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Mon Mar 4, 2013, 12:05 PM

Dear Justice Scalia - It's me, Melissa

Good one, Melissa - wish more people watched your show! At any rate, thousands will cheer you for this letter.

Dear Justice Scalia,

It’s me, Melissa.

By now, we know you well enough that there’s not much you can say or do that would come as a surprise. We can set our watches by your decisions that, predictably, will be in alignment with the Court’s most radically conservative reasoning. We know that unlike your friend Justice Clarence Thomas, who has a permanent mute button on, you will always voice an opinion, and it will be heavily influenced by your political agenda..

But even given all of that, what you had to say during Wednesday’s oral arguments still came as a genuine shock.

Commenting on Congress’s nearly unanimous re-authorization of the Voting Rights Act in 2006, you said, “I don’t think that’s attributable to the fact that it is so much clearer now that we need this. I think it is attributable, very likely attributable, to a phenomenon that is called perpetuation of racial entitlement.”

You went on to say, “I am fairly confident it will be re-enacted in perpetuity…unless a court can say it does not comport with the Constitution…It’s a concern that this is not the kind of a question you can leave to Congress.”

Racial entitlement? Not a question you can leave to Congress? Even for you, Justice Scalia, this is a particularly willful misreading of the Constitution you claim to adore.

In fact, let’s take a look at that august document. Right here, in Section 5 of the 14th Amendment and again in Section 2 of the 15th Amendment is the same entitlement…a congressional entitlement.

“The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.” You see Congress does in fact have the authority to enforce both equal protection and the franchise for American citizens. Especially when those citizens live in the former Confederate states.

In fact, the 14th Amendment spends much of sections two, three and four spelling out precisely how those states who were involved in “insurrection or rebellion” will be treated differently.

Because these were states whose economies and culture rested on the inter-generational, chattel bondage of human beings. And they were so determined to keep holding human beings in slavery that they got together in armed rebellion against the country.

Some of those same states–more than 150 years later–are still trying to pass laws that would deny the vote to the very people the Voting Rights Act, and Section 5 in particular, were meant to protect.

So excuse me, Antonin, if I am a little dismayed that you now describe the rights of citizenship as a “racial entitlement.”

Contrary to what you are suggesting, the Voting Rights Act was no gift given by the government to black people. Its primary purpose was to enforce a right that was already enshrined in the Constitution but had been repeatedly flouted by Southern governments.

Here is what you miss, Justice Scalia. A great thing occurred in the 1860s when Congress had to grapple with how to include the formerly enslaved within the circle of citizenship. That effort led Congress to articulate due process, equal protection, and a federally protected right to vote. Those pillars of citizenship apply to all. It is the opposite of a special entitlement.

But the constitutional amendments were not enough. It took an act of Congress, almost 100 years later, to make these promises a reality for all.

So, Justice Scalia, when you spew that entitlement discourse from the bench you undermine the very core of our democracy. But you know what? I want to thank you for what you said. Because on Wednesday, you showed us all exactly who you are.

And in the words of the late, great poet Notorious B.I.G.: “if we didn’t know, now we know.”



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Response to Iwillnevergiveup (Original post)

Mon Mar 4, 2013, 01:34 PM

1. It takes a college professor to get the point across....

I think that for every piece of legislature we need a group of professors to get together and hash out the pros and cons of the issue and then present a class to congress to filll them in on the main points of the issue.

We hire these asshats and they spew off for hours and get each other so confused that they
forget what the main issue is.

Then we can have a moderator (another professor or two or three) to oversee the congressional arguments and the moderators can point out the illogic and incorrect assumptions that are being
introduced to try and confuse the argument.

This will take more time but, at least, the process will move forward and the moronic illogic will be called
to attention and dealt with in stead of being allowed to fester in some idiot's brain as "the truth" and
the facts will be clearer to all.

We need to stop idiots from saying stupid things without anyone calling them on it!
It just confuses everyone and nothing ever gets accomplished.

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Response to Iwillnevergiveup (Original post)

Mon Mar 4, 2013, 02:06 PM

2. The really sad thing is that bills such as the Voting Rights Act and Violence Against Women Acts And


Equal Rights Amendment are even needed.
What does skin color or gender or sexual preference have to do with a person's Rights under the law? A proper reading of the Preamble and of the Constitution itself, would show these Rights apply to everyone. Are we not all people first?

Rights exist because we do, not because government grants them to us.

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Response to Iwillnevergiveup (Original post)

Mon Mar 4, 2013, 02:09 PM

3. Scalia does not care what Melissa or anyone else might think of him. In his mind he is "All Powerful

He can not be held accountable for anything.. He has more Power than any other living being. In his own mind that is, and yet it is also pretty much a fact. He can not be impeached because he is a Republican and Republicans would NEVER do such a thing and he can NOT be voted out, so he is there to stay until his death...He could conceivably be there for another twenty to thirty years.....We could have three or more Presidents in that amount of time...Scalia sits on that bench and basically thumbs his nose at EVERYONE...What ya gunna do?

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Response to Bandit (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 5, 2013, 09:03 AM

7. And obviously, Melissa doen't care much what he thinks. He holds a position of power..not honor. n


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Response to Iwillnevergiveup (Original post)

Mon Mar 4, 2013, 02:17 PM

4. Well put, Melissa! n/t

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Response to Iwillnevergiveup (Original post)

Tue Mar 5, 2013, 08:44 AM

5. Related petition here could use some signatures


I think it's important that those opposed to this kind of judicial activism, and specifically to that proposed by Scalia, to at least take a virtual stand against it.

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Response to Iwillnevergiveup (Original post)

Tue Mar 5, 2013, 08:57 AM

6. The Voting Rights Act serves all people

The disenfranchisement of African Americans and other minorities is just the past and current example. Who is to say it won't be your group next?

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