Judge not: Conservatives can be liberal

Trinidad & Tobago born Adele Scalia with Justice Antonin Scalia and family.
Adele’s Facebook

With politics, not everything is always black or white.

For instance, take the cases of Republican conservatives former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and former Republican House Speaker John Boehner.

Both avowed for their rigid stance against gun control, abortion rights, death penalty, same-sex marriage, universal health care and almost all things proposed by the President Barack Obama administration, they also seem to be color-blind when it comes to family matters.

The two conservative Republicans approved the marriage of their off-springs to non-white Caribbean nationals.

The longest justice to serve on the Supreme Court, Justice Scalia is the first Italian-American appointed to the Supreme Court.

More than that, he is the son of immigrants and despite his rulings on immigration reforms, approved the marriage of one of his five sons Christopher to Trincity, Trinidad & Tobago immigrant Adele.

They married July 2010 and together are parents of two bi-racial children.

Christopher is a writer.

He is an associate professor of English at the University of Virginia.

According to reports he has worked in public relations and contributes articles to The Weekly Standard and Crisis Magazine: A Voice for the Faithful Catholic Laity.

His 2015 op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, “Conservatives, Please Stop Trashing the Liberal arts” allegedly made the case for conservative politicians to advocate a liberal arts education rather than to deride it.

On Feb. 13, 2016 Adele Scalia posted a picture of the American flag outside the Supreme Court at half mast.

The bereaved step-daughter also posted a family photo of the 79-year-old conservative, her step mother Maureen and son.

Reputed for providing tough arguments against undocumented immigrants, abortion, homosexuality, gun control, affirmative action and a long list of issues considered worthy of revision, Justice Scalia is also acclaimed for being a staunch supporter of family values.

The father of nine children and more than 30 grandchildren he allegedly subscribed to the values his Sicilian immigrant parents imposed with Roman Catholic teachings.

“We had our own culture,” Scalia said.

“The first thing you’ve got to teach your kids is what my parents used to tell me all the time: ‘You’re not everybody else. We have our own standards and they aren’t the standards of the world in all respects, and the sooner you learn that the better.”

During an affirmative action case last year when the Supreme Court heard arguments about race-based admissions, Scalia argued that African-Americans are under-achievers.

He reportedly said Blacks are mediocre and only do well in mediocre schools.

He expanded his argument saying that African-American students might fare better in a “slower-track school” rather than more competitive colleges.

Although unyielding on many controversial rulings, he boasted about how he and his wife Maureen successfully raised their children.

He credited her as — “The mother of the nine children you see, the woman responsible for raising them with very little assistance from me.”

Of the children’s proficiency he added “there’s not a dullard in the bunch!”

That the man described as “the intellectual anchor of the court’s conservative majority” would allow a mixed marriage in his family given his outrageous statements and rulings it would seem an unlikely precedence Justice Scalia would ever defend.

However, according to Adele Scalia, the justice was a fair and loving step-father and grandfather.

Similarly, three years ago when a marriage between dreadlocked, Jamaican Dominic Lakhan and 35-year-old Lindsay Marie Boehner united a couple, few expected the often screw-faced conservative Republican House Speaker to attend.

Lakham, a construction worker, reportedly was frequently seen in Florida at work with his waist-length dreadlocks in a neatly-piled knitted cap.

The Jamaica-born immigrant was arrested during a traffic stop in Pembroke Pines, Florida in 2006 on a misdemeanor charge surrounding possession of two grams of marijuana.

However, on May 10,2013 there was no distinction between the Ohio representative and his new son-in-law.

Rep. Boehner beamed with pride dancing with the eldest of his two daughters who married a Jamaican.

Boehner’s other daughter Tricia is 32-years-old and lives in Ohio with her husband, James Kinney.

At the banquet after the tropical setting wedding gala, along with his wife Debbie, the conservative set aside politics to join well-wishers at the Delray Beach, Florida location in celebration of his daughter’s choice.

While the father of the bride probably maintain conservative viewpoints about a myriad of issues propagated by his GOP colleagues and particularly many of the ones ruled on the bench by Justice Scalia, like the latter does not seem adverse to biracial unions.

Rigid and ‘unalterably opposed’ to legalizing marijuana, the Ohio representative adamantly opposes the value attributed to its use.

