Monday, June 29, 2015


Antonin Scalia is 79 and his most recent contradiction of one of his own opinions started me thinking that maybe he is losing a little upstairs.  Scalia has made this kind of blunder several times in the past and perhaps the worst was his 2014 opinion about the EPA:
"This is not the first time EPA has sought to convert the Clean Air Act into a mandate for cost-effective regulation. Whitman v. American Trucking Assns., Inc., 531 U. S. 457 (2001), confronted EPA's contention that it could consider costs in setting [National Ambient Air Quality Standards]," Scalia wrote in his dissent, which was joined by Justice Clarence Thomas.

The problem: the EPA's position in the 2001 case was exactly the opposite. The agency was defending its refusal to consider cost as a counter-weight to health benefits when setting certain air quality standards. It was the trucking industry that wanted the EPA to factor in cost. The 9-0 ruling sided with the EPA. The author of the ruling that Scalia mischaracterized? Scalia himself.
The Google reveals that Scalia has done this a few other times this century:
2013: he contradicted himself on respect for Congress
2012: he contradicted himself on immigration

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