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Friday, March 18, 2005


the return of divine right

when i ascertained justice antonin scalia's tendency to majoritarianism the other day, i said:

the neoconservative religious belief in the rousseauian concept of ultimate moral authority in populism -- the will of the people being a universal good -- makes little allowance for the rights of the minority where such obstacles contradict the expressed will of the majority.
when i said "religious", i didn't mean literally (as in christian) but figuratively (as in faithful, ideal, non-empirical). little did i know. don herzog and brad delong paste scalia for his clearly unconstitutional musings on the basis of power, as he addresses the controversy of displaying the ten commandments on public property in oral arguments from the bench.

JUSTICE SCALIA: And when somebody goes by that monument, I don't think they're studying each one of the commandments. It's a symbol of the fact that government comes — derives its authority from God. And that is, it seems to me, an appropriate symbol to be on State grounds.
in other words, the united states government is founded on divine right. i had thought that justification went out of fashion in 1651 with thomas hobbes. apparently, it's making a comeback in postmodern reactionary america.

scalia is a devoted catholic, it's true, and he has the right to his beliefs as do i. but what in god's own name is that belief doing in the transcripts of the supreme court of a land that was founded on the principle that power ascends from the people?

By extension, I think...

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