LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Scalia: A true patriot, not a ‘tarnished legacy’

I again feel compelled to respond to Mr. Grover Johnson’s opinion letter of March 29, 2016, “A tarnished legacy.” Although a bit late, I believe a response is still warranted.

First of all, I just love it when Mr. Johnson says that one should not speak harshly of the dead, and then, goes right ahead and does just that. Another fine example of the liberal doublespeak.

Secondly, his mischaracterization of Justice Scalia’s role in the Bush v. Gore decision is another example of how the liberals attempt to spin the truth. Justice Scalia did not “use his position” to elect a great president. Mr. Johnson 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. The vote was 5-4 that no alternative method could be established within the time frame set by 3 U.S.C. Section 5.

Mr. Johnson goes on to distort the facts, as usual, by alleging that the two leading Second Amendment cases decided by the Supreme Court were wrong. I have pointed out, in previous letters in response to Mr. Johnson’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 Second Amendment defined an individual right, in order to reconcile the various disparate decisions around the country. The McDonald case was the other case that affirmed that the Second Amendment applied to the states, as well, and that the 14th Amendment concerning due-process rights applied.

To argue that Justice Scalia should have recused himself from the case, because he was an avid hunter, is ludicrous. Following that reasoning, Justice Sotomayor should have been removed from the bench for lying at her confirmation hearings when she stated that Heller was a precedent of the Court and should stand, and then, dissented in the McDonald case.

Mr. Johnson 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. Corporations have long been considered “persons” under the law. For the most part, the 14th Amendment, adopted in 1868, was the beginning of the recognition that corporations had rights just like people. One has to look no further than Delaware corporate law to see that corporations can be held criminally liable for actions.

One last point: It is reprehensible for Mr. Johnson to even allude to the mental state of President Reagan when he appointed Justice Scalia to the Supreme Court. Dr. John E. Hutton, Reagan’s primary physician from 1984 to 1989, said the president “absolutely” did not “show any signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s.” His former Chief of Staff, James Baker, considered “ludicrous” the idea that Reagan slept during Cabinet meetings. Other staff members, former aides, and friends said they saw no indication of Alzheimer’s while he was president.

As usual, Mr. Johnson is long on emotional rhetoric and extremely short on facts. First of all, the Constitution says nothing about the Senate having to act 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 … .” As Joe Biden stated in 1992, the president should not submit a nomination until after the November elections were completed. You cannot have it both ways, Mr. Johnson.

Once again, Mr. Johnson is showing his social-progressive-liberal bias by not stating any facts in his opinion piece and relying on emotion. That is the liberal way: don’t let facts get in the way, and make sure you yell loudest and appeal to people’s emotions.

Jeff Hague
Ellendale

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