Re: Dumb conspiracy theories on Scalia’s death

Enough with the conspiracy theories about Justice Scalia’s death

I read this earlier today:

“As a former homicide commander, I am stunned that no autopsy was ordered for Justice Scalia,” William O. Ritchie wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday, according to reports. After seeking to cast doubt on the conclusion of the deputy U.S. marshals who responded to a call from the ranch, he added, “My gut tells me there is something fishy going on in Texas.”

My gut tells me there is some fishing for attention going on in the head of the former D.C. police officer who said that.

Why?

Let’s consider this:

  1. Why?
  2. Why??
  3. Why???

Was it a Liberal conspiracy to get President Obama one more lasting decision about the future of United States legal policy?

Was it a “Conservative” conspiracy to give Congressional Republicans and presidential candidates something “meaningful” to “stand up” to Obama about?

Was it Ancient Aliens?

There was no autopsy, they say! There was a pillow above his head, they say! The President was told long before anyone else, they say (as if the President doesn’t get most of the news before everyone else…)!

Conspiracy theorists demand: “What is your proof Scalia wasn’t murdered?”

These stupid theories remind me of one of the frequent arguments levied against atheists: “What is your proof that there is no god??”

Who proved god exists in the first place?

Pillows

Many articles note the ranch owner who found Scalia said there was a pillow above his head, and many conspiracy theorists point to this as suspicious. I sleep with a pillow over my head every night, and another one underneath it, using the two to drown out the sounds of an increasingly conspiratorial world so I can maintain my slumber all night long.

No conspiracy. Just a light sleeper.

Politics aside

I disagreed with much of Justice Scalia’s Supreme Court jurisprudence but his presence on the Court was invaluable to the development of United States law and the debates from which it springs.

He articulated his positions in such a way that I (almost always) respected them, even when I found it hard to believe someone so intelligent was seriously asserting them. He was rarely conclusory, giving reasons for his views, and whether you agreed with those reasons or not, that’s more than most politicians (and lawyers) usually do.

His death is a loss, but there are few more certain paths to some sort of immortality than thirty years on the Supreme Court of the United States.

Photo: Then-nominee Antonin Scalia, right, with President Ronald Reagan in 1986, via Wikipedia

Retiring founder wants $1M for his SCOTUS audio archive

Retiring founder wants $1M for his SCOTUS audio archive

Oyez is a robust archive of audio recordings and other information spanning much of the history of the Supreme Court of the United States. Its founder Chicago-Kent College of Law Professor Jerry Goldman is looking for a buyer as he nears retirement. Jess Bravin reports at the Wall Street Journal:

The sticking point, however, isn’t the annual budget; Harvard Law School, for one, has offered to pick up the operating cost. But Mr. Goldman also wants to be paid for the sweat he’s put into his baby–or at least the intellectual property it represents—something he estimates is worth well over $1 million.

Here comes an entitled opinion right here: A decision to somehow “close down” Oyez if no one is willing to put up six or seven figures for it would be morally bankrupt and stain Professor Goldman’s otherwise admirable legacy.

“A slower-track school where they do well”

“A slower-track school where they do well”

I’m just going to leave this Justice Scalia quote right here:

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.

Further reading:

Philly diner’s SCOTUS-inspired brunch menu following same-sex marriage ruling

Philly diner’s SCOTUS-inspired brunch menu following same-sex marriage ruling

Oh Philadelphia, how I miss you sometimes. Danya Henninger writes at Billy Penn:

Over the weekend, Sam’s Morning Glory Diner ran a pair of specials that sold out faster than any dish in the South Philly restaurant’s 17-year history. It wasn’t the ingredients that made them a hit — although they were reportedly delicious — it was their titles, which referenced the Supreme Court’s historic June 26 ruling that the right to same-sex marriage is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

I’m not going to tell you here, so go read Henninger’s article. The menu items are, appropriately, glorious. And the best part? The owner of the Morning Glory, who approved the names before they went on the menu, is a lawyer.

“Super-cuts” from same-sex marriage arguments

“Super-cuts” from same-sex marriage arguments

SCOTUSBlog contributor Tejinder Singh posted 36 minutes of audio highlights from yesterday’s oral argument in Obergefell v. Hodges. The case is one of several on the Court’s docket this term focused on two specific constitutional questions:

  1. Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?
  2. Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?

I’ve embedded the super-cut below but if you’re really interested in getting a first-hand sense of how the Justices feel you can find audio of the full oral argument (more than two hours, split into two files) at Oyez. I’ll have more to say about the arguments after I’ve had the chance to listen to them in their entirety.

Public domain photograph of the Roberts Court via Wikipedia

Gay marriage begins in Alabama

Gay marriage begins in Alabama

SCOTUS Servo tracks and announces changes to Supreme Court opinions

SCOTUS Servo tracks and announces changes to Supreme Court opinions