“The death penalty? Give me a break. It’s easy. Abortion? Absolutely easy. Nobody ever thought the Constitution prevented restrictions on abortion. Homosexual sodomy? Come on. For 200 years, it was criminal in every state,” Scalia said at the American Enterprise Institute.
And it would have continued as such were it not for Lawrence vs. Texas — in which Scalia so memorably dissented.
See how it works? Overturn the “Sodomy” Laws and VOILA — Gay Marriage! Oh The Humanity!
And leave us not forget this Golden Oldie in which Tony clashes with God.
“The First Amendment has not repealed the basic rule of life, that he who pays the piper calls the tune,” Justice Scalia said. “When you place the government in charge of funding art, just as when you place the government in charge of providing education, somebody has to pick the content of what art is going to be funded, what subjects are going to be taught.
“The only way to eliminate any government choice on what art is worthwhile, what art isn’t worthwhile, is to get the government totally out of the business of funding,” he said.
In a 1998 decision, Justice Scalia wrote a concurring opinion upholding a Congressional decency test for grants awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts, which was at the center of a furor over grants to Andres Serrano, Robert Mapplethorpe, Karen Finley and others.”
And as we al know if Mittens gets his way Big Bird will be added to that Hit List.
“The idea was not new, but the circumstances were. The justice, an opera lover and a strict conservative, was part of a Juilliard symposium on American society and the arts that put him in the company of the soprano Reneé Fleming, the composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, and the historian David McCullough. He acknowledged the incongruity.
“The program reads like some kind of weird I.Q. test: ‘Which of the following is out of place: diva, author, composer, lawyer,’ ” he told the audience at the Juilliard Theater. “The main business of a lawyer is to take the romance, the mystery, the irony, the ambiguity out of everything he touches.”
Justice Scalia expounded on his view that the First Amendment has limited application to artistic expression; of the importance of copyright law and the nature of fair use of creative materials. With Juilliard’s president, Joseph Polisi, as moderator, the participants ranged over issues like the difference between art and entertainment, commercial pressures on art, and art as an expression of history.
The tone was often jocular and nonconfrontational, but with a genteel strain of debate between Justice Scalia and Mr. Sondheim.
It began at the news conference, when the justice was asked to follow some generic comments by Mr. Sondheim about the difference between “Art with a capital A” and “art with a small a.” “I concur,” Justice Scalia said simply. “I take it back,” Mr. Sondheim quickly rejoined with a smile.”
“Later, Justice Scalia returned to the idea that denying funds to some artists was unavoidable, because choices must be made. When Mr. Polisi said that National Endowment grants were peer-reviewed, Mr. Sondheim said, “The problem with choices is who does the choosing, and who chooses the choosers, and that’s where you get into a thicket.”
In response to a question from the audience on how to increase arts attendance by minorities, Justice Scalia said that a “large number” of minority children come from broken homes and do not have the parental attention they need to push for interest in the arts. But race has nothing to do with it, he said.
Mr. Sondheim said the cause was also economic. “Tickets are expensive,” he said.
They even parted ways in a discussion of the definition of art. Mr. Sondheim said one element was a work’s ability to endure. Justice Scalia said that the Abbott and Costello routine “Who’s on First?” would certainly last a long time. But “it will never be art!” he said.”
“The composer took issue with the example, saying it was not that old and that half the people in the theater probably did not even know it. Justice Scalia called for a show of hands, and many shot up. “Ask anybody under 30,” Mr. Sondheim said. “They won’t know.”
The real question is if they’ll know Sondheim.
Such lovely song from Sweeney Todd — a work that makes his feelings about the judiciary crystal clear
People in authority get no respect anymore. Right Cora?