Friday, March 19, 2004

JUSTICE SCALIA: IN HIS OWN WORDS (AND SLIGHTLY PARAPHRASED)


(Scalia's words appear in italics):

I never hunted in the same blind with the Vice President. Nor was I alone with him at any time during the trip, except, perhaps, for instances so brief and unintentional that I would not recall them. Excepting of course when we flew down to Louisiana together aboard Air Force 2. The Vice President had invited me and my companions to accompany him on his private jet. Man did that make me feel like a big shot.

Moreover, granting the motion [for recusal] is (insofar as the outcome of the particular case is concerned) effectively the same as casting a vote against the petitioner. You see, there is no way in hell I would ever rule against the Vice President, with whom I am well acquainted from our years serving together in the Ford administration. Therefore, not casting a vote is not an option, as it would surely lead to an unfavorable outcome for the Vice President.

[There is no reason that] my impartiality might reasonably be questioned, excepting of course the fact that we are well acquainted from our years serving together in the Ford administration and we take luxurious hunting vacations together. Many Justices have reached this Court precisely because they were friends of the incumbent President or other senior officials and precisely for the reasons before the Court in this instance.

You see, a case against Vice President Richard Cheney, in his official capacity as Vice President of the United States and Chairman of the National Energy Policy Development Group has little bearing on the personal freedom, fortune or ambition of average citizen Richard Cheney, petro-military-industrial complex insider and cadidate for re-election to the Vice Presidency. Evaluating the ethical and legal conduct of Vice President Richard Cheney, in his official capacity as Vice President of the United States clearly has no bearing on citizen Richard Cheney's personal stake in convincing American voters that he possesses the credibility to be re-elected to the office of the Vice President. Anyone who argues otherwise is unequivocally a political hack, as my lucid reasoning leaves no room to question my impartiality.

The people must have confidence in the integrity of the Justices...my friendship
with persons in the current administration...is not the issue here. Nor is the issue whether personal friendship with the Vice President might cause me to favor the Government in cases in which he is named.


If I could have done so in good conscience, I would have been pleased to demonstrate my integrity by recusing myself from this case. Unfortunately, I have no integrity. I am merely a political hack who reached this Court precisely because [I was] friends of the incumbent President [and] other senior officials.

In conclusion, Al Gore would be president right now if it were not for my "impartiality."

Yours truly,

Justice Antonin Scalia, WWJD

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