Federal Judge Appointed By Reagan Rips Scalia A New One For Supporting Theocracy

In a piece for the New York Times, a federal judge totally rebuked Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for flirting with theocracy.

For years, Scalia has been the conservative judge that the Christian right-wing can count on to rule the way they want him to rule.

Whether the case concerns abortion, guns, same-sex marriage, or anything to do with religion, conservatives know that Scalia will rule their way no matter what the Constitution actually says.

On same-sex marriage in particular, Scalia has made his opposition clear. If he had his way, gay people would be treated like pedophiles and conservative Christians would be able to flout the Constitution at will in order to create a government dominated by their intolerant and hateful religious beliefs.

Such a government would be a theocracy rather than the democracy we have now. Under a theocracy, laws would be biased to benefit Christianity complete with an established religion where kids are indoctrinated in school, women are subjugated, and discrimination against other religions and non-religion is legal.

But Judge Richard Posner of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, who was, like Scalia, appointed by conservative saint Ronald Reagan himself, wrote a scathing op-ed for the New York Times blasting Scalia for violating the very Constitution that he claims to protect.

The logic of his position is that the Supreme Court should get out of the business of enforcing the Constitution altogether, for enforcing it overrides legislation, which is the product of elected officials, and hence of democracy,” Posner wrote. “The model he appears to be embracing is that of the traditional British Constitution; until recently, Parliament was deemed to be Britain’s “supreme court.” It could overrule judicial decisions, but courts could not invalidate parliamentary legislation.”

Indeed, our own Constitution specifically gave the Supreme Court the final say on what is constitutional and what is not.

Posner then describes how Scalia feels about the Obergefell v. Hodges case that legalized same-sex marriage across the nation this past summer. Scalia complained that the ruling goes against the religious beliefs of conservative Christians. But Posner struck back using the Constitution and smacked down Scalia for wanting a theocracy.

“The suggestion that the Constitution cannot override the religious beliefs of many American citizens is radical. It would imply, contrary to the provision that forbids religious tests for public office, that religious majorities are special wards of the Constitution. Justice Scalia seems to want to turn the Constitution upside down when it comes to government and religion; his political ideal verges on majoritarian theocracy.”

Posner also criticized Scalia for suggesting that state and local officials can ignore Supreme Court rulings, pointing out that if that’s the case, state and local officials who disagree with Scalia’s own rulings against gun control could also ignore him.

“And can Justice Scalia want his own decisions to have diminished and perhaps negligible force until separate lawsuits are brought in each state to enforce them? That implies that state and local officials are free to ignore his gun-friendly decision in District of Columbia v. Heller (holding that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to own a gun). Perhaps a few state and local officials will take Justice Scalia up on that offer.”

And not even Ronald Reagan would agree with Scalia and conservative efforts to turn America into a theocracy.

In a 1984 speech, Reagan made it clear that this country is all about pluralism and that the government must be neutral when it comes to religion.

“We in the United States, above all, must remember that lesson, for we were founded as a nation of openness to people of all beliefs. And so we must remain. Our very unity has been strengthened by our pluralism. We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate. All are free to believe or not believe, all are free to practice a faith or not, and those who believe are free, and should be free, to speak of and act on their belief.At the same time that our Constitution prohibits state establishment of religion, it protects the free exercise of all religions… And walking this fine line requires government to be strictly neutral. And government should not make it more difficult for Christians, Jews, Muslims, or other believing people to practice their faith… And there’s something else. The ideals of our country leave no room whatsoever for intolerance, for anti-Semitism, or for bigotry of any kind — none.”

Clearly, Reagan would regret ever appointing Scalia to the Supreme Court bench. He’d probably wish that he had selected Posner instead.

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