Combative and arrogant, Antonin Scalia is the best judge (Republican) money can buy -- and proud of it.
Ethically challenged Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who went duck hunting with his pal Vice President Dick Cheney, has refused to recuse himself from a case involving -- you guessed it -- his duck hunting pal Dick Cheney. After all it was Scalia who helped Bush-Cheney get ensconced in the White House during the egregious vote fraud tainted presidential (s)election of 2000.
Scalia, who calls himself a "conservative," actually had tapes of his public speech confiscated by US Marshals from reporters while speaking to students in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
A Reagan appointee to the high bench, he claims to be a defender of the Constitution, despite his ban on C-SPAN in March when he was presented Cleveland's "Citadel of Free Speech Award." (Yes it is perfectly all right to snicker at this point.)
And Scalia's great pronouncement from Mississippi which escaped the censors' seizure -"Our Constitution is not only what started this great nation, but is what continues to make us one great nation.
As long as I can select the president, he should have added.
According to the Los Angelss Times ("Renewed Focus on Scalia Trip" by Richard A. Serrano and David G. Savage), Scalia was involved in other hunting parties in which his partners included Charles W. Pickering Sr., ensconced by George Bush to the US Court of Appeals, and his son Rep. Charles "Chip" Pickering. This time they were hunting turkey.
Scalia loves hunting turkey and this was the occasion when the tapes were seized from the reporters.
Evidently Scalia was also involved in a gerrymandering fight two years ago when Pickering Jr. got to keep his seat in Congress -- with Scalia's help.
The redistricting plan kept Pickering Jr. in power, marking "at least the third time in three years that Scalia had participated in Supreme Court decisions involving friends he hunted with," reported the LA Times.
The appearance of impropriety or impartiality is of no concern to Scalia, whose attitude is -- what are you going to do - sue me?
Evidently in 1993, Scalia wrote an opinion upholding State judges, not federal authorities, to redraw districts, while in the Mississippi case involving his pal Pickering, he upheld federal judges so his pal's son would hold onto his seat in Congress.
Hunting turkey with your pal makes all the difference when you're interpreting the law.
In January 2003, Scalia flew aboard Air Force Two with Cheney to hunt ducks in Louisiana. The Supreme Court will take up Cheney's appeal to maintain the secrecy of his energy policy task force.
Guess whose side Scalia will take?
A master in specious reasoning, Scalia actually wrote, "Friendship is no basis for recusal."
"Political consequences are not my concern," he added. "To expect judges to take account of political consequences — to assess the high or low degree of them — is to ask judges to do precisely what they should not do."
Give that man a casuistry award too.
According to the LA Times, in 2001,"Scalia went pheasant hunting with the Republican governor of Kansas on a trip arranged by Kansas' state lawyer during a month when the state had two cases pending before the high court."
Conflict of interest is a way of life for Scalia.
Loyalty to hunting buddies like Dick Cheney and Charles Pickering is paramount. That's what it means to be the best judge money can buy. It just hasn't been so blatant before.
When you're on the take, it's just like the name of his book, a "matter of interpretation."
Got a problem that needs fixing?
Just take Scalia bird hunting...
URI DOWBENKO is one of Alternative Media's foremost writers and media analysts and the author of "Bushwhacked: Inside Stories of True Conspiracy."
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