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Alito and Scalia: Have You No Sense of Decency Sirs?


#1

Alito and Scalia: Have You No Sense of Decency Sirs?

Bill Quigley

In the 1940s and 1950s, countless people in the US were being bullied and brutalized by the anti-communist scare tactics and character assassinations of Senator Joseph McCarthy. The end of the McCarthy red-baiting era began when Joseph Welch stood up to McCarthy after he attacked a young lawyer on his staff.


#2

some of us realized, when these two bigots were appointed by their respective buffoons years ago, what a long, arduous trip the political arena would become. today there is still no doubt about that belief. long live divisiveness.


#3

Ok, so I find myself defending Alito here because I don't believe Quigley accurately cited Alito's argument as printed in the Post. Just because Alito asks troubling legal questions regarding definition, states rights, or administrative procedures does not permit Quigley to smear him with the reputation of Joe McCarthy. That is overreach.

I'm willing to deal with some realities of same-sex marriage. Firstly, Canada has afforded it for a few years now, and it seems not to have broken down their society. Second, again with a limited amount of evidence in, same-sex parents are very like opposite sex parents-- in that parenting skills range from great to good to acceptable to dreadful. Third, of my nieces and nephew out of the closet, only one has made noises about marriage; so if she wants to, I'm good with that and my brother knows of my support.

However, there remains a political reality that I am uncomfortable with. We see the "LGBTQ" in every public political display. And however supportive I may be of LGTQ, the B is problematic for me. And B is part of the political entity. From a personal viewpoint, I don't want my lovely niece marrying a woman who may declare two years after her marriage that she is now a "B" and "needs" to sleep with a man. Unfaithfulness is damaging, no matter what the nature of the sexual relationship.


#4

The whole "ministers would be forced to marry gay people" meme is utter nonsense. Ministers often require prenuptial counseling before agreeing to perform the ceremony. They hold the right of refusal for all ceremonies. There is no implicit coercion. Now as to judges and justices of the peace having to perform their duties despite their beliefs, that is another matter, however, it goes with the job--to serve the citizenry--all of it.


#5

This court has made many odious indefensible rulings.

First, they put in Bush, a man of low intelligence and ZERO conscience... perfect for starting wars on the basis of fake triggers.

Second, they ruled that female Walmart employees had no standing in a case based on the sexist nature of Walmart's management (career advancing) record.

Third, allowing for Citizens United? It's not bad enough that Corporations were previously defined as "persons." Now they get to be THE most privileged "persons" in determining major election outcomes?

Fourth, enabling legalized extortion in the form of agreeing with Obama-care, a blatant bailout to Big Insurance companies.

Fifth, didn't this court just sanction a recent rescinding of Black voters' hard won voting rights?

Sixth, this court has let stand total citizen surveillance and the usurpation of guaranteed Civil Liberties

And where are these "sagacious" souls when it comes to:

  1. Fracking away the nation's last clean waters
  2. Police brutality
  3. Deporting "illegal" citizens
  4. Campus rape affecting 1 in 5 female students
  5. Capture of media
  6. Corporations NOT paying fair taxes (having offshored their addresses)

My point is that this court is to justice what Monsanto is to agriculture. In either case, the "product" is severely tainted.

This court is a more moderate version of the Inquisition. Authoritarians are seated to grant the imprimatur of "justice" to all-out State Power and its covert tactics for maintaining control of citizens. Fairness, justice, decency, integrity, compassion, and LOVE have ZERO to do with it and its sinister rulings.


#6

I guess the question remains, then--why should any adult be forced to tailor their choices and behaviors to what another adult sees as appropriate and fit? In a healthy social contract, all units have a say, and in a democracy where one's rights to uniqueness or even to changing one's mind are protected, then we have to accept that others will choose behaviors that might seem risky or unpalatable to another. Alito and Scalia are so bogged down by their old man ossification they can't even begin to understand that their little bigotries have become ludicrous in an evolving society that is beginning to recognize the transience of moral positioning, and its correlation to societal evolution and needs.


