Thursday, December 13, 2012

Short: Putting it to Scalia

I'm working on a longer post about why Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is wrong in his judicial attacks on homosexuality. In the meantime, I want to skewer him on his argumentation. Let me paraphrase:
If we cannot have moral feelings against basketball, can we have it against murder?
I hope I've just reduced Scalia's argument to absurdity. That was easy.

Of course, basketball isn't as bad as this...


Truth > Spin said...

MP - Although I suspect we share the same view on whether gay marriage ought to be legal (my view: it certainly should or marriage itself ought to be removed from our legal constructs all together), I am surprised at the manner in which you are treating Scalia's argument in this short diary.

Maybe you'll be more explicit and fair in the longer one you mention is forthcoming, at which point I hope you will note that he described his comments as being centered on the following of logical construct 'reduction to the absurd' and that he didn't equate the practice of homosexuality, sodomy or those who engage in it with murder. Rather, he sees the Court's abaility to consider those questions, informed by morality, as being the same as the Court's ability to consider morality when considering other actions, such as murder. Or Abortion or capital punishment or even property law.

Clearly he isn't comfortable with homosexuality and given the choice he would not allow same sex marriage. That's enough rope to hang himself with in my view. He's wrong on the policy and wrong on the morality: two consenting humans in love trump the discomfit of others every time. And, separate but equal has a pretty poor track record to recommend it. Yet even though I hold those views rather strongly, I don't see any inconsistency in agreeing that our legislation and judicial review are tempered by morality. Especially when, by his own assertion, the argument serves only to draw the bright line.

Our challenge, MP, is to convince enough others of the validity of our morality lens.

ModeratePoli said...

@truth, please excuse my delay in responding to your thoughtful post.

I think it is fair what I said about Scalia's line of argument. It was a flippant assertion on his part, and I altered his words just a bit to show that.

Should the Court consider morality? Yes, along with ethics, justice, right and wrong. But all those concepts are complex, and Scalia didn't respect the complexity of the questions.

I very like what you write: "Our challenge is to convince enough others of the validity of our morality lens."