RSS

Tag Archives: Antonin Scalia

SCUMUS “Justice” Scalia’s Racism

This piece is an open letter by Kiki Petrosino, who is a renowned poet. As a half Italian-American, black person she sees sides of Scalia’s racist Affirmative Action spew that he refuses to recognize… To be frank – Justice Scalia should be remanded from the case entirely based on his obviously racist views which make him unable to render a judgement within the Law. With Scalia, Justice isn’t blind, it wears polarizing lenses based on the color and ethnicity of the plaintiff.

An open letter to Justice Scalia

You assert that we can’t compete academically. As an artist and an educator of color, I feel compelled to respond

Dear Justice Scalia,

On Wednesday, as you heard arguments in the affirmative action case Fisher v. University of Texas, you suggested that black students should enroll at “slower-track school[s],” rather than study alongside white students at the university. “I don’t think it stands to reason that it’s a good thing for the University of Texas to admit as many blacks as possible,” you said. Your words reinforced a panoply of false stereotypes about the intellectual abilities of African Americans and underscored what many Americans fear: that our institutions of higher learning are somehow overrun with minorities who have “taken” white students’ rightful spots. You ignored the fact that the University of Texas’s holistic admissions program isn’t about “admit[ting] as many blacks as possible;” that it’s a tailored procedure designed to ensure diversity in each freshman class, and it follows guidelines endorsed by the Supreme Court in 2003. But your choice of wording telegraphs a message that many Americans are all too willing to believe: that black people can’t compete in academically rigorous environments. This is a message to which I, as an artist and educator of color, feel compelled to respond.

In 1994, I was a high school freshman when a book called The Bell Curve was published to extensive attention. The treatise, authored by Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray, argued that human intelligence is heritable and that various ethnic groups have measurably different levels of intelligence. In a series of now-debunked statistical analyses, the Bell Curve authors suggested that African Americans have lower intelligence (as measured by IQ) than whites or Asians, a factor that supposedly predestines us for a host of social misfortunes, like poverty and teen pregnancy. The book’s conclusions weren’t closely examined prior to publication, but that didn’t stop The Bell Curve from selling 400,000 copies in hardcover or spending fifteen weeks on the New York Times best seller list. Thousands of people were willing to hand over good money to buy into this book’s awful premise.

As a result, I entered high school knowing precisely how low an opinion many Americans had of black students like me. I already knew I’d have to work hard to achieve success, but the praise for that book—author interviews, pundit commentary—made me see what I was up against. While I was lucky to find supportive teachers and friends throughout my education, my mixed-race heritage baffled many of the other adults around me. I recall family friends congratulating me on my academic successes by implying that I “must have gotten that from Dad,” while my singing talent was ascribed to my African American mother. I responded to most of these statements with a healthy eyeroll, but I understood that my achievements continually would be “surprising” to certain observers, and that I’d have to keep proving that I deserved to be exactly where I was. This never ends, by the way.

When I was accepted to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, a friend who’d applied to the same program asked, pointedly, whether the fellowship I’d won was “something for African Americans.” In the moment, I understood his anxiety; he was still waiting for an acceptance letter. But this friend had never talked to me that way before; we’d never drawn asterisks beside each other’s achievements. As it happened, my fellowship from Iowa was for underrepresented students, but of course, you had to meet the highly selective requirements of your program first, and show exceptional talent. No “slower-track” needed, thanks. Even now, as a teacher, my color confounds. A colleague at one of my first teaching jobs once looked me up and down, and asked, “which half of you is black?” as if my body were divided by a secret equator, or dipped in invisible ink. At another moment in my early teaching career, a student who was unhappy with her grade surreptitiously snapped a photo of me at my lectern and tweeted that my afro made it impossible to take me seriously as a professor.   

