I just turned on CNN and saw the news. SCALIA is DEAD! Sitting Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) Antonin Scalia died this morning at age 79. He had served 30 years in the High Court, appointed at age 50 by Ronald Reagan in 1986. He was a conservative!
My first reaction was shock. As if I lost a long lost friend. It was that much of a shock – because it was so unexpected – and he had such a huge impact on my civil life. It is important news not only for this country, but also for many in the LGBT community who have been terrorized by this man’s stature on the bench. A man who we have perceived as hateful and improper when it comes to his less than decent commentary and rulings around same-sex equality.
Now President Obama has an opportunity to make a huge final mark in his legacy. To appoint a liberal Judge before he leaves office, to finally tilt that bench in the direction it ought to go! You can imagine that a Senate in Republican hands will do everything it can to stop a liberal vote. This is going to be a very dramatic 2016! It will also play a very important role in the current presidential campaign. Although the knowledge has always been there that a SCOTUS seat would need to filled in the next eight years.
David Axelrod, political consultant, notes: “A seismic event on the presidential campaign.”
In the meantime SCOTUS could feasibly have an empty seat for some time. Ideological opposition aside, Scalia was a giant in American law. According to CNN commentator, SCOTUS legal expert, Jeffrey Toobin: “… you can almost say in American History there has never been another with such a significant influence on the U.S. Constitution.”
It is a tough call to be respectful. I believe there is a way to show our delight that he can no longer hurt our LGBT rights, while at the same time acknowledging that he did serve our country, in a way that to him and those whose ideology he serves, seemed appropriate. We are a country of differences. He was a brilliant jurist. However he applied it in a way that hurt many of us. I for one am glad he can do no more harm! He will probably be remembered as a great American. However if we do not express ourselves authentically at this time, his legacy will exclude how badly he hurt us!
An important point to remember is that the Conservatives and right wing will hail him a hero and martyr him and in doing so they will politicize his death and insert him into their campaigns. THAT is why it is very important for us to write about how he hurt us. So that his legacy is in fact tainted. But we must do it in a respectful way so there is no backlash.
SOCIAL MEDIA REACTION from LGBT community and allies: ( we will keep adding comments)- Let us know how you members of LGBT community feel.
2:00 PM Sat Feb 13th.
UPDATED FEB 14, 2016:
7 thoughts on “LGBT Americans Respond to SCALIA Death”
SHARING… and here this too. RT @ParkerMolloy
It’s only fitting that after all his racist rulings, Scalia’s successor be chosen by a black man.
Melanie, wow I’ve had the television off for about three or four days trying to get some rest. This comes as a complete shock. There are many decisions that Justice Kolea wrote and I agree with and quite a few I disagree with. I hope that the next choice for the Supreme Court will rule consistent with the Constitution, however I certainly hope he will not be a throwback on social rights and social liberties that we work so hard to win over the past 40 years.
Thank you, Melanie. In this political battle for POTUS and SCOTUS, it is VITALLY important that ALL Americans scream at the top of their lungs that we are thrilled whenever a terrorist dies. The two leading candidates are BOTH anti-establishment “outsiders.” This tells me that the rank and file of both parties are sick and tired of political correctness and demure politeness, just like the millions of “non-affilliateds” who have checked out over the past 2-3 decades. Scalia was a terrorist who supported unlimited child abuse against LGBT children, and unlimited financial abuse of the democratic process, with a heaping helping of religious bullying on the side. I can’t wait to dance on his grave, and I hope Sanders and Trump express the nation’s delight in their stump speeches.
Melanie: Matthew5:44, 45+ is literally my favorite verse in the Bible – and one of the hardest to live up to.
I maintain that a strict constructionist view of the constitution leads to the right result – just not as social conservatives have tried to manipulate the concept to justify the ends they want.
Sure: the 2nd Amendment does justify the individual right to keep and bear arms. No, the Constitution does support the death penalty.
But opposition to same-sex marriage never passed the “rational basis test,” and equal protection under the law in its “original context” does support same-sex marriage. Likewise, as ancient nservative lawyer, I happily point out that the Constitution does give rights to “all persons born or naturalized.” That means unborn fetuses have no rights.
In short, Strict Construction protects our rights, not undermines them.
Stict constructionist view can be problematic. I dont have time to engage in this – but will note there are many examples out there. It works both ways – depending on what side of an issue you are on.