#7

CONGRESS HAS THE POWER TO REIGN IN THE SUPREME COURT.

It's in the constitution. Article 3, Section 2, Clause 2.

"the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make."

"Regulations" means that Congress can vote to force the Supreme Court to abide by the Judicial Code of Conduct which now applies to every court in the country EXCEPT the Supreme Court, which has exempted themselves. At the very least, justices should be forbidden to rule on cases in which they have obvious conflict of interest, as is so common with the right wing 5.

"Exceptions" means that Congress can pass a law, say on campaign contributions, and then tell the Court, by a majority vote, that it MAY NOT RULE on the topic. It doesn't take a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, just a majority of Congress with guts.

Every candidate for House and Senate should be asked about repealing Supreme Court tyranny via Article 3, Section 2, Clause 2.


#8

It's sad that even at a site like this one filled with Progressive people that there is still misunderstanding about bisexuality.

First we don't call bisexual people a "B" anymore than we call a gay man a "G" or a lesbian an "L."

But more importantly, bisexual people are no more likely to be unfaithful than monosexual people. Monosexual folk are still attracted to others in a relationship and have to choose to either act on that attraction or not act on it. The same is true with bisexual folk.

Being bisexual is not about having to have ongoing sexual relations with both sexes at the same time. It is simply that bisexual people are oriented towards both sexes and can fall in love with someone of either sex. One can be celibate and be bisexual, just as one can be celibate and be gay, lesbian, or straight. Once can be bisexual and faithful to one's partner, just like gay, lesbian, and straight folk are. In the case of bisexual folk that means they are in what seems to be either a straight, gay or lesbian relationship. But it doesn't change the reality that they are attracted to folk of either sex.

People who believe they need multiple partners to express their sexuality can be monosexual too. Folk with this value are called polyamorous. It is an entirely different thing than being bisexual.


#9

I am bisexual and in a closed poly triad. That means that I have a boyfriend and a girlfriend and we don't date anyone else.
Unfortunately, as it stands now, we are never allowed the dignity or respect that comes with a formalized relationship. But, and perhaps this is the worst part, my LGBT brothers and sisters compare my family to pedophilia and bestiality. We are consenting adults. What makes our family less deserving of the protections of marriage?

Are there any arguments to made as to how denying marriage protections to my family is better for society as a whole? If so, why are we not jailed for the menaces we must be?

LoveCantWait

PolyPeopleDeserveDignityToo


#10

It bears mentioning that from my point of view, all media including Common Dreams should be doing no less than demanding the resignations of these so called justices. Nothing less is appropriate. Not today, not a year ago, not tomorrow. Until they are off the COURT, we should all be demanding they resign! They do not represent the constitution, in my opinion, the American people, or LOGIC. They need to go.


#11

Is this issue really a subject for the Court? If so these specious arguments and assertions, emphasis on the Ass, are Not germain and are without substance or validity, They sound more like a they came from a bigoted revival preacher or Faux Noise host. Definately Not the reasoned responses one would expect in the chambers of the nation's highest court.


#12

Sioux, out of all your postings that I've read since I joined this forum, this piece is my very favorite. Thanks!


#13

"Have you no decency?" comparisons have been made since at least since "911" and maybe longer. They have been done so much they should be getting tiresome, but it seems this is the kind of sour grapes whining that "leftists" are supposed to indulge in. Refering to whomever is the target of the day as "right wing" goes hand-in-hand with the "have you no decency?" metaphors.

How about writing something that improves understanding? It is pretty easy to understand that both Alito and Scalia base their beliefs at least partly on their Catholic "faith." I put faith in quotes because I have knowledge of faith in general and Catholicism in particular. People of "faith" are just people, and they have a personal psychology, of which their "faith" is interwoven. The Catholic faith is more authoritarian and guilt-producing than any other religion. Catholics don't behave better than anyone else, they just think they are better. We would do better to question the institution of Catholicism and its influence on these justices than applying petty and useless metaphors.