Justice Scalia, I want to remind you that we share this country together. I’m descended from free and enslaved people. Some of them were black Virginians who worked hard to attain literacy and economic mobility in a nation that continually excluded them from the body politic. In fact, I hold a BA from the University of Virginia, where you spent four years as a Professor of Law, and an MA from the University of Chicago, another institution where you taught. And we share more than academics. My European ancestors arrived in America as Italian immigrants, just as yours did. You must know that the privileges of “whiteness” were not automatically bestowed on Italians. It wasn’t that long ago that Creuzé de Lesser wrote, “Europe ends at Naples, and ends badly. Calabria, Sicily, and all the rest belong to Africa.” At the height of the immigration wave, Italian Americans were subject to discrimination and violence, to negative stereotypes and offensive caricatures. In public schools, Italian children were discouraged from speaking their native language, even at home, while in the workplace, their parents often were barred from all but the lowest-paying manual labor jobs. The Johnson-Reed Act of 1924 was authorized, in large part, to curtail immigration from southern and eastern Europe. Today, we recognize how unfair all of this was, and we celebrate the contributions of Italian Americans in every sector of public life.

But as Republican presidential candidates call for sealing our borders to Muslim immigrants, and as increasing numbers of Americans react to world events with fearful xenophobia, your words feed into a stream of ugly “othering” that must end. I think you know that skin color is no predictor of intellectual acuity or future success in school. Students who are admitted to colleges and universities have the right to a rewarding education full of discoveries and challenges. This is the blessing of equal protection in public education. The Court must uphold it. Your comments this week show that you prefer to think of your fellow Americans, and especially African Americans, as points on a graph. But that approach reflects the exact type of one-size-fits-all thinking that you claim to oppose in affirmative action policy. Even worse, because you make no room in your comments for the health of the campus communities that admissions policies are designed to serve. Diversity benefits the whole campus. Every day, I’m thankful for the students I’m privileged to teach. They come from rural and urban areas, they practice Christian and non-Christian religions, they’re young parents and returning veterans and hopeful poets. We need them all.       

Allow me to describe something for you: in the mountains of Fumin County, in the southern Chinese province of Yunnan, there’s a slender village road that twists through a landscape of clouds and red earth. At the center of town is a Christian church where young people, dressed in colorful robes, gather to sing the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah in crystalline harmony. They do this each evening, after completing their farm work. The choir is famous. The singers know hundreds of songs and can sing in multiple languages. If you go there, as I did several years ago, they will sing for you. Afterwards, they’ll invite you to ask as many questions as you wish about their culture (the Miao people) and it’s only polite to return their invitation. What would you like to know about my country? You’ll ask. But the singers of Xiaoshuijing will have just one question: Tell us about your choirs.

Justice Scalia, I wish to imagine America as a great chorus of unfolding voices, a massive instrument. When I think of the Xiaoshuijing singers, of the mystery that moved through their question so beautifully asked, I’m nearly undone. But I’m a professor of poetry; I live for beautiful questions. As a Supreme Court Justice, you move in the realm of answers, interpretations, solutions. Sometimes I wonder whose voice you hear. What’s it like to hear the law speaking with a singular voice, immutable from the moment of ratification? Over the years, you’ve sparred with Justice Breyer and others about how the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education decision was reached. It seems that this vital ruling doesn’t square as neatly as you’d like with your originalist approach to constitutional interpretation. You’ve had to return to the issue in public comments, and you’ve consistently voted to weaken laws and policies, like affirmative action and the Voting Rights Act, designed to remedy the damage caused by our nation’s ongoing romance with structural racism.   

Where should black students study? What schools are best for them? These questions already have been settled as a matter of constitutional law and they are not before you in the current case. The problem we must resolve as a society is not where to send students of color, but how to acknowledge the humanity of every American and how to ensure an educated populace for future generations. When I left my hometown for college, I was a black student. So? What else? I was a woman, an Italian American, a singer, a writer, an intellectual. I made good decisions to attend UVA, Chicago, and Iowa, and those institutions made good decisions by accepting me. Just like any other student, it was my responsibility to seek success for myself, to find mentors, to compete in the academic environments where I found myself, and to try to leave the place a little better than I found it. Who were you when you left for college, Your Honor? I’m sure the answer would not fit comfortably into a single sentence, a solitary line of prose. Remember there are 350 million Americans who are just as complex as you are. Imagine the sound we could make with all of our voices. 

