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Scalia's recusal sought in Guantánamo case

Old 03-28-06, 08:36 AM
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Scalia's recusal sought in Guantánamo case

Is Scalia going nuts? He does a lot of inappropriate things. Duck hunting with the Veep when considering his case. Talking out his ass at a rally on the Pledge. And now talking out of his ass again stating his views on the Geneva Convention etc before the case is even considered! The dude is nuts.

Scalia's recusal sought in Guantánamo case
By Charles Lane
The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — On the eve of oral arguments in a key Supreme Court case on the rights of alleged terrorists, a group of retired U.S. generals and admirals has asked Justice Antonin Scalia to recuse himself, arguing that his recent public comments on the subject make it impossible for him to appear impartial.

In a letter delivered to the court late Monday, a lawyer for the retired officers cited news reports of Scalia's remarks on March 8 to an audience at the University of Freiburg in Switzerland. Scalia reportedly said it was "crazy" to suggest that combatants captured fighting the United States should receive a "full jury trial," and dismissed suggestions that the Geneva Conventions might apply to detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Scalia's remarks "give rise to the unfortunate appearance that, even before briefing was complete, he had already made up his mind" about issues in the case, lawyer David Remes wrote. Noting that Scalia reportedly had discussed the rights of accused terrorists in the context of his son Matthew's recent tour as an Army officer in Iraq, Remes wrote that this creates an appearance of "personal bias arising from his son's military service."

The case to be heard today — Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, No. 05-184 — is one of the most important terrorism-related cases to reach the court. It is a challenge by Osama bin Laden's former chauffeur, now being held at Guantánamo Bay, to the legality of the military commission that seeks to try him for war crimes.

Military trials for terrorist suspects are a centerpiece of the Bush administration's anti-terrorism policy, but they have been criticized by human-rights activists, especially in Europe.

The retired officers are Brig. Gen. David Brahms, Brig Gen. James Cullen, Vice Adm. Lee Gunn, Rear Adm. John Hutson and Rear Adm. Donald Guter. They have filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case opposing the military commissions, on the grounds that denying Geneva Conventions protections to detainees at Guantánamo Bay could result in their denial to U.S. troops by their captors abroad.

In his letter to the court, Remes said Scalia's reported reference to the Geneva Conventions was of particular concern to the retired officers as it is directly at issue in the case. Their brief supports the view of the petitioner, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, that the conventions apply to him and could entitle him to a court-martial trial like that which U.S. soldiers receive.

Other calls for Scalia's recusal came Monday from the Center for Constitutional Rights, a civil-rights organization, and from Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee.

Court rules say that justices must recuse themselves in cases where their impartiality "might reasonably be questioned." But it is up to each justice to make that decision. Court analysts said Monday it is unlikely Scalia will recuse himself from the case.

This is the third time in recent years that Scalia has faced pressure to recuse himself. In 2004, he recused himself from a case on the constitutionality of the phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, after speaking out on the case at a rally in Virginia.

Last year, he faced calls for his recusal in a case involving Vice President Dick Cheney after it became public that they had gone duck hunting together. In that case, Scalia refused to step aside.
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Old 03-28-06, 08:39 AM
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Obscene gestures in a CHURCH no less.

'Herald' Says Justice Scalia Makes 'Obscene Gesture'

By E&P Staff

Published: March 27, 2006 2:40 PM ET updated 10:00 PM
NEW YORK Emerging from mass in Boston on Sunday, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made an "obscene gesture" in responding to a question from a reporter, according to Monday's Boston Herald.

A Herald reporter outside the Cathedral of the Holy Cross had asked Scalia, 70, if he faces much questioning over impartiality when it comes to issues separating church and state. "You know what I say to those people?" Scalia replied, making the "obscene gesture, flicking his hand under his chin," the Herald reported. He explained, "That's Sicilian."

A photographer with The Pilot, the Archdiocese of Boston's newspaper, caught the moment. "Don't publish that," Scalia told the photographer, the Herald said.

The Herald today called it "conduct unbecoming a 20-year veteran of the country’s highest court - and just feet from the Mother Church’s altar."

Later Monday, however, the Associated Press reported that Scalia had merely used an Italian hand gesture. "It was a hand off the chin gesture that was meant to be dismissive," Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said.

According to AP: "The sign he used in Boston is frequently used by Italians to express displeasure with someone - from mild to deep irritation. It is done by cupping the hand under the chin and flicking the fingers like a backward wave."

The controversy came on the same day that Newsweek reported on a tape recording of a March 8 lecture by Justice Scalia in which he ridiculed legal claims by detainees of Guantanamo Bay as "crazy." The Supreme Court is now hearing a challenge to the legality of special military tribunals for suspects held at the U.S. prison camp in Cuba.

"War is war, and it has never been the case that when you captured a combatant you have to give them a jury trial in your civil courts," Judge Scalia said, during the talk at the University of Freiburg in Switzerland, according to Newsweek. "Foreigners, in foreign countries, have no rights under the American Constitution... Nobody has ever thought otherwise."
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Old 03-28-06, 08:42 AM
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Go Scalia!
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Old 03-28-06, 08:42 AM
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Well, he's got political capital, and he intends to spend it.
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Old 03-28-06, 08:49 AM
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I don't believe they're entitled to a full jury trial either.
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Old 03-28-06, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
I don't believe they're entitled to a full jury trial either.
I don't necessarily agree with that either. I take exception with Scalia voicing this before the court hears arguments and more importantly that Scalia "dismissed suggestions that the Geneva Conventions might apply to detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba."

