america's favorite justices

Antonin Scalia Was Wrong To Uphold Everything, Will Now Destroy Everything

Remember this, yeah you doOnly a day or several days or a week until the Supreme Court saves America from the scourge of universal health care… or doesn’t? What’s for sure is that Justice Antonin Scalia is going to vote against it like a motherfucker, because he is a Tea Party Republican. You may recall how our nation’s foremost legal experts for years had been suggesting that Scalia would vote to uphold based on precedent and his past rulings in favor of an expansive reading of the Commerce Clause. For Scalia now to vote against ObamaCare would mean that he’s completely changed his mind and now rejects 70 years’ of court rulings. And look at this: Scalia has a book coming out in which he says he’s completely changed his mind and now rejects 70 years’ of court rulings!

From TPM:

In Scalia’s new book, a 500-page disquisition on statutory construction being published this week, he says the landmark 1942 ruling Wickard v. Filburn — which has served as the lynchpin of the federal government’s broad authority to regulate interstate economic activities under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause — was improperly decided.

Wickard, you say? That’s the one that Scalia himself enthusiastically drew from to support the expansive Commerce Clause ruling in 2005’s Gonzales vs. Raich, the case that got all those legal eagles thinking he’d vote to uphold ObamaCare. But he won’t, because he now hates everything:

At the time, Scalia emphatically agreed, writing in his concurring opinion that “where Congress has authority to enact a regulation of interstate commerce, it possesses every power needed to make that regulation effective.” The Reagan-appointed justice’s decision upset libertarians who saw Raich as a squandered opportunity to limit the 70-year trend of reading the Commerce Clause expansively and giving the federal government broad authority when it comes to national economic regulation.

In the preface of the book, Scalia, writing about himself in the third person, concedes that he “knows that there are some, and fears that there may be many, opinions that he has joined or written over the past 30 years that contradict what is written here” in the health care ruling, the Times reports. He notes that while precedent factored into some of them, in other cases it’s “because wisdom has come late.”

Okay, yes, it’s just Scalia. Will four other justices join him in going “Full Legal Wingnut” though and just start dismantling the entire regulatory state with this comical new precedent they unleash in the ObamaCare ruling? Probably, we say, because we have no idea.


About the author

Jim Newell is Wonkette's beloved Capitol Hill Typing Demon. He joined in 2007, left for some other dumb job in 2010, and proudly returned in 2012 as our "Senior Editor at Large." He lives in Washington and also writes for things such as The Guardian, the Manchester paper of liberals.

View all articles by Jim Newell
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    1. deanbooth

      Nope, the Founding Fathers did; and Scalia intuits their new intention. It's just like when Jebus flip-flopped about slavery in 1865.

  1. skoalrebel

    Look, the basic constitutional principle here is this: if a nigger wants it, then it ain't constitutional. [spit!] This is what makes Scalia such a fine constitutional scholar. I plan to explain more of this in my Teabaggers Guide to the Constitution. You're welcome, America!

      1. mavenmaven

        No, he's against electricity as well. Is it in the Constitution? Then he's against it.

      1. not that Radio

        Chapter 1 was stricken, in the interest of brevity. Chapter 3 makes reading redundant.

        1. HippieEsq

          solid point.

          But I forgot Chapter 4: "The Tenth Amendment means whatever I need it to mean."

    1. sullivanst

      if a nigger wants it, then it ain't constitutional.

      Ah yes, the White Supremacy Clause.

  2. Maman

    I am thrilled to hear that he listened to the merits of the case before making a decision anything else would have been imprudent. augh.

    1. sullivanst

      Well, the thing he considers to be of utmost merit is whatever result he wanted in the first place.

  3. actor212

    Perhaps a little Second Amendment reinforcement of consistency is to be considered here.

    Not that I'd endorse any injuring of a SCOTUS, just that he should be reminded that gun registration laws have been upheld for decades despite very clear arguments against them from First Principles asshats like, well, Scalia.

    1. Antispandex

      You know, I am very seldom known to be serious about anything here at the old comment hole, but this subject pisses me off. The Court has never been about protecting anyone's rights. It was formed so that the Federalists would have a means of ensuring that the dirty commoners were never able to over rule the wealthy simply by voting. Hence, life appointment… and hell, APPOINTMENT. Second amendment solutions will never work though. The political right wing has convinced the left, that the right only applies to them. I feel better now. Back to the snark.

  4. CapnRadio

    Considering his age and weight, it'd be foolish to expect Scalia to uphold anything.

  5. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    Scalia has always been good at walking the fine line between his personal ambition and what is wanted by his corporate overlords.

  6. HippieEsq

    SCOTUS precedent is as reliable a predictor as the color of my dog's (Earl Warren's) turd.

  7. Not_So_Much

    Scalia is a fucking wicktard. Go have a hunting experience with Cheney already. Take your Clarence puppet with you.

