Petition Demands Scalia Recusal on Marriage Cases

Here’s a really, really bad idea. A petition has been launched demanding that Justice Scalia recuse himself from the marriage equality cases because he has shown “bias and contempt for GLBT issues.” Absolutely not, and be very careful what you wish for. That same illegitimate basis could be used to force liberal justices to recuse as well.

Judge Scalia has openly stated over and over again his contempt for GLBT issues, and has compared Marriage Equality to “murder.” Enough is enough. This biased judge, who has made it clear that his biases are more important than the fairness of the law, should recuse himself NOW for any deliberations on DOMA and Prop 8.

No, he shouldn’t. You may wish he would, but you can’t possibly hold this position consistently unless you demand that every justice recuse themselves on every case on which they have expressed any opinions at all. If this were a liberal justice who had made pro-equality statements, would you call for them to recuse themselves? Of course not. And they do, by the way. The potential problems with this are enormous. If a liberal justice gave a speech saying that the death penalty is administered in a racist manner, by the reasoning of this petition they would have to recuse themselves from any case involving the death penalty.

Unless you want to be completely up front in your hypocrisy and just say that only justices who express an opinion that you disagree with should have to recuse themselves. But if you’re going to take that position, no one should take you seriously at all.

14 comments on this post.
  1. Gretchen:

    You’re right. Scalia should not recuse himself from GLBT cases. He should step down as a justice full stop, because of an obvious and repeated willingness to ignore the Constitution completely in favor of bigoted batshit wingnuttery.

  2. Doug Little:

    I don’t mind the difference of opinion it leads to a more complete discussion with interesting arguments on both sides .

  3. d.c.wilson:

    It’s. also poiness in that the only person who can make Scalia recuse himself is Scalia. This is likely to just make him dig his heels in further.

  4. baal:

    Scalia’s junkets* with the Koch Brothers and other conservative orgs would be a violation of judicial ethics were he on any other court. His public comments on LGBT issues show he’s no longer fit for the court (thrown judicial demeanor out the window, appearance of extreme bigotry). I’m otherwise becoming less and less of a fan of petitions for the sun to not rise in the east.

    *erm speeches given at fundraisers in very nice hotels.

  5. steve84:

    It’s not really that he expressed an opinion, but how he has done so. The whole tone of his statements is unacceptable. He has demonstrated beyond any doubt that he can’t be impartial on this.

  6. M, Supreme Anarch of the Queer Illuminati:

    At this point, Scalia might actually be our best bet for bringing Kennedy over to the pro-equality side. “Holy shit, if that is the level to which the straight-marriage-only types have descended, I want nothing to do with them.”

    Wishful thinking, I know…

  7. jameshanley:

    Agree with Ed. Let’s keep in mind that folks on the other side think Judge Walker should have recused himself from the Prop 8 case because he’s gay. And that’s actually a slightly better argument because it shows he possibly has a direct interest–even potentially a direct financial interest–in the outcome. It’s not a good argument, perhaps, but it’s better than the argument for Scalia to recuse himself.

    Either we agree to play by the same rules we ask others to play by, or we are are no better than they are.

  8. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :):

    It’s not really that he expressed an opinion, but how he has done so. The whole tone of his statements is unacceptable. He has demonstrated beyond any doubt that he can’t be impartial on this.

    SHHHH, DON’T BREAK THE FALSE EQUIVALENCE!

  9. drizzt:

    Stupid petition… So if a divorce case gets to the SC (not likely of course but bear with me), who gets to decide ? Aliens ?

  10. dan4:

    @7. Walker has never come out in favor of gay marriage prior to the hearing of the Prop 8 case, while Scalia HAS come out (and, as the petition shows, in very strong terms) against gay marriage.

  11. dan4:

    “…had”, not “has”

  12. gshelley:

    It’s not a good argument, perhaps, but it’s better than the argument for Scalia to recuse himself.

    I don’t think it’s a better argument. If Walker had been openly advocating for SSM, then sure, but not just because he happens to be gay. This put me in mind of Scalia’s response to the Obama administration’s recent dissent in the Arizona immigration case, where he decided to take a swipte at the Obama administraton’s decision to stop deporting some illegal immigrants

  13. democommie:

    Scalia couldn’t recuse himself if he wanted to. The other three conservaturd injustices need him to put his hand up Thomas’s ass.

  14. dan4:

    @13: You’re a real class act, democommie.

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