Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Justice Scalia Speaks; Scalia Protest

16. November 2004 • Scott Trudeau
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Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speaks today at 4:30pm at the Rackham Auditorium. University of Michigan Students for Choice are planning to protest Scalia and are meeting at 4pm at the fountain near the Modern Languages Building. The email calling the protest contains a litany of reasons to show up to protest, including Scalia’s stances on choice, affirmative action, and sexual orientation.

> Students for Choice Scalia Protest Email
> Law School: Associate Justice of the Supreme Court presents the Helen L. DeRoy Lecture
> Ann Arbor News: Scalia to lecture at U-M
> U of M News Service: U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Scalia to give U-M Law School lecture
> ArborUpdate: Justice Scalia to Address Law School, Nov. 16th



  1. Just once, could UM students show a modicum of class?
       —T.J.    Nov. 16 '04 - 09:32AM    #
  2. Yeah. How classless of us. Opinions. Off with our freethinkin’, freedom-hatin’ heads, eh TJ?
       —Matthew Wright Hollerbach    Nov. 16 '04 - 09:50AM    #
  3. I think I know what TJ is getting at… Scalia is a Supreme Court Justice, what are we protesting? He was appointed and gives his opinions on cases as he sees fit… it seems to be the system at work, no matter what we think of it. Thus, what is the purpose of the protest? Are students decrying the fact that he was invited to speak, and would prefer to silence him? Or is it merely a rather vocal demonstration of the obvious fact that many people here disagree with many of the stances he’s taken? Students obviously have a right to protest, but I’m not sure what they expect to accomplish by it. At least they aren’t being like BAMN and actually trying to disrupt the speech, so in comparison, TJ, I think it can be said that these students are being pretty classy and respectful.
       —Brandon    Nov. 16 '04 - 12:14PM    #
  4. i think people like scalia will be treated with class once he displays some himself…

    do unto others,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Nov. 16 '04 - 12:51PM    #
  5. I am with Brandon on this one. Moreover, i’d point out that Scalia is actually very much consistent with his jurepridential philosophy. And while most of the time it cuts conservative, there have been times when he has been the most liberal justice (Hamdi for example, Blakely v. Wa (striking down sentancing) and Crawford (extending the right against self incrimination).

    The point here is that given the fact that he is likely to be on teh court for a while, and his jurisprudential approach is likely to be very influential in the foreseeble future – perhaps it be better for studnets who disagree with him to LEARN how to use his arguments and get comfortable with them. I don’t know just a thought.

    Ari – I would argue that Scalia does in fact show a great amount of respect for his oponents. That is why he is such good freinds with Justice Ginsberg.

    and I challenge you to show me a piece of his writting where he disrespects people. (But ari, none of yoru cutsie tricks – i’ll read the entire opinion, not the clause you quote).
       —David LIvshiz    Nov. 16 '04 - 01:23PM    #
  6. “perhaps it be better for studnets who disagree with him to LEARN how to use his arguments and get comfortable with them.” -dliv

    how do you know they aren’t??? if i were you, i wouldn’t make assumptions about people you don’t know…i don’t know, just a thought…

    “I would argue that Scalia does in fact show a great amount of respect for his oponents.” -dliv

    like forcing a reporter to erase his voice recording, which is conssistant with his opinions on freedom of speech and information…

    “That is why he is such good freinds with Justice Ginsberg.” -dliv

    orrin hatch and ted kennedy are golf buddies…renquist and oconnor dated in law school…

    “and I challenge you to show me a piece of his writting where he disrespects people.” -dliv

    i will direct you to his dissent in lawrence v. texas…as just one example…

    “But ari, none of yoru cutsie tricks.” -dliv

    cutsie, huh??? are you hitting on me?? i hope not, because if you are, people like scalia would want to put you in jail…and if his views become the minority, well, that would be pretty bad…

    as for you opposition to anyone protesting a conservative…when the review kids protested jesse jackson, did you say “they should learn about him, instead”, or when fred phelps yells ‘god hates fags’, did you say that that was undemocratic, or did you turn a blind, neocon eye???

    court ajurned,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Nov. 16 '04 - 02:01PM    #
  7. http://faculty.smu.edu/jkobylka/newsItems/ScaliaPiece.htm

    “I am not a nut.” -Justice Scalia

    allergic to nuts,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Nov. 16 '04 - 02:09PM    #
  8. Brandon / David, I don’t see anything wrong with a protest, as long as it is done by presenting opposing views, and not by disrupting the event.

    ”...merely a rather vocal demonstration of the obvious fact that many people here disagree…”

    Brandon, if nobody protested Scalia’s interpretations, then it wouldn’t be an obvious fact.

    ”...it seems to be the system at work, no matter what we think of it…”

    Which is why nobody should ever attend public hearings, write letters to their Councilmembers/Representatives/Senators, or otherwise make their opinions known. We elected these folks—why not shut up, quit bothering them, and let the system do its work?

    ”...better for studnets who disagree with him to LEARN how to use his arguments and get comfortable with them…”

    This is always a good idea, as long as “get comfortable with” means “learn to twist the arguments to suit your cause”, and not “learn to agree with positions you disagree with”. Everybody should be able to understand the position of their political adversaries and detractors, should be able to discuss those positions better than the adversaries themselves, and should be able to use that ability to build support for their own positions.