Also, if you read what he said, he keeps bringing up his son. Objective and impartial aren't the words I'd use to describe Scalia at this point.
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Old 03-28-06, 09:12 AM
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I don't think many of the judges are. It's the nature of the political beast the court has become.

There's a difference between being objective and being silent. I wouldn't consider RBG as objective on most issues either. Just because she keeps her mouth shut doesn't make it so.
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Old 03-28-06, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by mosquitobite
I don't think many of the judges are. It's the nature of the political beast the court has become.

There's a difference between being objective and being silent. I wouldn't consider RBG as objective on most issues either. Just because she keeps her mouth shut doesn't make it so.
You make the point. How often have you heard any justice talking out of their ass as much as Antonin Scalia?
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Old 03-28-06, 09:17 AM
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Justice Breyer has been speaking out quite a bit also.

He and Scalia had a 'road show' for awhile.
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Old 03-28-06, 11:06 AM
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Holy cow, this guy is freaking nuts. He flicked his hand under his chin in church....IN CHURCH!!!!!

We haven't heard the last of this.
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Old 03-28-06, 11:28 AM
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As I recall, Justice Scalia's boss (first among equals ) recently had some things to say about commenting on cases that might come before him. In fact, I do believe those comments were broadcast on national television.
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Old 03-28-06, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by JasonF
As I recall, Justice Scalia's boss (first among equals ) recently had some things to say about commenting on cases that might come before him. In fact, I do believe those comments were broadcast on national television.
You just can't comment BEFORE you get onto the Court (don't want anyone knowing how you actually think). Once you're there, who cares, it's a lifetime appointment.
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Old 03-28-06, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by VinVega
You just can't comment BEFORE you get onto the Court (don't want anyone knowing how you actually think). Once you're there, who cares, it's a lifetime appointment.
Exactly!

What are they gonna do? Impeach him? Who does that? Congress? A Republican controlled Congress?
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Old 03-28-06, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by mosquitobite
Exactly!

What are they gonna do? Impeach him? Who does that? Congress? A Republican controlled Congress?
I'm tired of you Republicans and your "In Your Face" kind of control of power. I'm taking my ball and going home.
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Old 03-28-06, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by mosquitobite
Exactly!

What are they gonna do? Impeach him? Who does that? Congress? A Republican controlled Congress?
Morality isn't doing the right thing to avoid the bad consequences for doing the wrong thing. Morality is doing the right thing even when there are no bad consequences for doing the wrong thing.

In other words, it's just another case of the Golden Rule -- he who has the gold rules, and he whose party controls the political levers in Washington can give a big old "fuck you" to America.
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Old 03-28-06, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by VinVega
I'm tired of you Republicans and your "In Your Face" kind of control of power. I'm taking my ball and going home.
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Old 03-28-06, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by JasonF
...and he whose party controls the political levers in Washington can give a big old "fuck you" to America.
Even in a CHURCH!!!
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Old 03-28-06, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by mosquitobite


Ok, I'm back. I couldn't stay away that long.
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Old 03-28-06, 02:47 PM
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Old 03-28-06, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by mosquitobite
Go Scalia!
No.
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Old 03-28-06, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by mosquitobite
Exactly!

What are they gonna do? Impeach him? Who does that? Congress? A Republican controlled Congress?
Just wait a few years, honey toots.
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Old 03-28-06, 07:59 PM
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If you think a SC justice is going to be removed through the impeachment process - well, I've got a bridge for sale I want to talk to you about.


I actually had some respect for Scalia previous to his more scandalous interactions with the current administration. This respect has mostly withered now, and I suspect he has become a mouthpiece for the current administration. His misstep was to advertise this
Are you serious? If you are I suggest you lay off what you've been drinking or smoking.
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Old 03-28-06, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by darkessenz
I actually had some respect for Scalia previous to his more scandalous interactions with the current administration. This respect has mostly withered now, and I suspect he has become a mouthpiece for the current administration. His misstep was to advertise this

If one is going to lose respect for Scalia, do it because of his judicial rulings (as he has abandoned his core philosophy), not because of his actions outside the Court. Quack quack!!!
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Old 03-28-06, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Red Dog
If one is going to lose respect for Scalia, do it because of his judicial rulings (as he has abandoned his core philosophy), not because of his actions outside the Court. Quack quack!!!
Sure. But you can't go around blathering some conservative rhetoric about issues that are coming before the court. Scalia's mind is made up on this issue - and it appears as if it has something to do with his son. Yeah, your son was/is in Iraq. So are a 100,000 others. That has little bearing on whether the captives are protected under the Geneva convention.
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Old 03-29-06, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by CRM114
Sure. But you can't go around blathering some conservative rhetoric about issues that are coming before the court.
Of course you can - and other justices have done so.

What chaps you is that their rhetoric wasn't conservative rhetoric.
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