October 16, 2014

Supreme Court Shenanigans: What is good for the liberal goose should be good for the conservative gander

Right Wing Watch ran a piece this week looking at statements from two different Supreme Court Justices. I am going to post them for you, according to RWW's quotes of them (loosely). You tell me which justice (or both!) the conservatives say should recuse them-self.

One situation, describing comments by Justice Ruth Ginsberg:

Ginsburg said cases pending before the circuit covering Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee would probably play a role in the high court's timing. She said "there will be some urgency" if that appeals court allows same-sex marriage bans to stand. Such a decision would run contrary to a legal trend favoring gay marriage and force the Supreme Court to step in sooner, she predicted. 
She said if the appeals panel falls in line with other rulings there is "no need for us to rush."

Ginsburg didn't get into the merits of any particular case or any state's gay marriage ban, but she marveled at the "remarkable" shift in public perception of same-sex marriage that she attributes to gay

 And the other:

“I think the main fight is to dissuade Americans from what the secularists are trying to persuade them to be true: that the separation of church and state means that the government cannot favor religion over nonreligion,” Justice Scalia said. 
“That’s a possible way to run a political system. The Europeans run it that way,” Justice Scalia said. “And if the American people want to do it, I suppose they can enact that by statute. But to say that’s what the Constitution requires is utterly absurd.” 
“We do him [God] honor in our pledge of allegiance, in all our public ceremonies,” Justice Scalia said. “There’s nothing wrong with that. It is in the best of American traditions, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. I think we have to fight that tendency of the secularists to impose it on all of us through the Constitution.” 
The biggest danger lies with judges who interpret the Constitution as a malleable document that changes with the times, he said. 
“Our [the court‘s] latest take on the subject, which is quite different from previous takes, is that the state must be neutral, not only between religions, but between religion and nonreligion,” Justice Scalia said. “That’s just a lie. Where do you get the notion that this is all unconstitutional? You can only believe that if you believe in a morphing Constitution.”

On the former, there are calls for Ginsberg to recuse herself because she has made a statement on pending litigation. On the other, there are no such calls, despite the fact that Justice Scalia made his opinion on how he would rule on such cases quite clear.

I too don't believe the Constitution is malleable. I do believe that it is set up in such a way, however, as to protect minority worldivews in our nation--and I think it should be.

It is frightening to see a justice so willing to rule from religion versus what is best for our secular state.

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