St. Antonin the Rude

Another Supreme Court term, another reason to wonder why Justice Antonin Scalia says the things he does. The legal world this morning is all agog over a careless and insensitive remark Justice Scalia made yesterday during the first day of oral argument for the Court's new term. In a case about deporation (to Mexico) following a drug conviction, the eternally angry Justice said this to an attorney arguing before the Court: "No one thinks your client is abstaining from tequila for fear of being deported," he said. Supervision "is impossible once he leaves the country," he added. "This is an ingenious exercise of the conceivable."

According to Tony Mauro, a dean of Supreme Court reporters, "the comment raised eyebrows in the audience and offended some who were told about the remark afterward on the grounds that it perpetuates stereotypes about Mexicans. Lawyers directly involved in the case could not be reached or declined to comment publicly." After following Justice Scalia for lo these many years, and after reading countless opinions and dissents written by him, my guess is that he figured he was being funny, and clever, in making a remark about tequila when talking about a Mexican national. Of course it is not funny but that hasn't stopped Justice Scalia before. He thinks he is being provocative, or blunt, when in fact he's just being rude. In most cases it would be no big deal. But when it comes from a Supreme Court Justice, wearing his robe on the bench during an oral argument, it is a fairly big deal. He shouldn't have said it. And, having said it, he should now apologize.

By Andrew Cohen |  October 4, 2006; 11:30 AM ET
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Comments

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Scalia? Apologize? A HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! (Whew) *Removes glasses, wipes eyes*

That's good, Andrew.

Posted by: CT | October 4, 2006 01:01 PM

Another silly liberal statement from a silly liberal newspaper. The two words go quite well together since they are identical.
Does anyone, with even a little sense, ever understand a liberal. In my nearly eighty years they and their philosophy has never been something worth considering.

Posted by: vince garghotta | October 5, 2006 12:32 PM

Does anybody know what vince garghotta is talking about?

Posted by: Oh, to have a Blog | October 5, 2006 07:28 PM

I commented on Scalia's hunting trip with Cheney in verse with the title: "Je Ne Recuse" that may still be available by barney googl-ing. I shall be working on a new verse for the obvious reason: "Scalia" rhymes with "tequila." I'll get in the poetical mood by doning a robe, with pen in one hand and a glass of (what else!) tequila in the other. I imagine that other lawyerly poets will take a shot at this. Carrumba! Let the verse getting worse begin! Bottoms up. (No page jokes please.)

Posted by: Shag from Brookline | October 6, 2006 06:44 AM

Here is my offering:

JUSTICE SCALIA DEPORT-MENT
(Sung to the Chicquita Banana jingle)

I'm Scalia the Justice
And I'm here to say
Your Mexican defendant
Would find a way
To drink his Tequila
On deportation stay
So there's no reason
For deportation delay.

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Posted by: ultram | October 10, 2006 02:42 PM

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