Antonin Scalia (1936-2016) was found dead in West Texas last Saturday. It was reported that the Grim Reaper was rather confused by this, as they were both pretty white and were wearing black robes.
Scalia was appointed to the Supreme Court back in the ’80s, under President Reagan. Throughout his long career, he’s made a name for himself as one of the more conservative judges in the court. Of course, despite his hardcore conservative leanings, he was reportedly best friends with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
For those of you who pay attention to the Supreme Court (so probably none of you) Ginsburg was one of the more liberal justices on the Court. Their friendship was a nice reminder that, despite political differences, people can still come together and be generally nice to each other.
…And then the Internet was kind enough to remind me how bull**** that sentiment is. (Friendly reminder: NEVER read the comments section on news stories)
Upon the announcement of Scalia’s death, comment sections across the Internet blew up. People everywhere were either celebrating this man’s death, mourning it, or doing what all our politicians are doing now: trying to figure out how to use it to an advantage.
I won’t name specific comments or commenters, but on Facebook I saw several people talking about how this really changes the presidential campaign. Will Obama appoint a new, liberal judge? The Republican party will filibuster any appointment he makes, no matter who it is! What if Obama tries to appoint himself to the Supreme Court? Ew, no, we can’t have him still hanging around!
The comments then devolved into arguments about Obama’s ears, how he’s already thrown the constitution away, and how Scalia’s death was probably an assassination. I’m left shaking my head and thinking about how these people are allowed to vote…
But I digress. Justice Scalia, whatever your opinions on the man were, made several important contributions to how the Constitution is interpreted today. He championed several decisions, and dissented from several more. What I believe his most important contribution was, however, was his friendship with a judge who was, politically, his polar opposite. I feel like it stands as a reminder that we can be friends (or at the very least work together) no matter what one’s beliefs are. That’s something sorely lacking in American society today, and I feel we’d be better off if we were more like Justice Scalia in that way.