Tiny Violins for ‘Poor’ SCJ Scalia
Yesterday Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made a speech to The Northern Virginia Technology Group in McClean, VA that judges should get raises because “you can’t raise a family on what the salary [of a federal judge] is.” He goes on to say that “[m]ore and more we cannot attract the really bright lawyers[,]” and to fix this we need to raise the salaries of the Federal Judiciary otherwise they’ll stay in the private sector where there’s more money.
Let’s review: According to Anton Scalia, a Supreme Court Justice, can’t raise a family on his own salary of more than $199,200, or that of a Bankruptcy Judge making more than $149,132 living in Manhattan.
Pardon me for not shedding any tears for Justice Scalia or anyone else that won’t take the job because of the lower salary. Why? Because the median family income in America isover $57,278 according to US Census data.
In Manhattan, according to 2003 US Census Data, the median household income was only $44,139. Knowing about the cost of living in NYC that is barely enough to scrape by in a tiny closet-sized apartment. But it is still possible. I couldn’t find the per family income for Manhattan but I can imagine that it’s somewhere at about $60,000 – $90,000 in order to raise a family comfortably.
If the judges are finding it hard to raise families on a budget of $150,000 a year then they really should get into some financial planning courses, I’m just saying is all.
More as*hattery after the flip.Scalia continued to dig himself a hole by pretty much asserting that the Constitution was a document written in stone. That it should be interepreted as how the framers wrote it and nothing more. Which if it were the case then why do we have an amendment process? Or for that matter a judiciary? To him, attitudes, and value systems may change but everything should be compared to 1778 when the Constitution was ratified.
Scalia spent most of his speech advocating a theory of constitutional interpretation called originalism, which seeks to discern the meaning of the Constitution as envisioned by the Founding Fathers.
He mocked those who interpret the Constitution as a living document that has evolved over time.
He referred to the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence on the death penalty, which has cited “evolving standards of decency” to ban the death penalty for juveniles and the mentally retarded as cruel and unusual punishment.
“I have no idea what the standards of decency are out there. I’m afraid to ask,” Scalia said.
That’s a little impossible seeing as they’ve been dead for almost two and one half centuries.