    Check out, for example, Salon’s article today on liberals embracing states’ rights ...Since the Republicans in power seem to have totally forgotten what the phrase means (the proposed anti-same sex marriage amendment, attempts to strike down California’s medical marijuana and environmental statues and Oregon’s assisted suicide laws, etc), liberals need to pick up the standard of federalism and use it to defend their own ideals.
       —Murph    Nov. 16 '04 - 02:54PM    #
  9. STUDENTS, not “studnets”. Is “studnets” about the gay thing :D ?

    On deeper note: was at the lecture, bunch of protesters were INSIDE, snaked out of room holding signs, there was ruckus for little while.

    ...I asked the first question at the microphone after lecture, basically, “How come you, Scalia, get an elite Harvard law education but racial minorities don’t, since you’re against affirmative action? Huh?” His answer was “adequate” -that he got into HLS cos of his grades etc., not cos of race (do we KNOW this though? maybe there were other factors besides grades in his case) -, but I scored points, I thot, when he questioned whether aff. action benefits minority law students, and I rejoined, “THEY think so.” (the minority students in law schools)
    ...Pete Woiwode also had good question, about “original intent” of Founding Fathers re slavery, and Scaly sort of dodged the question. (You can ask Pete for details.)
       —David Boyle    Nov. 16 '04 - 05:46PM    #
  10. actually ari – the supreme court PURPOSELY tries to shield itself in secrecy – that is why recordings are not allowed, and even transcripts of arugmetns were nto made public till the 1980s. Scalia does not want his speeches recorded, not have them not covered.

    as for Lawrence v. Texas. Lets take a look shal we? “I have nothing agaisnt homosexuals or any other group, promoting their agenda throuigh normal democratic means. Social perceptions of sexual and other morlaity change over time, and every group has the rigth to persuade its fellow citizens…that homosexuals have achieved some success in that enterprise is attested tob yt he fact that Texas is one of the few remaining states that criminalize private, consensual homosexula acts.” Tx v. Lawrence (J. Scalia, dissenting) – Yes, cleary indicates to me that he thnks all gays should be put in jail. I think his argument is more along the lines of which branch has the competence, and he feels its the legislative. You and I may disagree, but it doesn’t ‘mean he wnats gays in jail.

    you can do better ari.

    Dave
       —David LIvshiz    Nov. 16 '04 - 08:47PM    #
  11. Murph, I think it’s perfectly fine to protest, as I noted above. I was merely trying to flesh-out what I think TJ’s concerns were. I wasn’t there tonight, so as long as they weren’t being disruptive, more power to ‘em.

    “Which is why nobody should ever attend public hearings, write letters to their Councilmembers/Representatives/Senators, or otherwise make their opinions known. We elected these folks—why not shut up, quit bothering them, and let the system do its work?”

    Except, of course, that justices are appointed, rather than elected… Scalia doesn’t really answer to anyone but the Constitution, and his own interpretation of it in particular, which is why the effectiveness of protest in this case seems especially questionable. That’s the main difference. Maybe I’m just cynical. Perhaps the protesters would argue that they are attempting to influence lawmakers re: future appointments rather than Scalia himself. Or maybe they are just protesting for its own sake, rather than with aims of changing anything… of course they have the right to do so, but from my increasingly fogied/practical standpoint I’d find emailing my city councilperson a more efficient use of my time.
       —Brandon    Nov. 16 '04 - 09:59PM    #
  12. that contradicts other statesments he makes…on legal matters that is…his opinions are clear as day…morals are to be legislated, he’s a death penalty advocate, even when the integrety of the case is in question, and he is part of the pro-life block…these are things people are allowed to be opposed to…why not voice them???

    go back, try again,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Nov. 17 '04 - 08:32AM    #
  13. here are some goodies:

    ‘“It is obvious to us that neither of these formulations would extend a fundamental right to homosexuals to engage in acts of consensual sodomy. Proscriptions against that conduct have ancient roots. Sodomy was a criminal offense at common law and was forbidden by the laws of the original 13 States when they ratified the Bill of Rights. In 1868, when the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified, all but 5 of the 37 States in the Union had criminal sodomy laws. In fact, until 1961, all 50 States outlawed sodomy, and today, 24 States and the District of Columbia continue to provide criminal penalties for sodomy performed in private and between consenting adults. Against this background, to claim that a right to engage in such conduct is ‘deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition’ or ‘implicit in the concept of ordered liberty’ is, at best, facetious.” 478 U. S., at 192–194 (citations and footnotes omitted;

    “Today’s opinion is the product of a Court, which is the product of a law-profession culture, that has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda, by which I mean the agenda promoted by some homosexual activists directed at eliminating the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct.”

    i understand, dave, that you may feel hostility towards homosexuals…you, for example, are not too keen on a lot of people: arabs, muslims, anyone to the left of ariel sharon, anyone that voices an opinion to the left of genhis khan, etc…but you see, in this country, unlike russia, we can speak out against the forces that mainstain and impose ineqaulitiy onto its citizens…don’t try to take that right away or blast it as ignorant rabblerousing…

    live free or die,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Nov. 17 '04 - 08:54AM    #
  14. Brandon, planning commissioners are appointed too, but it’s certainly worth speaking up if we don’t like their decisions. (a little below the belt, am I?) Okay, yes, planning commissioners are appointed in part to hear public input on proposals, while Supreme Court justices are not, so it’s somewhat different.

    I don’t think that trying to lobby Scalia to change his mind is going to make any difference. And being disruptive of Scalia’s presentation is pretty gauche (...says the southpaw), just as TJ points out. There’s value in protesting Scalia’s philosophy and application; it just has to be done in a forward-looking, educational manner.
       —Murph    Nov. 17 '04 - 10:34AM    #