Another thing to consider is that both of these justices were appointed by presidents whose "elections" were highly tainted. In the case of Ronald Reagan, he was "elected" as a result of campaign chicanery, most seriously with his "October Surprise." Alito was appointed by George W. Bush in an "election" that was stolen in a number of ways. Neither of these justices would be on the Supreme Court if it weren't for the false presidents who appointed them.

Anthony Kennedy is also a Reagan appointee. Clarence Thomas was appointed by the first George Bush, who was "elected" through the use of dirty tricks, chiefly by the use of the distorted Willie Horton ad. He lied in his confirmation hearing. Chief Justice John Roberts was appointed by George W. Bush.

This means that the five justice majority is illegitimate. Criticizing illegitimate justices for being "right wing" and having "no sense of decency" is both pointless and toothless. "Right wing" doesn't mean anything. It is just an epithet. We can do better, and if we intend to prevail we had better start doing better.


#14

It really is shameful that "marriage equality" has to be an issue to fight over. Narrow-minded people need to feel like they have some kind of power, so they try to control our personal lives, our ADULT personal lives. The Loving case ended the anti-miscegenation laws' standing in this country, a shameful period of our history, so maybe finally this anti-marriage equality hate-law period will soon come to a close, too. I hope so.


#15

Royce, LibWing is on the right track in correcting what is apparently a misconception on your part. Bisexuality is not a synonym for promiscuity or unpredictability/instability. Human sexuality lies along a continuum with either end being homosexual or heterosexual. What the spectrum speaks to is people's capacity to be attracted to and relate to persons of the same or opposite gender. Sexual attraction is self-obvious. Affinity means ease of being emotionally intimate with and romantically attached to. Heterosexual or mostly heterosexual people feel more affinity and sexual attraction to people of the opposite gender. Homosexual or mostly homosexual people feel more attraction and affinity toward people of the same gender. Bisexual people are simply CAPABLE of relating sexually and romantically with persons of either gender. Of course, not all straight people are attracted to everyone of the opposite gender; not all gay people are attracted to everyone of the same gender. Not all bisexual people are attracted to everyone. I am oversimplifying in order to make a point. In addition, as Lib says, feeling attraction toward and acting on that attraction are two different phenomena and both can be experienced by anyone. One's own moral governor and judgment then come into play, and THAT'S where we have choice(s) to make. You are correct in that unfaithfulness is damaging to trusting relationships, but there is no predicting when, where, why, or how that can happen......no matter whether one is gay, straight, bi, trans, or anything else.


#16

It's hard to be certain what might have been on the minds of the founders when they decided on the details of our Constitution, but it seems likely that for the Supreme Court they had in mind a collection of men (surely no women) who would argue over how to interpret the implementation of bills passed by Congress and signed into law by the President (or perhaps passed into law by an over-ride of the President's veto.

Just as they did not anticipate any women on the bench, they likely did not anticipate that the Justices would alter the laws passed by the elected branches of government through the device of declaring selected lines of those laws as unconstitutional. Well, times change and this very powerful role of the Court is not likely to change now that we are all so accustomed to it.

But perhaps we could limit the terms of office for these so very powerful Justices. If the Constitution were to be amended to limit them to a dozen years each then one-third of the Court would be expected to retire every four years. This more limited term in office would make it more difficult for any small group of Justices to carry out an agenda to alter the country.

Currently we have only four Justices on the Court who have served less than a dozen years: Kagan, Sotomayor, Alito and Roberts and with a limit of a dozen years, Roberts would be due to retire in two years while Alito would be due do retire in three. The remaining Justices now on the Court would have retired long enough ago (eight years or more) to be nearly forgotten by now. The longest serving Justice, Scalia, would have retired at least sixteen years ago.


