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So Much for "Impartial" Justice: Antonin Scalia Attends Michele Bachmann's Tea Party

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No one who has followed the career of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is surprised that he has agreed to participate in a meeting of the so-called "Constitutional Conservative Caucus," organized by extremist Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.).

The decision by Justice Antonin Scalia to serve as a featured speaker in an event on January 24 organized by far-right Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's Tea Party-oriented "Constitutional Conservative Caucus," is just the latest in a series of actions and statements by the Justice that threaten the integrity of the federal judiciary.

A cornerstone of the American legal system is the notion that judges and justices interpret the law fairly and impartially. This fundamental principle of our democracy is undermined when Supreme Court justices serve as willing agents of a transparently political entity like the Tea Party movement, which has an aggressive legislative and judicial agenda that is directed, in part, at the Court itself.

Regrettably, this is not the first time Justice Scalia has shed any pretense of objectivity. His refusal to recuse himself in 2004 from a case involving then-Vice President Dick Cheney, with whom he had just completed a hunting trip, as well as his recent comments making clear that women stand no chance with him to protect their Constitutional rights, erode the expectations Americans have for the behavior of Supreme Court justices.

At the time of the Cheney incident Justice Scalia said, "I do not believe my impartiality can reasonably be questioned." Given his eager participation in tomorrow's Tea Party seminar, his words ring hollower than ever.

Justice Scalia should protect the integrity of the Court and cancel his appearance at this blatantly partisan, right-wing event.

UPDATE: Alliance for Justice had received incorrect information about the date of a closed-door Tea Party event featuring Justice Antonin Scalia. News reports indicate the event will actually be held on January 24. We regret the error and apologize for any confusion it may have caused. Dates have been corrected above.