Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia gave an interview to New York magazine and, boy, was it a doozy.
The notoriously outspoken judge gave a wide-ranging interview, sounding off on topics such as social networking, the Devil, and the legality of flogging. We highly recommend reading the whole thing, but here are the most unusual bits:
1. Scalia believes a law permitting flogging would be constitutional.
"Yes, if a state enacted a law permitting flogging, it is immensely stupid, but it is not unconstitutional."
2. He believes there are legal reasons for discriminating against women, but not minorities. Fighting in combat, for example.
"There are some intelligent reasons to treat women differently. I don’t think anybody would deny that. And there really is no, virtually no, intelligent reason to treat people differently on the basis of their skin.
3. He hates the Washington Post.
"We just get The Wall Street Journal and the Washington Times. We used to get the Washington Post, but it just … went too far for me. I couldn’t handle it anymore," he said. "It was the treatment of almost any conservative issue. It was slanted and often nasty. And, you know, why should I get upset every morning? I don’t think I’m the only one. I think they lost subscriptions partly because they became so shrilly, shrilly liberal."
[Nevermind their very conservative editorial section.]
4. He thinks social networking is "strange."
"I don’t know why anyone would like to be “friended” on the network. I mean, what kind of a narcissistic society is it that people want to put out there, This is my life, and this is what I did yesterday? I mean … good grief. Doesn’t that strike you as strange? I think it’s strange."
5. He thinks society is eroding because "ladies" curse.
"One of the things that upsets me about modern society is the coarseness of manners. You can’t go to a movie—or watch a television show for that matter—without hearing the constant use of the F-word—including, you know, ladies using it. People that I know don’t talk like that! But if you portray it a lot, the society’s going to become that way. It’s very sad."
6. He may have gay friends.
"I have friends that I know, or very much suspect, are homosexual. Everybody does."
7. He doesn't care if his legacy is marked by his opposition to gay rights.
"Maybe the world is spinning toward a wider acceptance of homosexual rights, and here’s Scalia, standing athwart it. At least standing athwart it as a constitutional entitlement. But I have never been custodian of my legacy. When I’m dead and gone, I’ll either be sublimely happy or terribly unhappy."
8. He believes in the Devil.
"I even believe in the Devil....
Of course! Yeah, he’s a real person. Hey, c’mon, that’s standard Catholic doctrine! Every Catholic believes that."
9. He loves Seinfeld, but he doesn't know what Homeland is.
"I loved Seinfeld. In fact, I got some CDs of Seinfeld. Seinfeld was hilarious. Oh, boy. The Nazi soup kitchen? No soup for you!"