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March 31, 2006

More GestureGate

Dahlia Lithwick on GestureGate:

The editors at the Boston Herald then tried to amend their pleading, styling the late filing as within their right to "get the last word." Obliquely referencing the Fiore dissent, the Herald conceded that the gesture at issue may not have been obscene, but added—in what is surely dicta—"Maybe so, but it's still not something you'd do to your mother." They appended to the record the photographic evidence of the gesture in question and the testimony of the photojournalist who snapped the shot, to wit: "The judge paused for a second, then looked directly into my lens and said, 'To my critics, I say, 'Vaffanculo.' " The Herald helpfully translates, "(expletive) you."

Some folks on the political right are already in raptures about Scalia's "rare clarity." His kiss-off is even being spun, amazingly, as a justified response to an insulting attack on his religious beliefs. Scalia is once again the victim, it seems, of cunning liberal attempts "to make him into news." He is being stalked and baited by the liberal media in the hopes that he will say something that will result in a demand for his recusal in future cases. My God, but we liberal journalists are cunning bastards. We just won't stop hitting poor Scalia's fist with our enormous, spiteful chins.

Not exactly. You "liberal journalists" (your term, not mine), by the very questions you ask, betray your profound ignorance of our Constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms and your narrow-minded intolerance with every word you speak.

Let's look at the question that provoked this whole kerfuffle:

Smith was working as a freelance photographer for the Boston archdiocese’s weekly newspaper at a special Mass for lawyers Sunday when a Herald reporter asked the justice how he responds to critics who might question his impartiality as a judge given his public worship.

The last time we checked, the Constitution was quite clear on this point:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

As dearly as some in the Democrat Party would love to be able to ignore the Constitution and make devout Catholicism a disqualifier for public office, there are still laws which prevent discrimination against people of faith in the United States. In light of Justice Scalia's oath to uphold the Constitution, the half-vast editorial staff, though we are more likely to be found worshipping at Our Lady of St. Mattress upon Springs on Sunday morn than celebrating the Holy Eucharist, finds the judicious use of ‘Vaffanculo’, whether or not it was in fact uttered, a not altogether unfitting riposte to a rather obscene suggestion.

In fact, we think the Founding Fathers, no slouches themselves when it came to standing up for their rights, might have cracked a smile or two.

Posted by Cassandra at March 31, 2006 07:42 AM


Dahlia Lithwick is one of those people you read & realize they just lucked into some gig where they can bloviate with marginal rhetorical & analytical skills

Posted by: beautifulatrocities [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 31, 2006 02:11 PM

Yeah...kind of like yours truly :D

Posted by: Cassandra at March 31, 2006 02:16 PM

No, she's a PUNDIT & we're just refried crap on toast. Occasionally the MSM throws a bone to the blogs, but it's always Josh Marshall, DKos, Atrios, or Wonkette.

Very occasionally they'll throw in LGF as an example of a hate site, which is so unfair. BA is just as hateful!

Posted by: beautifulatrocities [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 31, 2006 07:32 PM


Mark Steyn doesn't mention Moi, Mr. Fancy-Pants... heh. Besides, you're hateful and hysterically funny, which is much better. I like my hate dished up with a very large helping of snark on the side. That's why I love you.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 31, 2006 07:41 PM

Cassandra,I know you mentioned about some on the right not attended church regularly.But,I got some advice for these lefty bums(not writers):stop spending your all your time in your martini monasteries I.E. the clubs and bars!

Posted by: Lisa Gilliam at April 1, 2006 03:42 AM

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