#17

Does "decency" include respect for the views of those who feel that a redefinition of one man one woman marriage will not help society because this policy will work against putting the focus on strengthening heterosexual marriages that have the best potential for providing homes so that children can be born to or adopted by their committed mothers and fathers? I have voted a straight democratic ticket for years even when I was disillusioned by the behavior of Bill Clinton because my fiscal policies are those of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Now I feel it is likely I am representative of many democratic voters that are disappointed that President Obama cooperated with the big health insurance companies in designing the ACA, is part of the push to close "failing" public schools for charter schools ( part of the movement to charterize, voucherize, privatize, and corporatize our education system.) Now he has thrown his support behind same sex marriage that will lead to homosexual issues being included in the instructional program of public schoolsK-12. It seems there is close connection to this movement being a part of denying religious rights to those of us feel who feel strongly about the morality of the homosexual behavior. Since parents are held legally responsible for the activities of their children until age 18 the rights they should have to impart their standards and values to their children is threatened. In California and Massachusetts homosexual issues are a part of the instructional program and it is mandatory. Parents are not being informed nor allowed to opt their children out of such influence. If it is truly hateful, bigoted and "on the wrong side of history" to stand for the values and standards, whether religiously or morally held, that encourage responsible, committed one man one woman marriage then many of us are going to stand for our definition of decency and proudly wear the badge of being a "hateful bigot."


#18

Kkk members are pround bigots as well. Their pride does not make them any more right or less hateful or reprehensible.

You mention adoptive families - homosexual families can be be just as loving and stable, but in your hatred you would rather children be denied a stable family.

Heterosexual families are not threatened by gay marriage, unless one of the parties is gay. Society is not threatened by having more recognized by having more familes.
Unless you are being ironic, you really are all you claim to be.


#19

Again the word "hate" is used to define a difference of opinion. I can only suppose that you would agree with Frank Bruni of the NY Times who wrote recently that religions, especially Christian, must be "forced" to accept and affirm the mainstreaming of homosexual activity. The importance of the presence of both a mother and a father in all our lives is trivialized with stressing an ideology that equates same sex intimate activity and parenting with the significance of opposite gender procreation and the guidance of committed, responsible, legally married biological or adoptive mothers and fathers. Sadly and tragically children will continue to be conceived by and born to irresponsible individuals. Our focus must be on stemming the deplorable divorce rate and encouraging the behaviors that will result in those who want children finding and establishing a responsible and compatible relationship that has permanence potential with an opposite gender person who will be the kind of mother or father needed. For too long now all these variations of erotic drives have held the attention and spotlight. You describe your own personal situation as one that is your own personal business but we cannot just ignore the significance of the procreative dynamic. Less than 5% of the population (and that according to most research is exaggerated) has any inclination toward LGBTQ matters. No contempt or disrespect is acceptable for anyone's most personal life choices, but what we know is the most natural and best way to guide children to adulthood takes precedence. The research that claims the role of a mother and a father has no advantages over two parents of the same sex has been produced in many case by those who self identify as homosexual. The book After the Ball and other sources going back three decades stressed the importance of influencing the very young to accept homosexuality and that would include stifling the influence of parents, religion, and those of conflicting values. A bombardment of ridiculing religious faith and the values of morality that it takes to hold families together is unbelievably and tragically accomplishing just that.


#20

The notion that allowing gays to marry will put us on a slippery slope to allowing polygamy and incest is nonsense. Both polygamy and incest are against the law. Therefore, the state cannot grant marriage licenses to groups of people or to genetically-related people. (Ironically, the medieval Roman Catholic Church encouraged first cousin marriages because this would keep property within a single family and the Church hoped to inherit property; the Church also did not want widows and widowers to remarry because this would decrease the chances the Church would inherit property. No wonder Gandhi famously said: "I like your Christ. It is Christians I don't like.")

Sodomy used to be against the law and when this was the case, gay men presumably could not get marriage licenses. The Torah condemns sodomy; it does not condemn homosexuality. The Torah is silent on lesbianism because women were the property of their fathers and husbands after they married. Females had to have sex with males even if they preferred having sex with females, so lesbianism did not have to be prevented.

The Supreme Court struck down anti-sodomy laws in Lawrence v. Texas. Ironically, Scalia (Alito was not on the court) argued in dissent that allowing sodomy would put us on the slippery slope to allowing marriage between sodomites. He was correct because once there are no anti-sodomy laws, there is no reason to prevent sodomites from marrying.