POSTED AT 8:41 AM ON FEBRUARY 15, 2016 BY JAZZ SHAW
Funeral arrangements have not even been settled for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia yet and the flags are still flying at half mast. The Scalia family hasn’t had time to come to grips with the sudden and unexpected loss. One might think that during such a tumultuous period of shock and grief that those in prominent, public positions might refrain from breaking out the slings and arrows for a man who dedicated his life, on an off, for more than four decades to the service of his nation, no matter how much they may have disagreed with his opinions. One would be incorrect in such an assumption.
Prepare yourself for pious proclamations of sorrow. Justice Antonin Scalia, stalwart conservative voice on the U.S. Supreme Court since 1986, is dead! Flags will be at half-mast, and for a few days, at least, everyone will pretend to consider Scalia’s death a terrible loss to the Court, the country, and the global legal and judicial communities.The global legal and judicial communities, however, will mostly be indulging in joyful private choruses of “Ding, Dong, the Witch is Dead.” Or maybe not so private.There was no love lost between Justice Scalia and foreign jurists. Scalia was famously dismissive of foreign and international law, which he considered good enough for, well, foreigners — but not for the great United States. “I doubt whether anybody [in the United States] would say, ‘Yes, we want to be governed by the views of foreigners,’” he scoffed in 2005.
Scalia’s resolute refusal to consider foreign or international law relevant to U.S. constitutional questions did not endear him — or the U.S. Supreme Court, on which he was so influential — to legal communities outside the United States. To non-Americans as to Justice Kennedy, Scalia’s contempt for foreign and international law often seemed to have a “know-nothing quality,” and the rarity with which the Court engaged seriously with non-U.S. legal precedents took a toll on its international prestige.
Goodbye, Justice Scalia. The Supreme Court will be a quieter, more cosmopolitan place place without you. But Jack Bauer’s sure going to miss you.