No, I am not celebrating Scalia’s death. I am celebrating him not being on the Court any more. I am happy that he can no longer cause harm. I would be just as happy had he merely resigned.
Much of the problem with Scalia concerned his religious beliefs. He believed in a literal devil — that Satan was coercing other people to support gay rights and liberal politics. Since Scalia saw himself as doing God’s work, therefore anyone who held a different position from him was not only wrong, but evil. That is a dangerous and frankly unAmerican view for someone on the Supreme Court to have.
Intertwined with that was his conviction that not only should we consider what the Founding Fathers wanted when they wrote the Constitution, but his belief that he, and he alone, knew exactly what that was — and, amazingly, it always fit perfectly with his own views!
I’ve ranted against this kind of Constitutional fundamentalism before, pointing out that writing from the time clearly indicates that even the Founding Fathers disagreed. Hell, within a few years there were cases before the Supreme Court to determine the meaning of the Constitution because they couldn’t agree.
This attitude of “there is only one interpretation of the Constitution and it’s mine” falls squarely into his religious belief again, since he had the same view of the Bible.
And then for him to pretend that politics had nothing to do with his decisions! He’d claim to care about “state’s rights” unless a state wanted to manage its own electoral process (“but that could allow Gore to be President and we can’t have that!”). He’d say “we can’t overturn the decisions made by a democratically elected legislature” while striking down the Voting Rights Act passed by a huge majority. The only consistent thing about his decisions were his arrogant opinions that insulted everyone who disagreed with him.
But mostly I loathed the man for being so evil, so hateful of anyone different from him — for comparing gays to child molesters and saying blacks should attend lesser colleges because they’re not as smart as white people; for not caring if innocent people get executed; for arguing that discrimination against women was perfectly fine; for saying the sort of thing that, had he been head of the KKK (where he’d fit right in), you would all be saying “I’m glad he’s gone.”
Scalia is one of the main reasons that trust in the Supreme Court has dropped over the years. We used to hold our Court in high esteem, because they were the best and brightest, separate from politics, incorruptible. Then Scalia came along, thumbed his nose at Court ethics (claiming that he didn’t have to follow the same rules other federal judges follow concerning conflict-of-interest laws, “gifts” from people who had cases before the Court, and so on), insulted the other judges in his opinions, ranted publicly about “homosexual agendas” while commenting about upcoming cases, pushed the court to make political decisions like Bush v. Gore, and otherwise did everything he could to ruin hundreds of years of the Court’s image.
Damn right I’m glad he’s gone.