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Scalia was right, 60 Minutes Stahl wasn't, re 4th Amendment & torture

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Justice Antonin Scalia – 1, Leslie Stahl – 0, and the judge was right..


Last Sunday (April 27), 60 Minutes broadcast a segment that featured Leslie Stahl interviewing Justice Scalia.


I’m no admirer of the “Get over it, move on, that was so long ago” (Gore v Bush decision) Supreme Court justice. In fact, I sort of really don’t like the guy. He frightens me, the way he can and does confect to the far Right. But when Ms. Stahl raised the question of the constitutionality of torture as a violation of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of “cruel and unusual punishment,” not only did the 6o Minutes veteran demonstrate her tragic ignorance of the Constitution, the nearly dumbfounded way millions reacted in disbelief to what Scalia posited demonstrates the tragic ignorance that pervades our country!


Justice Scalia was 100% correct: the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution prohibits “cruel and unusual PUNISHMENT,” and torture, unless employed as “punishment,” by definition is not covered by that amendment.


Here’s how Stahl should have raised the issue. The United States is a signatory to the Geneva Conventions that outlaw a variety of behaviors. The conventions retain all the characteristics necessary to be deemed a treaty signed by the United States. Now, per the constitution’s Article VI, treaties “made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land!” (my emphasis and exclamation point)


Question 1. Does Ms. Stahl make it a practice, entering an interview session so poorly prepared and ill informed on an issue that a high school class in basic civics would/should cover?


Question 2. Including both President Bush and Scalia, is there anyone so daft or uneducated he or she cannot fairly easily comprehend the phrase “supreme law of the land”?


Again folks, read your Constitution. Please do not attempt to suggest you are a “good citizen” if you don’t even know the easiest basics concerning how your country is supposed to be structured. Being familiar with the Constitution is the easiest task imaginable, but if you aren’t even that interested . . .


Oh hell, tell you what, I’ll make it easy for you. Follows is a link whereby you can go right to it, then print it. The choice to be or remain ignorant is prima facie evidence of the most contemptible stupidity. You decide where you want to be.


— Ed Tubbs

     Palm Springs, CA


An "Old Army Vet" and liberal, qua liberal, with a passion for open inquiry in a neverending quest for truth unpoisoned by religious superstitions. Per Voltaire: "He who can lead you to believe an absurdity can lead you to commit an atrocity."
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Stahl probably wishes she could redo that line of ... by Gustav Wynn on Friday, May 2, 2008 at 1:00:38 PM
While Scalia seems to have a most morbid love of g... by tabonsell on Friday, May 2, 2008 at 1:52:26 PM
You are punishing the victim for not telling you w... by annabanana on Friday, May 2, 2008 at 3:11:30 PM
The Constitution is, lamentably, what its int... by Al Krass on Friday, May 2, 2008 at 8:57:46 PM
Six of the Justices are 'extreme conservatives... by shirley reese on Friday, May 2, 2008 at 11:41:16 PM
Torture is illegal simply because it is an act of ... by Ty on Sunday, May 4, 2008 at 8:13:48 AM