Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

TV worth watching -- 60 Minutes tonight with Justice Scalia

We don't watch a whole helluva lot of TV. 99% of the shows on TV right now are garbage, and hardly worth our time. I can candidly say there are a few shows we watch for pure escapism. We watched "Jericho" until it's final, untimely demise at the hands of CBS execs. We watched "Heroes." We're still making our way through "Battlestar Galactica" and "Doctor Who"; both of which returned for their respective fourth seasons. And, of course, we never miss "Bones." Aside from that, the TV, if it's on, is either playing a DVD from our extensive collection, tuned to FOX News, or C-Span, and it's only on for background noise.

Tonight is a different story. 60 Minutes has opted to do an interview with our favorite Supreme Court justice, Antonin Scalia. Our guess? This should be a can't-miss interview, and one that should educate people on how he judges issues that come before the high court:

People who believe the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision giving the 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush was politically motivated should just get over it, says Justice Antonin Scalia.

Scalia denies that the controversial decision was political and discusses other aspects of his public and private life in a remarkably candid interview with 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl, this Sunday, April 27, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

"I say nonsense," Scalia responds to Stahl’s observation that people say the Supreme Court’s decision in Gore v. Bush was based on politics and not justice. "Get over it. It’s so old by now. The principal issue in the case, whether the scheme that the Florida Supreme Court had put together violated the federal Constitution, that wasn’t even close. The vote was seven to two," he says, referring to the Supreme Court’s decision that the Supreme Court of Florida’s method for recounting ballots was unconstitutional.

Furthermore, says the outspoken conservative justice, it was Al Gore who ultimately put the issue into the courts. "It was Al Gore who made it a judicial question…. We didn’t go looking for trouble. It was he who said, 'I want this to be decided by the courts,'" says Scalia. "What are we supposed to say -- 'Not important enough?'" he jokes.

Call him conservative, just don’t call him biased on issues before the Supreme Court, including abortion, he says. "I am a law-and-order guy. I mean, I confess to being a social conservative, but it does not affect my views on cases," he tells Stahl. "On the abortion thing, for example, if indeed I were…trying to impose my own views, I would not only be opposed to Roe versus Wade, I would be in favor of the opposite view, which the anti-abortion people would like to see adopted, which is to interpret the Constitution to mean that a state must prohibit abortion." "And you’re against that?" asks Stahl. "Of course. There’s nothing [in the Constitution to support that view]."

Scalia also denies there is anything personal in his decisions or comments, which can often be biting. Stahl asks how he can be a close friend of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, his liberal bench mate, despite the fact that they oftentimes disagree. "I attack ideas, I don’t attack people, and some very good people have some very bad ideas," he tells Stahl. "And if you can’t separate the two, you got to get another day job. You don’t want to be a judge, at least not a judge on a multi-member panel."

For amateur court watchers, this should be an interesting interview he has. We have always respect Justice Scalia for his sharp legal mind, the fact he knows case law cold, and his biting, indomitable wit. Justice O'Connor used to bristle under his scrutiny and on more than one occasion she believed Scalia was deliberately belittling her. Not so. Justice Scalia has an ongoing, cordial friendship with Justice Ginsburg. There is a well-known photo of the two of them in India on the back of an elephant. And there is a tradition they have that goes back to the days when Ginsburg joined the court. They and their spouses get together on New Year's Eve to ring in the new year. And is the respect that Scalia has for Ginsburg reciprocated? Yes it is. She respects him greatly and loves him for the humor he brings to the Supreme Court.

This won't be a "humanizing" interview, as some may believe. Rather it is one that will focus on his ideas concerning jurisprudence with regard to a couple of cases, most likely. And I'm sure Ms. Stahl will be prodding him more on the relationships he's had on the high court with current and past jurists. One thing is assured. We will be watching this interview tonight.

Publius II


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