Yesterday, Justice Antonin Scalia led a 5 – 4 vote to lift a ban on handguns in D.C. — a decision welcomed by many Republicans but criticized by many law enforcement officials around the country. Today, the conservative, originalist judge is spouting nonsense again.
The UK’s Telegraph reports that Scalia blames Al Gore for the outcome of the 2000 presidential elections. Apparently, Gore should have conceded without resorting to the courts, without pushing it up to the Supreme Court. Just like the honorable Republican president Richard Nixon.
In an interview about his book “Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges”, Scalia told the Telegraph:
Richard Nixon, when he lost to [John F.] Kennedy thought that the election had been stolen in Chicago, which was very likely true with the system at the time…
But he did not even think about bringing a court challenge. That was his prerogative. So you know if you don’t like it, don’t blame it on me.
I didn’t bring it into the courts. Mr Gore brought it into the courts.
So if you don’t like the courts getting involved talk to Mr Gore.
Nominated by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, Scalia is one of the leading conservative justices on the Supreme Court. He insists that the controversial 5 – 4 decision to stop the Florida recount was “absolutely right”. Because of these 5 justices, Bush prevailed in Florida by just 537 votes.
I can’t help thinking where we might be today had just one justice changed his or her mind. I guess Scalia’s new book on how to speak and write persuasive arguments will come in handy next time.
(Here’s an interesting video interview with Scalia on CBS News back in April 2008.)