Hardball | December 11, 2012
>>> we're back. supreme court justice antonin scalia is causing controversy for comments he made while selling his book at princeton. a gay students asked about the comparison s between anti- sodomy laws and laws against murder and bestiality. scalia replied i don't think it's necessary but i think it's effective. it's a form of argument that i thought you would have known which is called the abduction to the absurd. if we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder and other things? in addition to causing trouble, scalia 's outspokenness comes at a time when many republicans are keeping quiet on the upcoming supreme court fight. here with me tonight are christine quinn and joy reed. madam speaker, judge scalia is an interesting character. tell me what was your reaction. he cashed in a number of ways, he was making absurd comparison. let's get back to the morality issue. what is the connection between your personal views of morality and your views of the constitution?
>> you know, look. he wasn't teaching a law class there. he was making a point, i believe, about what he actually thinks. and the job of the supreme court when they're going to take up this very important matter isn't what they personally think about lgbt people . it is what the constitution sets out as a framework for protecting the rights of americans. that's the question here. and i believe the supreme court is going to rise to that occasion as they have before and look at those important issues. and really the justice should apologize for what he said there.
>> what did he say? tell me what exactly he said wrong. besides the way he talked. just the comparison of murder with people's orientation?
>> it's offensive. sexual orientation is who we are as people. and to compare that even in a way you want to say was some philosophical exercise to a heinous crime of murder, it's just wrong. he can say it was a slip of a tongue and that's fine. we all have them. god knows i have. just apologize. but don't compare me to a murderer because i'm a lesbian. just don't do it. it's wrong.
>> joy, you know, i'm going to -- first, there's a lot of complexity here. just the certain way this guy talks. what was your reaction when you heard this? it's like back in the problem era. what brings the vocabulary into areas of -- why bestiality? just don't say the word again. why don't they just repel that kind of lingo?
>> you know, chris. i'm with you on that. when i heard it, i was like here we go. i don't know who said it. that conservatism is about yelling stop, right? and that is what scalia represents at his core. he's a person who has stood to stop. as being a head of public opinion on issues of rights whether it was the brown v. board case. when the supreme court got ahead of public opinion and advanced rights forward. scalia has been consistent throughout his career that believes the constitution as he said in the same speech is dead, dead, dead. and we should go back to the intent and stand athwart it yelling stop. i think we are seeing his personal opinions of homosexuality coming forward in what he said. the problem for him is that's not the court's job. the state and the country has a compelling interest with murder. is there a compelling interest in stopping people from getting married? that's the problem he'll have.
>> my approach is if you're conservative on these issues, even if you're a chief justice or whatever you are. why doesn't he just say call me old fashioned or anything. just why do you have to be nasty? i think it's the question of nastiness. your thoughts, christine. as a gay woman , is there a proper way for someone who disagrees with you to talk?
>> there is. i've had any number of conversations with people who disagree with marriage equality , disagree with different lgbt issues. and you know what? two people who disagree sitting down and talking in a dignified why leads to deeper understanding. maybe some day one person changing their opinion. my father always said it's nice to be nice. and it is. and you should treat other human beings even if you disagree with them, even if you dislike who they are, in a respectful way. the justice was disrespectful to me and my family. and that doesn't further my understanding him better or him understanding me better. which is ultimately where we all want to be headed in life.
>> you sound like a smart politician. anyway, thank you christine quinn . and joy, as always. you can play any position