Kiki Petrosino is the author of two books of poetry: Hymn for the Black Terrific (2013) and Fort Red Border (2009), both from Sarabande Books. She holds graduate degrees from the University of Chicago and the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, The New York Times, FENCE, Gulf Coast, Jubilat, Tin House and elsewhere. She is founder and co-editor of Transom, an independent on-line poetry journal. She is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Louisville, where she directs the Creative Writing Program. Her website is http://wwww.kikipetrosino.com.
 
2 Comments

Posted by on December 13, 2015 in The New Jim Crow

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Scumbag Scalia At It…Again

It is a national disgrace that this piece of corrupt garbage holds a seat on the highest court in the land…

Antonin Scalia: 14th Amendment Protects Everyone, Not ‘Only The Blacks’

During oral arguments on an affirmative action case on Tuesday, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said the 14th Amendment protects everyone, not “only the blacks.”

The high court debated Tuesday whether voters can ban affirmative action programs through a referendum. The case is centered around a 2006 Michigan vote that approved a ballot initiative amending the state’s constitution to ban affirmative action programs in higher education.

Scalia has brought race into previous arguments. In February 2013, Scalia suggestedthat the continuation of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act represented the “perpetuation of racial entitlement,” saying that lawmakers had only voted to renew the act in 2006 because there wasn’t anything to be gained politically from voting against it.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 15, 2013 in The Post-Racial Life

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

“Activist Judges Caused the Holocaust” – Supreme Court Judge Antonin Scalia

After his outburst a few weeks ago, I am believing Scalia has a case of advanced Dementia – and probably shouldn’t be on the Court. That the Nazi takeover of Germany, and the Holocaust was caused by “activist Judges” is out there in Fruit-Cake land…

But that’s not the first time for Scalia…

Antonin Scalia: Holocaust Was Partially Brought About By Judicial Activism

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s warnings on judicial activism appear to have gained a new chapter at the Utah Bar Association’s 2013 summer convention.

The Aspen Times reported Sunday that Scalia drew upon the Holocaust as an example of how judicial activism can lead to problems. According to the Utah Bar Association’s website, Scalia was slated to be the keynote speaker for the 2013 Summer Convention event, which was held from July 17-20 in Snowmass, Colo.

Via The Aspen Times:

Scalia opened his talk with a reference to the Holocaust, which happened to occur in a society that was, at the time, “the most advanced country in the world.” One of the many mistakes that Germany made in the 1930s was that judges began to interpret the law in ways that reflected “the spirit of the age.” When judges accept this sort of moral authority, as Scalia claims they’re doing now in the U.S., they get themselves and society into trouble.

About a month ago, Scalia delivered a speech to the North Carolina Bar Association, stressing his concern about how moralist judges are growing more prevalent.

There was this outburst in April –

SCALIA NEVER GOING TO ANOTHER N.B.A. GAME

Justice Antonin Scalia disrupted the normally tranquil atmosphere of the Supreme Court today, bursting from his office to shout, “I’m never going to another damn N.B.A. game as long as I live!”

While it was unclear what, exactly, had provoked Justice Scalia’s outburst, one of his clerks said that “he saw something on ESPN that really upset him.”

After emerging from their offices to see the source of the commotion, the other Justices found a visibly agitated Justice Scalia, his face beet-red and his entire body shaking with rage.

“I’ve gone to basketball games my entire life,” he bellowed. “I always thought that was a ‘safe place.’ Well, I guess I was wrong. I guess I’ve been wrong about a lot of things, haven’t I? Haven’t I?”

As Justice Clarence Thomas wordlessly moved to comfort him, Justice Scalia rebuffed his fellow-juror.

“Get away from me, Clarence!” he screamed. “I can’t trust anyone anymore.”

His Outburst in the Court in May as the Court considered Gay Rights –

As Justice Anthony Kennedy questioned whether it was appropriate for the Court to hear a case about same-sex marriage at this time, Mr. Scalia stunned observers with an emotional outburst.