  8. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    Have any of you ever thought about how terrible all of this would be if the Court doesn't strike down the health care law? Just think how uppity Obama would be then?

  9. Mittens Howell, III

    "In Scalia’s new book, a 500-page disquisition on statutory construction …

    *Kathunk* … snore

    1. elviouslyqueer

      He took the words struck the dick right out of Clarence Thomas' mouth.

      There. Fixed that for ya.

  10. CapnRadio

    He notes that while precedent factored into some of them, in other cases it’s “because wisdom has come late.”

    This makes a whole lot more sense when you realize that "Wisdom" is the nickname of Scalia's favorite rentboy.

  11. Schmannnity

    This is great news. My breakfast sausage didn't have the same flavor without human thumbs.

    1. Generation[redacted]

      As long as those human thumbs all come from within the same state, the feds need to stay out of it.

  12. GregComlish

    Good news for Sarah Palin: Wickard v. Filburn gives her a great opportunity to prove her intelligence with her mastery of the word "fungible".

    1. Jus_Wonderin

      I bet she will get this confused with fungerbil which was introduced to the lexicon by Todd.

    1. scvirginia

      I believe the test has begun, and you must respond during these last few minutes left to us…

  13. Goonemeritus

    Go ahead shoot it down and see if single payer isn’t what you get for your trouble. He will go down in history as the guy that put an end to the private medical insurance industry.

    1. bureaucrap

      Wish you were right, but not a chance. If anything, the Republican House will move to dismantle Social Security and Medicare NOW since the court will dismantle it next year anyways.

  14. Mittens Howell, III

    When that piece of shit book comes out I'm totally driving a bus around and around it.


  15. bureaucrap

    Say goodbye to the social welfare state, say hello to the survival of the fittest. In the new world, it will help you enormously if you are physically impervious to environmental pollution, physically fit enough to not require health care, and rich enough not to need social security.

  16. Estproph

    "In the preface of the book, Scalia, writing about himself in the third person…"

    Insufferable twunt warning.

  17. SorosBot

    Yay now he can declare those pesky minimum wage and child labor laws unconstitutional again, and tonight we're gonna party like it's 1929!

    1. Jus_Wonderin

      It would be glorious (or horrifying) to see the tangent universe that allows Republican's to do whatever the fuck they want. This is the exact reason we can't have interdimensional and parallel universe excursions.

    2. anniegetyerfun

      I've always wanted a pair of leather boots that were hand made by toddlers. Let it begin!

  18. mavenmaven

    The Koch Bros will take care of Scalia and Thomas very nicely afterwards. That's their commerce clause.

  19. iburl

    Do you want a black president, or do you want the supreme court to neuter the federal government entirely? Those are the choices.

    1. Designer_Radio

      I thought Scalia LIKED black presidents, since he decides who gets to be president after all the Florida ballots are cast. Musta thought Clarence was running, they all look alike.

  20. weejee

    In return for an Amazon payday, Scalia in one broad stroke turns his CV into parakeet cage parquet for all of history forever and ever. Splat, too, also.

  21. BerkeleyBear

    See I thought he'd try to thread the needle more carefully, so he'd have the Raich opinion to fall back on when necessary to beat up pot heads. Specifically, I thought he'd write a partial dissent that found the mandate unconstitutional but did so on a bullshit definition of "commerce" that in his mind preserved Wickard in other contexts. This basically signals he couldn't reconcile Wickard with his newfound hatred of Federal power. Still, he'll find some way to find Raich completely different than Wickard when he needs to (i.e. when the GOP has control of Congress and the WH).

    Still, I know Kennedy doesn't agree with him on Wickard, and Roberts has claimed precedents of that age deserve greater deference (although his record is less than stellar), so there's a good chance that the ACA will be upheld in the end. Or we should all start planning to have Social Security and Medicare wiped out as violative of Congress' powers, too.

    1. sullivanst

      his newfound hatred of Federal power.

      Gee, I wonder if that had anything to do with the increase in Presidential melanin content between Gonzales v Raich and now…

    2. scvirginia

      " he'd have the Raich opinion to fall back on when necessary to write his next bestseller to say he is still getting older and wiser"…

      There- now, doesn't that look just as plausible?

    1. An_Outhouse

      as long as it reinforces whatever the theme of the Bilderberg party was that year. And make sure the ghostwriter is related to somebody important.

    2. Generation[redacted]

      Before you go and pick up Scalia's book, be aware the blurb on the back cover says, "I have a gun, I'm in fear of my life and I will shoot you."

    3. JHRayne

      What trial, lol. Besides, those judges would just 'receive payments' from Koch, Inc, as well.

  22. Antispandex

    "This Court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is “actually” innocent."

