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Justice Antonin Scalia Says 'Yes' to Tea Party Invitation

4 years ago
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Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has scored a big name as keynote speaker for her Tea Party Caucus next month. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia accepted the congresswoman's invitation to address the panel and headline what's being billed as a "Conservative Constitutional Seminar," USA Today reported Thursday.

The weekly meetings are officially for members of Bachmann's caucus, but Yahoo News said she hopes "all the members of Congress" will attend. She plans on inviting Justice Samuel Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts for future sessions.

Bachmann, a tea party favorite, told USA Today last month that she wants the caucus to focus heavily on constitutional issues.

"Justice Scalia has distinguished himself by his 'originalist' approach to constitutional interpretation," Bachmann said.

Bloomberg News
said the fact a Supreme Court justice would speak before such a highly partisan group has raised eyebrows among judicial ethicists.

"It certainly adds to the politicization of issues surrounding the judiciary," said University of Minnesota law professor Richard Painter, who served as George W. Bush's chief ethics officer. "When a highly publicized case comes along, it does not help the Supreme Court for the justices to appear aligned one with one party or the other."

But Chapman University law professor Ronald Rotunda told Bloomberg that Scalia's speech shouldn't be a concern if his subject matter isn't overly political.

"Justices are allowed to give speeches on the law and legal reform," Rotunda pointed out.

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The supreme ct of the United States comprised of 1 chief justice and 8 associate justices is suppose to be the most unbiased dias in the US government . WE have three branches of gov in this country legislative judicial and executive, the judicial branch is where there should be no ambiguity .guidelines of law are and decisions are made solely on principals of law , and in no way should personal convictions enter into a decision of a case brought before the docket, Although as a citizen a justice can be memember of any duly recognized political party . he cannot base a decision on any politicly biased item issue . in recent years though the sense of political and sociatal and moral out of bounds on a secular level is rearing its ugly head.

January 04 2011 at 2:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This guy is blatantly GOP.
But then, having a cup of tea is okay I guess.
Of course the "Weeper of the House" will have his Merlot.
Me?...I am going to have another bottle of beer.

December 18 2010 at 6:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'll have to do further research, but I thought the Judicial Canon of Ethics forbids a sitting judge, even a supreme court justice, from attending political rallies or giving speeches to a political faction. If there is, we need to start a campaign to remove not only Scalia, but Roberts. If you want to remain on the Court, you at least have to give the appearance of impartiality.

December 17 2010 at 10:47 PM Report abuse +13 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to zoedantin's comment

It may have to do with the fact that professional responsibility canons for judges and attorneys apply only to state courts & lawyers, while members of the federal judiciary have greater (unlimited even?) discretion regarding their behavior.

December 18 2010 at 6:45 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply


December 16 2010 at 6:28 PM Report abuse -25 rate up rate down Reply

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