Monday, April 12, 2004

Quack, Quack! Scalia's Crazy!

Here at the Monster Limo Weblog, we welcome with great enthusiasm the latest public embarassment for ultra-conservative Supreme Court justice Antonin "Ducks" Scalia. Whether he's writing long, crazy dissents filled with homoerotic discussions of locker rooms or failing to recuse himself from a case involving a litigant who has paid him to come on hunting trips, Big Antonin is routinely the most interesting thing about the nation's highest court.

In his latest faux pas, the demented jurist was giving a speech at a small Christian high school in Mississippi about the joys of the Constitution. Two reporters, invited by the school, were covering the event but after about 35 minutes, a federal marshal approached them and (it seems, illegally) forced them to erase their tape recordings. Scalia, much like Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, does not like to be recorded.

Much hilarity has ensued, almost all of it at the expense of the man who once answered a question about whether it was proper to go on a duck-hunting trip paid for by a litigant (a litigant we all know and love as Dick "Destro" Cheney) by saying "Quack, quack."

So here, without further ado, is the whole sordid saga:

Here's Bob Herbert's take: "the power brokers have gone mad."

A newspaper editorial points out that this seems to have been a violation of the 1980 Protection of Privacy Act, which makes it illegal for a government employee "to search for or seize any work product materials possessed by a person reasonably believed to have a purpose to disseminate to the public a newspaper, book, broadcast or other similar form of public communication." Oops!

This article, sent in by alert reader Jay Forklift, conveys the general reaction to the event within the journalistic community: Quack, quack! They're angry!

Here's a followup from the newspaper where one of the bullied reporters works; some professional organizations are filing complaints about the federal marshal's actions.

-Consider Arms (tape me all you want, people)