Remembering Justice Antonin Scalia

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With the news of the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, I will admit, I didn’t feel bad in the slightest.  My first emotion was excitement that the Supreme Court would no longer be controlled by a Conservative majority.  A friend of mine even said “I cheered when I heard… Then felt bad for cheering…”  But I, for one, am not sad that he’s gone.  I’m glad that someone who wanted to deny me basic human rights, who wanted to sell our country to whoever would write him the biggest check, who’s misogyny plagued women’s rights since his nomination, and who would be a wrench in the works at any attempt this country would make towards stopping catastrophic climate change, is no longer a member of the highest court in the nation. No… I don’t owe Justice Scalia any respect, or any grief at his passing and here are just a few reminders of what makes me feel this way:

On LGBT People:

Calls LGBT people “immoral and destructive.”: “Many Americans do not want persons who openly engage in homosexual conduct as partners in their business, as scoutmasters for their children, as teachers in their children’s schools, or as boarders in their home. They view this as protecting themselves and their families from a lifestyle that they believe to be immoral and destructive.”

Homosexuality is like Murder: “If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?”

Compares LGBT people to murderers and animal abusers: “I had thought that one could consider certain conduct reprehensible—murder, for example, or polygamy, or cruelty to animals—and could exhibit even ‘animus’ toward such conduct. Surely that is the only sort of ‘animus’ at issue here: moral disapproval of homosexual conduct, the same sort of moral disapproval that produced the centuries-old criminal laws that we held constitutional in Bowers.”

Compares homosexuals (and minorities in general) to pederasts and child molesters:  “What minorities deserve protection? What about pederasts? What about child abusers?”

On Minorities: 

Claimed African Americans should go to “slower track” schools: “There are those who contend that it does not benefit African Americans to get them into the University of Texas, where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a slower-track school where they do well. One of the briefs pointed out that most of the black scientists in this country don’t come from schools like the University of Texas. They come from lesser schools where they do not feel that they’re being pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them.”

On Gender Discrimination:

Claimed the Constitution doesn’t prohibit discrimination based on sex: “the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t. Nobody ever thought that that’s what it meant. Nobody ever voted for that. If the current society wants to outlaw discrimination by sex, hey we have things called legislatures, and they enact things called laws.”

Said it’s “intelligent” to treat women differently: “There are some intelligent reasons to treat women differently. I don’t think anybody would deny that.” 

These are just a few of the horrible things Scalia has said.  His decisions on his Supreme Court cases show that he wanted to deny me and my fellow LGBT people basic civil liberties, he believed women should be treated differently,  he believed minorities were less than white people, he frequently spoke in favor of stripping away the separation of church and state,  he was part of the deciding factor in the Citizens United case which threatens to destroy democracy as we know it,  and he stood with those who would keep the U.S. from doing their part in stopping catastrophic climate change.  His beliefs, his policies, and the fact that he sat on the highest court of the land put him in a unique position to harm countless Americans.  So do I owe him any respect?  Should I mourn his loss?  Should I be ashamed that I am happy he is no longer in a position to harm any more lives with his toxic views?  No… I don’t think so.