Dewey Cheatem Undhow, step in here for a second.

In a past thread you stated that I flatly wrong when I said the Justice Scalia was not a strict contructionist. You told me to read his book. Well let’s just see what he has to say in his book:

page 23*

Yeah? And Richard Nixon famously stated, “I am not a crook.” Do you believe everything you read?

From the linked thread:

So, you’re saying Scalia is an orginalist, not a strict constructionist or a textualist. Dewey is saying that Scalia is a textualist which is a subset of strict constructionism, but not an originalist. In your quote, Scalia says that strict constructionism is a type of textualism, but emphasizes that they’re not the same and that he is not a strict constructionist. Since you only supplied a partial quote, it doesn’t say what Scalia actually thinks he is.

Of course, a quick Google search shows that in Judicial adherence to the text of our basic law: a theory of constitutional interpretation, Scalia says:

So really, you started this thread over nothing more than a semantic nitpick, i.e. whether Dewey was wrong when he said textualism was in a fact a subset of strict constructionism. Which is pretty fucking sad – why couldn’t you just argue this incredibly interesting point in the original thread with, like, facts and stuff? Are you going to start a pit thread anytime anyone anywhere disagrees with you about anything?

What Giraffe said.

Although I am pleased that you took my advice to read his book. If only some of the other thread participants would be so wise as to do the same.

Is it correct to call Scalia a jerk?

Link to the book.

Thanks to Amazon’s “search the text” feature, you can quickly find page 23 (and just as importantly, pages 24 and following) to see the full context of the quotation Kel is offering.

Scalia is apparently using “strict constructionism” in this sense to mean a kind of hyperliteralism, and I agree with him that that is the wrong approach. I do not think, however, that all people who self-describe as strict constructionists are hyperliteralists, and I think that Scalia’s brand of textualism falls cleanly into the sets of constitutional theories commonly described as “strict constructionist.”

So shame on Scalia for taking such a, uh, strict view of what is meant by “strict constructionism.”



Why stop now?

Count me amoung those who are puzzled by this bizarre non-pitting. Kel isn’t calling anyone out or even complaining about something; he’s just disagreeing with something Dewey said, with a cite. Why in the world is this its in own thread, and why is that thread in the Pit?

Maybe he forgot to lock his keyboard and someone else typed the OP.

I am pitting Dewey for saying I was flatly wrong, when I was clearly right.

PS - I thought we were not supposed to post to old threads.

Less than three months is not considered “old”.

It sure isn’t. Even if it was, my understanding was that you’re not supposed to bump old threads. You can link to them all you want.

I suspect Karl is just ashamed of his past. I’m not sure why – he seems to be just as much of a dingbat here in the present. “He said I was wrong in Great Debates and I wasn’t!”

I believe he was referring to the GD thread, not my link.

This is like a Family Guy style English driveby.

“Oh Nigel?!?”


“I disagree!!!” ~zoom~

Well, probably because he’s a dumbass.

Holy shit, I didn’t even notice the date on the GD thread. Karl, you actually started a Pit thread because two months ago someone said you were wrong about a semantic detail and now you think you’ve found evidence that you’re right? Who cares?? Have you never heard of a useful little concept called Letting Things Go?

Clearly, in the Latex Division, they have sticky hands that prevent such.

Must be a defect in their gloves.

God, I hate to continue this semantic quibble, but again, you were clearly wrong.

You said Scalia was not a textualist. Yet he self-applies the label, as per the quotation provided by Giraffe. Furthermore, promoting a textualist approach is the entire point of his book, which in turn is entirely about his interpretive philosophy.

You also said Scalia was not a strict constructionist, and point to a partial quotation from his book to support that contention. But a quick glance at the entire paragraph in question makes clear that Scalia is not using “strict constructionism” in its most common sense. He is using it to mean something akin to hyperliteralism, and I’m not aware of any self-described strict constructionists who subscribe to a hyperliteral reading of the constitution.

So not only are you foolishly starting a Pit thread on a two-month old semantic quibble, you’re also still on the wrong side of that quibble. I stand by my “flatly wrong” assertion.