The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia will probably have a profound effect on the Court. Scalia was a towering figure on the Court who used his intellect, acid tongue, and public persona to virtually write the book on extreme right wing jurisprudence.
I would not wish death on any Justice but the Court and our country will be so much better without him on the bench. He was a brilliant racist and bigot with a legal mind trapped in the 18th century. History will probably record him as the most obstructive member against rational Court decisions in recent history, maybe all of American history.
Scalia was on record as being against many civil rights including voting rights, as well as women’s rights and a variety of other recognized social groups’ rights. He just recently suggested in a Texas affirmative action case that perhaps African-American students should not try to enter top universities but attend lessor schools where the pace of learning is slower. And he used the words, or lack of them, in the Constitution to entertain really bizarre views on how society should behave and the freedom of the federal government to establish and enforce moral codes.
Scalia billed himself as an “originalist” in Constitutional Law. Though he was not necessarily faithful even to that philosophy, he was an extremist of the first order. When it fit his objectives he claimed that the Constitution should only be interpreted in accordance with the words written in the times and conditions that existed when it was ratification. Though thankfully his views were partially offset by other more rational justices he still achieved a destructive effect on the unity and harmony of our democracy during his time on the Court. We will live with that for a generation and I am not sorry he is no longer a sitting Supreme Court Justice.