Antonin Scalia Still Dead

He may or may not get to have a word with the Framers about original intent.

Antonin Scalia, the senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, has died in Texas at the age of 79. Scalia was found dead Saturday morning at a ranch near Marfa, where he had been staying after a day of hunting quail and attending a private party. He's believed to have died of natural causes sometime overnight; his body was found after he failed to show up for breakfast. Which is to say, he died lonely and alone, in accordance with the absolute worst that Yr Wonkette's Rules for Commenting Radicals can wish on him, so be glad -- he was in no pain, and now we can, in the words of the great Clarence Darrow (not Mark Twain) read his obituary notices with great satisfaction.

[contextly_sidebar id="8MbZMJKeDJQBLVT3bFcnTvoddkt1d31q"]How do you solve a problem like Scalia? He was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1986 by Ronald Reagan after Reagan appointed William Rehnquist as Chief Justice, and he quickly became one of the most infuriating advocates of the dubious doctrine of "strict constructionism," the notion that the Constitution should only be interpreted in light of the Founders' "original intent," which of course is largely a matter of deciding which Founders you like to agree with. He was a moral scold, a self-righteous jerk, and every now and then, caustically witty in a way that made you feel dirty for laughing, and had a bizarre love of archaic insults -- Jiggery-pokery anyone? Pure applesauce!

[contextly_sidebar id="t1wGrWFA1RtWAE1jASK3O9MyutAwG8nP"]Scalia made an art form of being the angry rightwing uncle on the Court, sometimes seeming to take the most perverse possible positions purely for the hell of it, like arguing that the First Amendment may rule out establishing religion, but is perfectly fine with encouraging it, or pretending that the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment didn't necessarily make torture illegal. About the best thing that can be said for him is that his dissent in U.S. v. Windsor, the case that overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, helped inspire a whole bunch of lawsuits that eventually gave us marriage equality, so Ha-Ha Herman on you, Antonin!

The official Wonkette Consensus, as relayed to us by Yr Editrix from the Drinky Thing at the Bohemian Beer Hall in Astoria, Queens, is that the succession should be handled like this: Barack Obama immediately resigns as President, then President Old Handsome Joe Biden appoints him for life to the Supreme Court. We don't see how anyone could have a problem with that.

Expect tonight's Republican debate -- 9 p.m. Eastern on CBS; we will have an open thread but not a liveblog -- to be brimming with the most glurge-filled possible tributes to the late Associate Justice, unless Ben Carson is asked first, in which he'll probably say he never followed Italian politics and refuses to answer a trick question.

And since there isn't a chance in hell that the Senate will confirm a replacement between now and November, the stakes for the 2016 presidential election just got a whole hell of a lot more real. It would be inappropriate to celebrate Antonin Scalia's death -- there's too much voter registration and Get Out the Vote that needs to be done.

[NYT / WaPo /LAT]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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