretty creative ways heterosexual guys like you and I can ejaculate during straight sex...but it doesn't mean it's ok to deny me housing and bank loans and employment because of it.

4. The undertones of your argument are "eww its gross, therefore it should be stamped out," which also has no validity. I don't particularly like the fact that one of my house mates eats raw fish with his 90 pound girlfriend each night, but it doesn't mean I want to write a law suggesting they be discriminated against, or their lives made harder because of it.

So, you can think homosexuality is wrong all you want, but it doesn't mean any of your arguments pass the test of hypocrisy, logic, or validity under the law.

Just a couple decades (or days) ago, people used the same arguments you're using to legislate against interracial marriage. "It's not normal, it disgusts me, etc" they'd say.

Keep in mind, your opinions are your own, however you just joined a pretty exclusive crowd with your words here. Rewind time 30 years and you're the guy who would tell us that white men shouldn't marry black women. Same shit, different decade my friend.

And finally- you won't believe me but I'll say this anyway. I have NOT been to your site, but see you have a blogger profile.

My guess is that you're a Bush supporter, claim to be a Christian or both.

I can't wait to go to your site...I'm sure it will surprise the shit out of me.

PS I think ejaculating into someone's rectum is a hell of a lot more acceptable than bigotry, but hey, that's just me.

Jeremy said...

Just went to your site. Excuse me while I dust myself off from falling out of my chair in surprise.

Zen Unbound said...

I think a question of what is constitutional is very separate and different from what we like or don't like.

Regarding some of Jeremy's points: Would it be unconstitutional for a state to pass a law keeping people from blowing bubbles? Probably not, except in certain circumstances where it is validly determined it endangers lives or health. [Well, it's possible.]

Is it constitutional for a state to pass a law making eating raw fish unlawful? Yes, probably.

Actually the question of if it is constitutional for a state to pass a law, selectively making sodomy between same-sex adults illegal was decided by the Supreme Court in 2003 [thanks, google]. By a 6-3 vote, the Supremes struck down the Texas Law in Lawrence v Texas. The three in dissent were -- you guessed it -- Scalia, Thomas and Reinquist.

From wiki: "The majority decision found that 'the intimate, adult consensual conduct at issue here was part of the liberty protected by the substantive component of the Fourteenth Amendment's due process protections.' Holding that '[t]he Texas statute furthers no legitimate state interest which can justify its intrusion into the personal and private life of the individual,' the court struck down the anti-sodomy law as unconstitutional. Kennedy's opinion crucially grounded the right of consenting adults to have sex on how intimate and personal the conduct was to those involved, not on the conduct being traditionally protected by society (as in Bowers), procreative (as in Eisenstadt and Roe), or conducted by married people (as in Griswold). This opened the door in theory to protection of a whole host of sexual activity between consenting adults not protected by other decisions.'"

"[In his dissent,] Scalia concluded, the Court 'has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda.' While Scalia said that he has 'nothing against homosexuals, or any other group, promoting their agenda through normal democratic means,' Scalia argued that the Court has an obligation to decide cases neutrally."

"Justice Thomas, in a separate short opinion, wrote that the law which the Court struck down was 'uncommonly silly' ..., but that he voted to uphold it as he could find 'no general right of privacy' or relevant liberty in the Constitution. He added that if he were a member of the Texas Legislature he would vote to repeal the law."

Oh, and James: Kennedy's majority decision included the idea that the Court had been wrong in the past in deciding that there was a Western tradition in condemning homosexual behavior. From wiki: "Kennedy cited a 1981 European Court of Human Rights case Dudgeon v. United Kingdom, as part of its argument against the Bowers court's finding that Western civilization condemned homosexuality."

james said...

Tom:

Excellent information. Thanks for digging that up and sharing it.

I also find it difficult to swallow that homosexuality is "abnormal" when some of the greatest civilizations in history [the Greeks, the Romans, the Egyptians] was full of homosexual conduct and was quite accepted as a norm.

Underground Logician said...

Jeremy:

I don't deny that I lack understanding in things. However, for you to think that I'm retarded, well, you must be an expert. So I'd like to address your opinions one at a time.

1. First of all, I didn't say illegal, I said wrong, which is a different category, right? So your assertion is a confusion of categories. A government can make anything it wants illegal, depending on the type of government it is. So, if the gov. makes it illegal to spit on the sidewalk, it's illegal. As to a mouth not biologically designed to blow bubbles, how do you know that? We can blow bubbles! Who's to say it wasn't designed that way? Were you talking to God?

2. You're arguing that since homosexual activity happens in nature, therefore it is normal, right? If something occurs alot, like murders in Detroit, one could also say it is normal for murders to happen in Detroit. Normal is as normal does. However, this is besides the point. My point is that homosexuality is wrong, which can't be determined by medical doctors or zoologists. It's a question of morality, so if every male chimpanzee does it with other males is immaterial. And, if they ONLY do it with male chimpanzees, one could rest assured that chimpanzees will die off. However, that would NOT BE NATURAL. But, it still doesn't touch the morality question. So your second point is immaterial as well.

3. Actually, I'm not basing civil rights on where people ejaculate. That is the homosexual lobby's doing. They see it as a right because they WANT it. It again goes back to the question of what is a "right." Which has nothing to do with qualifying for student loans. Again, your argument is confused and linked to what is legal. Immaterial again.

4. You read undertones that are not there. Plus, you assume things of me that aren't true and are nothing short of idiotic. However, this is standard fare from people such as yourself who have really nothing substantive to say. So what you think of me is based on your imagination, which is again, IMMATERIAL.

So in response to your extremely negative tone, and your proven inability to put together anything close to a logical argument, I'm not at all concerned that you think I'm a retard. To me, your statements don't matter because your opinions are...immaterial.

Underground Logician said...

James:

Your argument follows the line that something that is normal and acceptable is natural. Getting high on MET is very normal in some social circles because it is acceptable, but hardly natural. Because someone can have same gender intercourse to the applause of millions hardly makes it "natural." Like the chimpanzee analogy above, if every male human being ONLY did it with other males, in 50 years, there would not one human beings left. That is not natural.

So, quit confusing normal and natural, or normal and moral. Morality is not a democracy.

Zen Unbound said...

ul,

Your arguments are specious.

I don't think the world is endangered from not repopulating because 5%-10% of the people are homosexual. [Indeed, the world is already overpopulated! We need MORE homosexuals!]

By your twisted logic, if somebody wanted to grow wheat in their field, you would say it is wrong because if EVERYBODY wanted to grow wheat, all we would have is wheat. Thus by ul logic, nobody could every choose to do anything.

VARIETY is the spice of life, ul. But then you would find spice abnormal because the only thing you sanction [as a self-appointed God] is porridge.

The experts in psychology and psychiatry and biology believe that homosexuality is not abnormal or a deformity any more than red hair is.