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Scalia ad Absurdum

December 11, 2012

Scalia The Clown

In his never-ending quest to be the absolute worst Supreme Court Justice in a generation, insufferable prick and national embarrassment Antonin Scalia had this to say regarding his comparison of homosexuality to murder

5:49AM EST December 11. 2012 – PRINCETON, N.J. (AP) — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Monday found himself defending his legal writings that some find offensive and anti-gay.

Speaking at Princeton University, Scalia was asked by a gay student why he equates laws banning sodomy with those barring bestiality and murder.

“I don’t think it’s necessary, but I think it’s effective,” Scalia said, adding that legislative bodies can ban what they believe to be immoral.

Scalia has been giving speeches around the country to promote his new book, “Reading Law,” and his lecture at Princeton comes just days after the court agreed to take on two cases that challenge the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

Some in the audience who had come to hear Scalia speak about his book applauded but more of those who attended the lecture clapped at freshman Duncan Hosie’s question.

It’s a form of argument that I thought you would have known, which is called the ‘reduction to the absurd,'” Scalia told Hosie of San Francisco during the question-and-answer period. “If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?”

Scalia said he is not equating sodomy with murder but drawing a parallel between the bans on both.

Then he deadpanned: “I’m surprised you aren’t persuaded.”

That would be the form of argument known as “Reductio ad absurdum“, or Reduced to the absurd.  Of course that isn’t the argument he’s making at all.

This is what he said in his book according to the above USA Today article.

“If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder?”

That is a classic “Straw Man” argument, which is a logical fallacy. It’s premised on the notion that homosexuality and murder are related along some spectrum of morality. They are not. In no version of reality does copulation between two persons of the same sex relate in any way to one human being killing another in cold blood. Period.

Justice Scalia my be a top shelf extremist and a condescending asshole, but he’s not stupid. As a lawyer, who argues for a living, he should know a logical fallacy when he hears one. This is rank bigotry put to paper by a sitting Supreme Court Justice. Which, in a just world, would be met with national outrage. Of course we don’t live in a just world, so this type of bullshit has become de rigueur for right-wing clowns like Scalia to spout in public.

Antonin Scalia’s tenure on our highest court has been a shameful clown show of injustice and cruelty. His so-called “textualism” is simply an excuse to protect the white, rich, heterosexual, male domination of our nation’s power structure. Every word he’s written from the bench seems to exude his disgust toward those without power. His insistence that the Constitution cannot be interpreted to protect any rights not specifically named in the text is beyond ridiculous, and only serves those that would enshrine discrimination into law at the state level. Which is what the entire conservative “State’s Rights” view of government is really all about, and has been since 1860.

With any luck, this particular clown will retire soon and President Obama can nominate a real justice to our Supreme Court. We can only hope.

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