“O.K., could we just stop talking about this stuff right now?” Justice Scalia snapped at Justice Kennedy. “I’ve told you all how I feel about this topic, and I don’t understand why we’re going on and on about it unless you all hate me.”

As the courtroom froze in dead silence, Justice Scalia seemed to gather steam, shouting, “For two days, it’s been gay this, gay that. You’re all just talking about this stuff as if it’s the most normal thing in the world. Well, it’s not, O.K.? It’s weird and it’s wrong. And just talking about it like it’s O.K. and whatnot is making me angry beyond belief.”
As the other justices averted their eyes, Justice Scalia broke down, sobbing that he wished “things were normal, the way they used to be.”

And then there was the Voting as a “racial entitlement”.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on July 21, 2013 in Domestic terrorism, The New Jim Crow

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

DC Poster’s “Scalia is a Rapist” Mystery

Well…The political season in DC is off to a rather crazy start. Last week we had the moron taking shots at the White House with an AK…

This week it’s another moron taking verbal shots at Scalia, claiming he is a rapist – first picked up by Gawker.

Now, this blogger doesn’t belive Justice Antonin Scalia is a good guy – there is plenty of evidence of bribe taking from conservative causes. But a Herman Cain rapist?

Noooooo… Everybody knows Antonin is a choirboy…

Who Is Putting Up Posters in Washington Calling Antonin Scalia a Rapist?

A crazy person, certainly. A tipster sent us shots of these leaflets, which have been going up “all around D.C. streets in recent days.” In addition to misspelling his first name, the flyers accuse Scalia of date rape, soliciting prostitutes, and pistol-whipping women in hotel rooms. For more information, they recommend that you contact Scalia. He’ll probably just deny it.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 17, 2011 in Domestic terrorism

 

Tags: , , , , ,

“Cash and Carry” Supreme Court Sells America Down the Tubes

The most corrupt court in America, also happens to be it’s highest.  Whether performing judicial fellatio for the Koch Brothers, or a political hand job in the Citizens United case – the 5 conservative justices on the Supreme Court are sold to the highest bidder…

Starting with Tommie Clarence and of course, Antonin Scalia.

My biggest disillusionment with the Obama Administration and crop of Yellowback Democrats is, while they are willing to go after their own – such as Charlie Rangel and “Cash Jefferson”…

There has been an utter refusal to bring Republican miscreants to justice, whether it was the criminal underworld of the previous Bush Administration – or the current legislation for sale Republican Congress… Or the Supreme Court Justices who flaunt both the rules and the Law.

I often work in Third World countries. This sort of corruption is often an endemic problem. and one of the major roadblocks to progress. Conservatives make America as corrupt as one of those Tinpot Dictatorships – each and every day. Indeed, the United States is now 22nd on the World Corruption Index.

The Supreme Court closes the door to justice

Has the Supreme Court lost faith in the American court system? That is a strange question to ask about the justices who sit at the top of the country’s judicial hierarchy. But in case after case in the just-completed term, the court, usually in 5-4 decisions with the conservatives in the majority, denied access to the courts.

Consider just a few of the examples:

• The court ruled that patients who suffer devastating injuries from generic prescription drugs cannot sue the manufacturers for failing to provide adequate warnings even when drug companies making the non-generic versions of the same drugs can be sued on the same basis.

• The court held that standard clauses in consumer contracts calling for arbitration preclude consumers from joining class-action suits even when the effect almost surely would be that no individual lawsuits would be filed because the amount involved was too small.

• The court decided that employees who claim to be victims of sex discrimination cannot sue in class actions when the employer has a policy that prohibits discrimination.

• The court concluded that a man who spent 18 years in prison for a murder that he did not commit could not sue the prosecutors who hid key evidence.

• The court said that taxpayers cannot bring an action in federal court arguing that a state impermissibly established religion by giving tax credits that go almost entirely to religious schools.