    This is the kind of decision we can look forward to, until the present crop of conservatives on the court die off….or maybe a sort of a "Dred Scott, 2012". Whatever.

    1. Generation[redacted]

      The Magna Carta was signed under duress, therefore SCOTUS has ruled it to be invalid.

      1. sewollef

        And the proponents of the document that 'forced' King John to acquiesce, for the most part, hated the document and didn't agree to it anyhow. It remained valid for barely three months.

  23. tjwdraws

    Is there anything in Commerce Clause about Supreme Court Justices making rulings based on what might sell the most books?

  24. BarackMyWorld

    I wish him no physical harm, but when I look at Scalia I do think "Surely this man cannot live forever."

    1. RedneckMuslin

      Satan's lived for a long time so there's that.

      That is, if you believe that kind of shit.

  25. JHRayne

    You got that second sentence backward. It should read, "What’s for sure is that Justice Antonin Scalia is going to vote against it like a Tea Party Republican, because he is a motherfucker."

  26. rickmaci

    If [as the Federalists say] “the judiciary is the last resort in relation to the other departments of the government,” … , then indeed is our Constitution a complete felo de so. … The Constitution, on this hypothesis, is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they may please. — Thomas Jefferson in letter to Judge Spencer Roane, Nov. 1819

    Exhibit 1 to Jefferson's argument about the despotic nature of the power of the Supreme Court post Marbury v. Madison, Scalia Mussolini.

  27. An_Outhouse

    Scalia needs to DNA test the dick that's stuck up his ass in order to make a decision.

  28. Baconzgood

    This is his way of saying "I'm not upholding any thing nigger but a lynching rope" eh?

  29. Flat_Earther

    Scalia is an originalist except when he is not; and he is not when being an originalist does not fit his particular brand of judicial activism.

  30. randcoolcatdaddy

    Scalia … a merely annoying skin condition or unsightly wart upon the American Constitution? You decide …

  31. MissTaken

    So I can legally grow medical marijuana in my backyard in a state with legal medical marijuana again? Yay!

    Oh, wait, that doesn't help big pharma? Never mind.

    1. Baconzgood

      Our chief weapon is fear. Fear and changing our minds. Our two chief wepons are fear and changing our minds and ruthless devotion to to Right Wing idology. Amongst our wepons are fear and changing our minds are and ruthless devotion to to Right Wing idology and our nice black robes. DAMN! Um, I'll come in again…

          1. Blueb4sunrise

            HA!!!!!!! The Soil!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            [I cheated….damn , I know that…….what's that from…what's that from…]

  32. Gopherit

    "What’s for sure is that Justice Antonin Scalia is going to vote against it like a motherfucker, because he is a Tea Party Republican."

    That's some grade A prime newell right there.

  33. JustPixelz

    And by coincidence Clarence Thomas has a book on the same subject coming out at the same time. And — SURPRISE — Thomas completely agrees with Scalia. He even uses the same words.

  34. SayItWithWookies

    You know Scalia's a good Republican because his principles always conform to his immediate need. And that motherfucker could write a 500-page disquisition in his sleep, so even if he hadn't started before the case was argued in front of the Supreme Court, this is still an after-the-fact justification of his antipathy to — what is it again? Oh yeah — ensuring the general welfare. I'm sure he's heard that phrase somewhere before.

  35. Chet Kincaid

    Commerce Claus, aka St. Tony, the swarthy, jolly man in festive black robes, is coming down the chimney to take away all your Band-Aids! Merry fucking Christmas in July!!

  36. owhatever

    From now on, nothing but entertainment stars on the Supreme Court. At least we can like them, and they couldn't fuck things up any worse. Stephen King's 500-page disquisition would be more interesting than Scalia's.

    Justices Lindsey Lohan, Madonna, Will Ferrell would usually vote as a three-some and Chief Justice Morgan Freedman would cold nail that role. Justice Charlie Sheen would have the hottest clerks, and Justice Chris Rock would shout about white people. Just an idea. After all, W nominated his cleaning lady.

  37. real_dc_native

    You know how we could save the tax-payers a lot of money? Skip the whole trial thing, The Supreme Court justices could just poll our corporate overlords about how the court should decide on each issue and then write their decisions in the form of books. The pundits can buy the books that they will never read but use to support even more wing-nuttery on TV so the Congress knows hos to legislate. And all the corporate overlords will be happy. (I'm moving to Canada or Poland maybe).

  38. Me_K_Cong

    “where Congress has authority to enact a regulation of interstate commerce, it possesses every power needed to make that regulation effective.”

    "Every power"? Commerce trumps all? Scalia should have known he would have to eat that sentence some day. His 500 page book is just the appetizer.

  39. ttommyunger

    Thank you, Wonkette, for not posting an actual picture of this skin-bag. I was dreading having to actually witness his visage again when I clicked on the link. This person is the personification of everything that is wrong with mankind.

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