In a statement to CNN, he bolstered his argument saying that ‘Whether it is the American Medical Association, the American Cancer Society — all of those people, by and large don’t believe there is any medicinal value in marijuana.’

On the immigration issue while in Ireland, Rep. Boehner promised a European group of business executives that he would make immigration reform a top priority.

Reportedly, he made the commitment because of pressure from Ireland’s government officials. Allegedly, many representatives reminded the GOP conservative that some white Europeans represent the undocumented figures are in America illegally.

“You don’t realize there are about 50 thousand of my fellow Irishmen came to the U.S. and never quite made it back across the pond. You know their cousins have got to hold up the cell phone at their parents’ funeral so their kids in Chicago or Detroit or wherever can listen to the funeral. John, John this is a serious problem.”

At that time it seemed Rep. Boehner would vote with Democrats on the issue. However, after making the statement he refused to put the matter up for a vote and was repeatedly criticized by Pres. Obama for his inaction.

Like Donald Trump, Rep. Boehner would like to build a wall to keep out Mexicans but is not as decided on keeping out all foreigners.

In addition, while both conservatives share many convictions, the two GOP members vary a bit when deciding the topical immigration policies.

In 2012, the Supreme Court struck down some provisions of a controversial Arizona immigration law. Justice Scalia defended a position that states, in the 18th century were able to decide what to do with “unwanted immigrants,” including freed slaves.

“In the first 100 years of the Republic, the States enacted numerous laws restricting the immigration of certain classes of aliens, including convicted criminals, indigents, persons with contagious diseases, and (in Southern States) freed blacks,” Scalia wrote.

According to recent reflections, Rep. Boehner tried to persuade Justice Scalia to run for election as vice president with Rep. Bob Dole in 1996. Boehner recalled that Scalia listened to the proposal and dictated a reply similar to one given by Justice Charles Evans Hughes when he was presented with the same offer.

“The possibility is too remote to comment upon.”

Dole did put Scalia on his list of potential running mates but eventually settled on Jack Kemp and Bill Clinton won that election’s contest.

One of the most talked about statements made by Justice Scalia referred to the Voting Rights Act as a law of “racial entitlements.”

He made that assessment in 2013.

The year prior Justice Scalia said homosexuality should be illegal because it had been a crime for so long.

“Homosexual sodomy? Come on,” he responded to a query, “For 200 years, it was criminal in every state.”

“When the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified in 1868, every state limited marriage to one man and one woman, and no one doubted the constitutionality of doing so. … Since there is no doubt whatever that the people never decided to prohibit the limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples, the public debate over same-sex marriage must be allowed to continue. But the court ends this debate, in an opinion lacking even a thin veneer of law.”

In other explanations, he cited the constitution explaining, “It means today not what current society, much less the courts, thinks it ought to mean, but what it meant when it was adopted.”

Of the Affordable Care Act proposed by President Barack Obama, Justice Scalia said “We should start calling this law SCOTUScare” (a jab at his approving colleagues on the bench of the Supreme Court of the United States)

He called the majority’s ruling “pure applesauce” and “interpretive jiggery-pokery.”

When asked about his ruling deciding the Florida votes for George W. Bush over Al Gore he dismissed the unfair decision saying:“I and my court owe no apology whatever for Bush versus Gore. We did the right thing. So there! Get over it.”

On gun control after the Colorado shooting, Justice Scalia offered — “Obviously, the amendment does not apply to arms that cannot be hand-carried. It’s to keep and bear. So, it doesn’t apply to cannons,” Scalia said.

“But I suppose there are handheld rocket launchers that can bring down airplanes,” he said, adding that whether or not Americans could carry such weapons was open to interpretation. “That will have to be — it will have to be decided.”

Supreme Court Clarence Thomas, the only Black justice was Scalia’s closest ally. Also a President Ronald Reagan appointee, the conservatives maintain an anti-Obama stance on most issues.

After nearly 30 years of service, the longest-serving member of the Supreme Court died at a Texas ranch.

His death has become a key presidential initiative for voters to consider. The replacement could greatly impact the future of the country given its lifelong guarantee.

Regardless the controversies, one that never became an issue to decide remains intact and flourishing. Perhaps it is because it unites Democrats and Republicans, Conservatives and Liberals.

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