• The court held that prisoners convicted in state court cannot obtain a hearing in federal court even when they have new evidence that calls into question their convictions — because of matters such as ineffective defense counsel or failure of prosecutors to turn over evidence — notwithstanding a federal statute that expressly authorizes such hearings.

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

American Corruption and the Courts

Over there the corrupt wear military uniforms ...

... adorned with spiffy medals...

...Here they wear black robes

Those of you that know me have heard me talking abut working on the Haitian Reconstruction for a year now.  Now I’m not a politician, not a mover and shaker as far as changing the government or solving any of the myriad of political problems, nor do I claim to have a hall pass to see the High and Mighty as they come in, and go out of Haiti on any of their state missions.

But I have met some great people, and gotten to see, if not from the inside, at least close up what it takes to rebuild a failed state. And it isn’t as easy as just taking one guy out and replacing him.

One of the first steps in changing a country is an honest judiciary. If the Judiciary is corrupt – there isn’t ever likely going to be any solution to a country’s woes short of a “stand them up against the wall and shoot them and let God sort it out”  revolution.

Watching, second handed, some decent folks in perhaps the most corrupt country in the Western Hemisphere struggle to end corruption and return the rule of law has made me take a hard look at what is, and has been going on in our own Judiciary.

Let’s take as an example an unnamed 3rd world dictatorship. In privatizing the former government owned telephone company the Government decides to take bids. Giant company #1, for whom the Dictator’s son works, wins the “hotly contested” bid to provide cell phone service. Within a month, the “Parliament” passes a law that international donors can make anonymous contributions to any charity they wish in the country, and the government has no right to ask where the money came from. 3 months later, the Dictator’s wife’s Charity, “Beautifying the Palace” receives an anonymous donation of $550,000 from “a major international donor”…

I think most folks would conclude, correctly – that the bribe was paid.

Unfortunately that isn’t an unnamed 3rd World Country – that is right here in the USA. With Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife being the beneficiary of the mysterious largesse of two anonymous donors for her work on conservative causes.

Quite frankly, our Judiciary is as corrupt as any 3rd World nation.  What started as a reasonable cause by conservatives to select conservative judges (which used to be called strict constructional) has turned into a circus of selecting judges for purely adherence to ideological whim – even if that means ignoring the Constitution.

Worse, the rot extends all the way up to the Supreme Court, with two of the justices, Scalia and Thomas serving as nothing but high paid whores to wealthy corporate and conservative interests. And thy are just the tip top of the iceberg.

President Obama said that one of his objectives was to root out corruption in this country. My question is – “How are you going to do that when the folks in charge of judging the guilty are as corrupt as the people you are prosecuting?”

The Battle For The Judiciary

What These Criminals Should Be Wearing at "Club Fed".

Yesterday, White House Counsel Bob Bauer said during an American Constitution Society panel that judicial nominees are caught in a “cold war” of obstructionism. If there is a war over the judiciary, the Constitution and other laws designed to protect ordinary Americans have too often been the casualties. Ever since President Bush turned corporate America’s top Supreme Court litigator into the Chief Justice, the Court has transformed into a wasteland where only the rich and the powerful can receive a fair hearing. In recent years, the Supreme Court stripped thousands of women and older workers of their right to be free from workplace discrimination. It has slammed the courthouse doors on millions of consumers and workers, and has given corporations a free pass to buy elections. Yet, for all his disregard of the law, Chief Justice John Roberts pales in comparison to the many radicals on the lower courts.

