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Old 03-29-2006, 08:10 AM   #1
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Scalia Unplugged

They showed the video on The Situation Room last night, it seemed very strange to me to see and hear a Supreme Court justice speaking like that and saying those things -"nino being nino" but that's not a private event, I don't know if he knew it was being videotaped.

I will post the whole transcript because it's contained in another transcript on

"Scalia was pressured to recuse because he made strong remarks three weeks ago about detainees, but those comments at a Swiss law school were the tip of the iceberg from Scalia that day.


(voice-over): A Supreme Court justice unplugged, or as a friend says privately, Nino being Nino. Take this exchange about the Iraq war debate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president of the United States stands up and lies in front of the congress before going to war in Iraq.

JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA, SUPREME COURT: You said that the president of the United States lied to the congress about Iraq. That is certainly not an established fact at all. It's a huge controversy about whether indeed he believed, as the intelligence service of every country in the world believed, that weapons of mass destruction were possessed by Iraq.

To come and state as a fact the president lied about it -- I mean if that's the body of fact on which you are basing your question, there's no use answering it.

TODD: At another point Justice Scalia talks about the Supreme Court's ruling that upheld the right to flag burning which he supported.

SCALIA: I don't like that result. If it were up to me and I were king, I would take scruffy, bearded, sandal-wearing idiots who go around burning the flag and put them in jail.

TODD: On a question about gay rights --

SCALIA: The question comes up, is there's a constitutional right to homosexual conduct. Not a hard question for me. It is 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.

TODD: Later Scalia turns a leading question about the American justice system into a dig at the French.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have the impression that in America in some way, justice or not, if you are powerful enough, and if you have a good public relations operation, you can get away with whatever you do. This is a great problem. There are two problems.

SCALIA: Like using the budget of the French government to keep a mistress in Paris, which everybody knows about. There is not a scandal. The difference is in America there is a scandal. In Paris, hey.


TODD: For the sake of context, Justice Scalia considers himself a judicial originalist, one who tries to interpret the original intent of the Constitution's framers. A Supreme Court spokeswoman says neither the court nor Justice Scalia would have any comment on that event at the Swiss law school."

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Old 03-29-2006, 08:16 AM   #2
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he's also been in the news in Boston for making a gesture in a church, some people accused him of making an "obscene" gesture

Here's the letter he wrote to the Boston Herald

"It has come to my attention that your newspaper published a story on Monday stating that I made an obscene gesture - inside Holy Cross Cathedral, no less. The story is false, and I ask that you publish this letter in full to set the record straight.

Your reporter, an up-and-coming “gotcha” star named Laurel J. Sweet, asked me (o-so-sweetly) what I said to those people who objected to my taking part in such public religious ceremonies as the Red Mass I had just attended. I responded, jocularly, with a gesture that consisted of fanning the fingers of my right hand under my chin. Seeing that she did not understand, I said “That’s Sicilian,” and explained its meaning - which was that I could not care less.
That this is in fact the import of the gesture was nicely explained and exemplified in a book that was very popular some years ago, Luigi Barzini’s The Italians:
“The extended fingers of one hand moving slowly back and forth under the raised chin means: ‘I couldn’t care less. It’s no business of mine. Count me out.’ This is the gesture made in 1860 by the grandfather of Signor O.O. of Messina as an answer to Garibaldi. The general, who had conquered Sicily with his volunteers and was moving on to the mainland, had seen him, a robust youth at the time, dozing on a little stone wall, in the shadow of a carob tree, along a country lane. He reined in his horse and asked him: ‘Young man, will you not join us in our fight to free our brothers in Southern Italy from the bloody tyranny of the Bourbon kings? How can you sleep when your country needs you? Awake and to arms!’ The young man silently made the gesture. Garibaldi spurred his horse on.” (Page 63.)
How could your reporter leap to the conclusion (contrary to my explanation) that the gesture was obscene? Alas, the explanation is evident in the following line from her article: “ ‘That’s Sicilian,’ the Italian jurist said, interpreting for the ‘Sopranos’ challenged.” From watching too many episodes of the Sopranos, your staff seems to have acquired the belief that any Sicilian gesture is obscene - especially when made by an “Italian jurist.” (I am, by the way, an American jurist.)
Antonin Scalia "

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Old 03-29-2006, 08:24 AM   #3
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Sounds like somebody's gotten to be a cranky old man who thinks that he is alone in a world of idiots.
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Old 03-29-2006, 08:57 AM   #4
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the very definition of an "Activist Judge."
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Old 03-29-2006, 01:06 PM   #5
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Originally posted by Irvine511
the very definition of an "Activist Judge."
How so? His one statement regarding the Bill of Rights is technically correct, though I can see why you would disagree with his suggestion. In fact, most people completely ignore the 10th amendment, which leaves many matters to the States.
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