Supreme Court Justices Are As Biased As The Rest Of Us, Says Science, And Justice Antonin Scalia Is No Exception
In today's bad news for believers in a fair justice system, it turns out the Supreme Court is just as biased as the rest of us. A University of Southern California study indicates that in free speech cases, more often than not, justices decide things based on their own personal background. That could (read: definitely does) explain why Justice Antonin Scalia, who predictably sided with the majority on a 5-4 opinion issued Monday allowing mostly-Christian prayers to continue at small-town government meetings, tends to rule in favor of a broader interpretation of freedom of speech when it's related to conservative causes, and against such an interpretation when applied to liberals.
The study, compiled for The New York Times, suggests that when it comes to free speech, unfortunately for our democracy, everybody's pretty biased.
Especially Scalia. The study found that the guy ruled for conservative free speech most of the time. Like, 65 percent of the time. Not so for liberal speech, where he ended up supporting free speech a paltry 21 percent of the time, according to the Times. Those are pretty good odds if you're a town official in Greece, New York, and pretty bad news if you're, you know, not conservative or Christian. Free speech! For the ruling class! And miniature American flags for others.
In case you don't know much about Scalia, a hyper-conservative justice, here is a brief history.
On New York Pizza
"I think it is infinitely better than Washington pizza, and infinitely better than Chicago pizza. You know these deep-dish pizzas — it's not pizza. It's very good, but ... call it tomato pie or something. ... I'm a traditionalist, what can I tell you?"
On Equality Between the Sexes Under the Law
"...There are some intelligent reasons to treat women differently. I don’t think anybody would deny that."
On The Washington Post, Which He Doesn't Read
"...It just … went too far for me. I couldn’t handle it anymore."
On Lame Courses at Law School, Like 'Law and Women'
"Take the bread and butter courses. Do not take 'law and women,' do not take 'law and poverty,' do not take 'law and anything.'"
"I am sure that the Framers of the Constitution, aware of the 1457 edict of King James II of Scotland prohibiting golf because it interfered with the practice of archery, fully expected that sooner or later the paths of golf and government, the law and the links, would once again cross, and that the judges of this august Court would some day have to wrestle with that age-old jurisprudential question, for which their years of study in the law have so well prepared them: Is someone riding around a golf course from shot to shot really a golfer?"
On the Internet
"Sure, I use the Internet."
On Bias (No, He Wasn't Talking About Monday's Opinion)
"Seldom has an opinion of this Court rested so obviously upon nothing but the personal views of its members."