VINSONS EVERYWHERE: On Monday, Tea Party Judge Roger Vinson handed down a massively overreaching health care decision which wrote out an entire provision of the Constitutionbutchered constitutional history, heavily relied on a brief filed by an anti-gay hate group, and somehow determined that the Boston Tea Party renders the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. While Vinson’s tea partying opinion clearly places him at odds with the Constitution, he is not an extreme outlier. Last year, a Republican judge in DC declared all federal stem cell funding illegal — a position which even George W. Bush rejected. When a volcano of oil erupted in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, conservative judges were much more concerned with protecting the oil industry from regulation than they were with preventing another disaster from occurring. Three sitting U.S. Court of Appeals judges currently serve on the board of an infamous “junkets for judges” organization that treats federal judges to free trips to western resorts if they also attend seminars on how to decide cases in ways that corporations want. DC Circuit Judge Janice Rogers Brown once compared liberalism to “slavery” and Social Security to a “socialist revolution.” Fifth Circuit Judge Priscilla Owen took thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Enron and then wrote a key opinion reducing Enron’s taxes by $15 million when she sat on the Texas Supreme Court. In other words, Judge Vinson does not need to look far to find colleagues who share his twisted vision of the law, and these black-robed tea partiers are all working hard to write their agenda into the law.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Justice For Sale – Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia and Bribes…

One of the “abilities to rule by the law” of the conservative justices appointed by the Bushes is the wealth their family members suddenly came into when they were appointed to he bench. Need a vote in a critical case? Drop $500k in Virginia Thomas’ PAC. Hire a judges kids for a high paying job…

By all rights, Scalia and Thomas (and Roberts) should be removed from the bench and join the ranks of Orange Jumpsuited criminal politicians.

Clarence Thomas failed to report wife’s income, watchdog says

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas failed to report his wife’s income from a conservative think tank on financial disclosure forms for at least five years, the watchdog group Common Cause said Friday.

Between 2003 and 2007, Virginia Thomas, a longtime conservative activist, earned $686,589 from the Heritage Foundation, according to a Common Cause review of the foundation’s IRS records. Thomas failed to note the income in his Supreme Court financial disclosure forms for those years, instead checking a box labeled “none” where “spousal noninvestment income” would be disclosed.

A Supreme Court spokesperson could not be reached for comment late Friday. But Virginia Thomas’ employment by the Heritage Foundation was well known at the time.

Virginia Thomas also has been active in the group Liberty Central, an organization she founded to restore the “founding principles” of limited government and individual liberty.

In his 2009 disclosure, Justice Thomas also reported spousal income as “none.” Common Cause contends that Liberty Central paid Virginia Thomas an unknown salary that year.

Federal judges are bound by law to disclose the source of spousal income, according to Stephen Gillers, a professor at NYU School of Law. Thomas’ omission — which could be interpreted as a violation of that law — could lead to some form of penalty, Gillers said.

Then there is the relationship between Scalia and Thomas and Koch Industries. Koch Industries is the principal funder of the Tea Party, as well as the Federalist Society and a number of other right wing organizations… including millions to the Heritage Foundation which Virginia Thomas “worked” for..

Charles Koch’s invitation to their 2011 secretive retreat, to be held in Palm Springs, Ca., on January 30-31, states that the “action-oriented program brings together top experts and leaders to discuss – and offer solutions to counter – the most critical threats to our free society.” It added that past “meetings have featured such notable leaders as Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas,” along with a host conservative leaders and elected officials, like Glenn Beck, Haley Barbour and Jim DeMint.

Campaign finance ruling: Should Supreme Court justices have recused themselves?

Common Cause President Bob Edgar said the group has asked Attorney General Eric Holder to examine whether Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas should have stepped aside rather than vote in the Citizens United case.

The case, handed down a year ago on Friday (Jan. 21), struck down a portion of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law that had barred corporate expenditures for political advertisements during campaign season.

Mr. Edgar said the justices were featured speakers at invitation-only retreats sponsored by Koch Industries, a private company whose officials have played an active role supporting Republican candidates and conservative causes.

He also said Justice Thomas may have had an undisclosed financial conflict of interest through his wife’s work as founder and CEO of a conservative advocacy group, Liberty Central. Edgar said the group stood to benefit from the Citizens United decision through easier fundraising and easier political spending. [Ms. Thomas has since stepped down as CEO of the group.]

Let’s not forget two anonymous doners’ largesse when Virginia Thomas formed her PAC “Liberty Central” – suddenly coming into $500,000 from a single un-named donor  before the Citizen’s United case

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 224 other followers