A prominent law professor at the University of Colorado is calling U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia a “blowhard” and an “author of hysterical diatribes” after Scalia disagreed with the majority in this week’s opinion on the Arizona immigration law dispute.
“Scalia, who 25 years ago had a certain gift for pointing out the blindness and hypocrisy of certain versions of limousine liberalism, has in his old age become an increasingly intolerant and intolerable blowhard: a pompous celebrant of his own virtue and rectitude, a purveyor of intemperate jeremiads against the degeneracy of the age, and now an author of hysterical diatribes against foreign invaders, who threaten all that is holy,” wrote Paul Campos in a rant on Salon.com.
Campos, whose blast of Scalia was reported by CampusReform.org, was upset that Scalia wanted to allow the state to help enforce federal restrictions on illegal aliens.
He wrote, “Here’s a passage from his dissent today from the Supreme Court’s decision forbidding the state of Arizona from deciding to ‘help’ the federal government to enforce federal immigration laws that the national government decided it would be better to under-enforce:”
He then quoted Scalia’s dissent, which said, among many other things: “Arizona bears the brunt of the country’s illegal immigration problem. Its citizens feel themselves under siege by large numbers of illegal immigrants who invade their property, strain their social services, and even place their lives in jeopardy. Federal officials have been unable to remedy the problem, and indeed have recently shown that they are unwilling to do so.”
That, wrote Campos, is part of Scalia’s “railing against the Obama administration’s immigration law policy.”
Campos said Scalia “obviously no longer cares that he sounds increasingly like a right-wing talk radio host rather than a justice of the Supreme Court, and that his dissents are starting to read more like hastily drafted blogs.”
On one of his own blogs, Campos allowed comments on the issue that included one that turned positively vicious.
On the Lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com, a commenter identified as “DrDick” wrote: “Our one hope now is that his increasing uncontrolled rage will trigger an aneurism (sic).”
Campos joined in the criticism, saying: “Scalia is becoming a caricature of his younger self. This is a serious problem, given that the Supreme Court continues to devolve into an institution dominated by cranky senior citizens, who are harder to get rid of than the longest serving members of the old Soviet politburo.”
Scalia is 76, while Anthony Kennedy is four months younger. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the “senior citizen” of the court, at nearly 80. Stephen Breyer also is 73. Clarence Thomas, John G. Roberts, Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan are in their 50s and 60s.
Campos’ essay suggested Scalia should quit.
CampusReform’s report also cited other harsh personal attacks on Scalia based on his dissent.
“Adam Winkler, a constitutional law professor at UCLA, suggested in an interview with Talking Points Memo that [Scalia] had gone crazy or ‘finally jumped the shark,'” the report said.
“He claims to respect the founding fathers, but his dissent channels the opponents of the Constitution,” Winkler wrote.
“He added in a column that the ‘conservative justices were openly hostile’ to the “Obama administration’s position,'” the report said.
Also, Georgetown law professor David Coyle said in a report in The Nation that Arizona immigration law was designed to “make life miserable for immigrants,” CampusReform said.
Creighton University law professor David Weber wrote that Scalia’s opinion is “really a red herring to muddy the argument and somehow upset the populace.”
A website that profiles jurists notes Scalia probably is the most colorful member of the Supreme Court, and his style of questioning has left people startled and offended.
“Once, after a long tirade concluding that affirmative action constituted the most evil fruit of a fundamentally bad seed, a slightly offended Sandra Day O’Connor expressed her displeasure with the comment: ‘But, Nino, if it weren’t for affirmative action, I wouldn’t be here,'” the report said.
The high court’s Arizona decision affirmed that state’s can investigate the status of people they suspect are illegal aliens but cannot impose punishment.