Thursday, June 28, 2012

Scalia Agonistes?

I don't really know what that means exactly, but it seemed appropriate and was in my head from a piece on T.S. Eliot I read yesterday.
Anyhoo, so I sent this email to TPM this morning speculating that Roberts had to take control of the court, that if this decision went Scalia's way, he would be effectively the Chief Justice.
Then, an Andrew Sullivan reader threw this into the mix. Wow. Just wow.
There's something quite odd in my view about the Scalia opinion in the back. It's not a Scalia rant by and large; in fact it reads at the outset rather majestically, like he's delivering the opinion of the court. Even more strangely, it refers repeatedly to the "Ginsburg dissent," but Ginsburg is in the majority on most issues. What's all this about? Were the tables turned midway? Did Roberts first sign on to Scalia's opinion and then bail on him? Is that what Ginsburg was ribbing Scalia over in her ACS remarks? I suspect there is an amazing an untold backroom story behind this decision. It may be a while before we learn it. But the sense I have is that Scalia had the votes to take a sledgehammer to ACA, and then lost Roberts. Was it Scalia's overreaching and his overheated rhetoric that did him in? This may make an excellent Supreme Court mystery. But it points in the end to the complicated and rather ornery personality of Nino Scalia as a real burden for the court's conservatives.
I haven't read the opinions and probably won't, I like reading opinions about opinions. But, wow.

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