LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Ideology clouding judgment of Justice Scalia

I just cannot let the far-left diatribe of Mr. Daniel Pritchett go without comment: “Some Different Reflections on Antonin Scalia,” March 12, 2016.

As usual, Mr. Pritchett is long on emotional rhetoric and extremely short on facts. First of all, the Constitution says nothing about the Senate acting “forthwith” on a presidential appointment to the Supreme Court, or any court, for that matter. The Constitution simply states that the president “shall have the power to nominate, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate … Judges of the Supreme Court.” There is no mention of a time period.

Mr. Pritchett goes on to state that “original intent is inherently hard to discern more than 225 years after the Constitution was written.” Not true. All one has to do is read the newspapers, books and many other contemporaneously written material to discern the intent of the framers. This is especially true when it comes to the true meaning of the Second Amendment. The Heller case did not ignore precedents on the meaning of the Second Amendment. It seems that Mr. Pritchett has chosen to again conveniently ignore the facts.

I have pointed out, in previous letters in response to Mr. Pritchett’s leftist rantings, that the Heller case was based on sound reasoning and looked at the intent of the framers. There are no precedents that dealt with the true intent of the Second Amendment. In fact, there were two previous cases that held that the Second Amendment referred to an individual right. Bliss v. Commonwealth in 1822 and Dred Scott v. Sandford in 1856. Heller was the first instance where the Supreme Court found it necessary to definitively rule that the 2nd Amendment defined an individual right, in order to reconcile the various disparate decisions around the country.

Mr. Pritchett also states that Justice Scalia’s opinion in Citizens United equates political spending with free speech. Justice Scalia did not say that. He simply said that the First Amendment is written in terms of speech, not speakers.

In regards to the Hobby Lobby case, Mr. Pritchett conveniently forgets to mention that Justice Scalia did not write the opinion of the court, nor did he submit a concurring opinion. Simply stated, corporations are treated as individuals under many aspects of the law and therefore have the right to claim a religious exemption from a law of general applicability, namely ObamaCare.

As for the court’s role in Bush v. Gore, Mr. Pritchett also conveniently forgot to mention that seven of the nine justices ruled that due to the use of different standards of counting in different counties, there was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause [of the Fourteenth Amendment]. The vote was 5-4 that no alternative method could be established within the time frame set by 3 U.S.C. Section 5.

It is simply amusing to read the rantings and the unsubstantiated accusations that Mr. Pritchett levels at one of the most learned Supreme Court justices we have seen this century. It almost seems that Mr. Pritchett believes there was a right-wing conspiracy between Justice Scalia and other conservatives.

To accuse Justice Scalia of almost single-handedly thwarting the Obama administration’s misguided efforts at saving the planet is laughable. While it may have been the first time the Court has stayed the implementation of a regulation before it was implemented, the primary reason was the huge potential costs involved by the states to even begin complying with a rule that may ultimately be struck down.

I, for one, applaud the Court for potentially saving taxpayers billions of dollars and thousands of jobs. On more than one occasion, the Obama administration has enacted regulations and executive orders that have cost taxpayers untold dollars.

I could easily go on and on pointing out that Mr. Pritchett does his usual leftist rantings without any factual basis, but that would superfluous.

Suffice it to say that Mr. Pritchett’s chronic liberalism is still spinning out of control.

Jeff Hague

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