Calling On Scalia to Quit
Now on the Commonweal site, E.J. Dionne Jr.’s column on why it’s time for Antonin Scalia to step down.
He’s a fine public speaker and teacher. He’d be a heck of a columnist and blogger. But he really seems to aspire to being a politician — and that’s the problem.
So often, Scalia has chosen to ignore the obligation of a Supreme Court justice to be, and appear to be, impartial. He’s turned “judicial restraint” into an oxymoronic phrase. But what he did this week, when the court announced its decision on the Arizona immigration law, should be the end of the line. …
[H]e is perfectly free as a citizen to join the political fray and take on the president. But he cannot be a blatantly political actor and a justice at the same time.
Read the whole thing right here.
Dionne’s is one among a rising number of voices. The Washington Post says Scalia has discredited the court; Richard Posner, writing in Slate, thinks his comments on President Obama’s immigration decision will show up in campaign ads; and University of California law professor Gabriel J. Chin (quoted in the New York Times) says that the justice has “jumped the shark.”
Scalia’s default response to critiques of his reasoning, character, taste in opera, choice of duck-hunting partners — anything, really — is the scoff, and he’s probably issued several times his quota in the last 36 hours. But now that the court has finished its term by upholding the health care law (Scalia — wait for it — dissenting), maybe the justice has time to ponder the possible career moves Dionne suggests. Politician? Pundit? Trusted consultant to Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio? What would you propose for Scalia post-SCOTUS?