Hermit's Weblog : new16.html
everything your mother never taught you about how the world really works.

Fri, 19 Mar 2004

Yes Justice Scalia, you're right - but did you think it all the way through?

There has been a certain amount of controversy lately over Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Scalia's fishing trip with Vice President Dick Cheney, who has a case before the Court - the one concerning freedom of information regarding who was at those energy meetings Cheney chaired early on in the Bush administration's first year. Given that Enron soon fell apart, and many suspect Ken Lay was at those meetings, there is a lot of interest in what was discussed, especially for example, whether the plans for war in Iraq were on the agenda.

People would like to know these things, and Cheney is certainly trying not to let us know. So there is a little bit of concern over Justice Scalia's spending time with someone who has a case about which the Justice must decide. In general there is an assumption that any judge sitting on a case concerning someone they have a personal relationship with, will recuse themselves from the case in order to make it clear that there is no possibility of even the appearance of favoritism or bias. In spite of the controversy, Justice Scalia has refused to recuse himself.

Recently Justice Scalia made this remark: "If it is reasonable to think that a Supreme Court justice can be bought so cheap, the nation is in deeper trouble than I had imagined."

Scalia apparently thought that this was a put down of people's overreaction to the controversy, but he really needs to appreciate that his comment is entirely accurate. Many people no longer trust the government, even the Court. The nation is in deeper trouble than he imagines, precisely because people such as himself no longer recognize their responsibilities as authors of this trust.

His insight should, if he really thought it through, have led him to conclude that as a leader of the third Branch of our Constitutional Government, more than ever was he called upon to avoid even a hint of impropriety. That he still doesn't get it really only shows how accurate is the view of the People that something is rotten in Washington, even at the Supreme Court.

[09:23] | [] | # | G

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