While most of the nation was mourning yesterday’s passing of conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, reaction from some Seattle Times readers and remarks on Twitter reveal a dislike from the political left that was visceral.
During this morning’ edition of “Fox and Friends Sunday,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was quick to note that the left is now hoping for a liberal ideologue replacement for Scalia, an appointment that he said could jeopardize the Second Amendment. That was underscored by a comment from a Times reader identified as “SailedAway, no taxes.”
“Great news,” the comment said. “This guy is a poster child about why there should be term or age limits on the surpreme (sic) court or why they should be able to be recalled. But payback is a bitch. Now we can get this country really started toward ‘socialism’. Goodbye second amendment, citizens United. Hello single payer health care, unions, and everything else. It is a great day.”
Indeed, as this column noted yesterday, rights activists are very concerned that the 2008 Heller ruling, authored by Scalia, could be in jeopardy. That opinion affirmed that the Second Amendment protects an individual civil right to keep and bear arms. It was followed two years later by a ruling in McDonald v. City of Chicago that essentially nullified that city’s handgun ban, and incorporated the Second Amendment to the states via the 14th Amendment.
The McDonald case was brought by the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation, a fact that is often overlooked by local and national media. SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb had met Scalia and yesterday reflected on his passing.
The Conservative Firing Line tapped into Twitter comments initially gathered by Weasel Zippers that were stunning. One remark from someone identified as “Blue Rabbit,” offered sympathy to Scalia’s family “while he’s in Hell being savaged from behind with a gigantic cactus.”
Another Times reader calling himself “sjalways right” called the late justice “A Monster, an Embarrassment, an Abomination,” and went on to declare, “I’m feeling most JOYFUL as a layer of sufferage (sic) has been removed from the American Political scene and America can once again choose to distance itself from the MOST EVIL of DEPRAVED minds of corporate and evangelical conservativism (sic). Now if this could happen to the rest of the republican party (sic) our nation would become WHOLE once again.”
Scalia’s passing has ignited a partisan debate over a replacement, and whether that choice should be left to President Barack Obama. Last night, the president said he would offer a nomination “in due time.”
The justice’s death was recognized at the opening of last night’s Republican debate in South Carolina. The six candidates stood for a moment of silence. And then they took off the gloves.
It was the most contentious and combative of the debates so far, and as pundits dig through the broken pieces this morning, there are differing opinions on who fared best. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz seemed to hold their own, and Jeb Bush turned in what some people think was his best performance so far. John Kasich didn’t do badly, either, while columnist Charles Krauthammer, who said Trump was “often contemptuous,” dubbed the debate “thermonuclear war.”
John Fund’s analysis for Fox News seems to sum it all up. He likened Trump’s performance to “tantrums.” The billionaire businessman was booed several times.
Who won? Hillary Clinton; so long as the remaining Republican hopefuls go for each other’s jugulars, Clinton will benefit. By the time November rolls around, the Republican nominee may be so damaged that Clinton may only have to step over the bodies to enter the Oval Office, provided she gets past Bernie Sanders and doesn’t face legal trouble over the email fiasco.
That will give her the ability to pick future Supreme Court nominees. It’s a safe bet that none of her choices will be anywhere nearly as faithful to the Second Amendment as was Antonin Scalia.
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