Friends on the court

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION -

Re “High court’s odd cou­ple,” June 22

The 2014 Pew Re­search Cen­ter re­port on po­lit­i­cal po­lar­iza­tion in the Amer­i­can public in­di­cated that many Amer­i­cans pre­fer to live near and as­so­ciate with those who share their re­li­gious and po­lit­i­cal be­liefs — in other words, peo­ple just like them. How bor­ing to be sur­rounded all the time by peo­ple just like you, with lit­tle va­ri­ety or in­tel­lec­tual stim­u­la­tion.

Thank you for pub­lish­ing the up­lift­ing story about the friend­ship be­tween Supreme Court Jus­tices Ruth Bader Gins­burg and An­tonin Scalia. Although sep­a­rated by re­li­gion, sex, po­lit­i­cal be­liefs and in­ter­pre­ta­tions of the Con­sti­tu­tion, they have de­vel­oped and main­tained a strong friend­ship based on mu­tual re­spect and a love of opera.

This is more than just a “good news” story; it is a won­der­ful ex­am­ple for Amer­i­cans to con­sider dur­ing the in­creas­ing nas­ti­ness of the 2016 elec­tion sea­son.

Ju­dith Fenton

Costa Mesa

It al­ways amuses me when I read that Scalia “in­sists the Con­sti­tu­tion should be in­ter­preted the way its orig­i­nal writ­ers would have un­der­stood it.”

Over the years he has been on the court, Scalia has twisted the plain mean­ing of nu­mer­ous words of the Con­sti­tu­tion when­ever it would suit his ul­tra- con­ser­vatism, such as when he sim­ply dis­misses the “well- reg­u­lated mili­tia” lan­guage as im­pos­ing no qual­i­fier what­so­ever on the right to bear arms, or when he con­cludes that em­pow­er­ing bil­lion­aires to buy elec­tions and cor­rupt the demo­cratic process in the most pro­found way is sim­ply an ex­er­cise in free speech.

Both of those po­si­tions, in ad­di­tion to be­ing con­trary to many years of Supreme Court prece­dent, would no doubt as­tound the framers. Scalia may be many things, but a strict con­struc­tion­ist he’s not.

Gor­don J. Lout­tit

Man­hat­tan Beach

The un­com­mon bond of Scalia and Gins­burg, who dis­agree so of­ten on the law, is re­fresh­ing.

Far too of­ten these days those in gov­ern­ment with dif­fer­ing views fight regularly and with ac­ri­mony, be­hav­ing in such a man­ner as to sug­gest they have very lit­tle re­gard for we the peo­ple. What the two Supreme Court jus­tices have for each other is re­spect — a trait that, sad to say, has be­come all too rare in gov­ern­ment and, in­deed, in Amer­i­can so­ci­ety.

Jon White


Alex Wong Getty I mages

SUPREME COURT Jus­tices An­tonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Gins­burg have forged a friend­ship.

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