Justice Scalia's Not-So-Secret Crush on Jack Bauer

Shelley Lewis: Scalia continues the far Right's love affair with the fictional hero of <i>24</i>.
This post, written by Shelley Lewis, originally appeared on The Huffington Post

Marge Do you want your son to become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, or a sleazy male stripper?
Homer: Can't he be both, like the late Earl Warren?
Marge: Earl Warren wasn't a stripper!
Homer: Now who's being naive?

If only Judge Scalia watched The Simpsons instead of that other Fox show, 24. He'd have an easier time distinguishing reality from fiction, and they might even write a joke about him.

As you've probably read by now, it seems our Justice Scalia, long revered by conservatives for his intellect, has been pointing to the exploits of TV's own Jack Bauer, to justify torture.

"Jack Bauer saved hundreds of thousands of lives," el Nino exclaimed to a group of judges discussing the issue of torture in Canada.

Actually, I doubt Scalia really is watching 24. If he were, he would know that the anti-terrorist agency CTU, where Jack Bauer works when he isn't being imprisoned, hunted, or tortured by Chinese/Arab/Russian thugs is:

A. Run by incompetent but well meaning nincompoops who can't even secure their own building from terrorist infiltration through sewer lines and probably the front door,

B. Staffed by computer geniuses who can't tell when their system is breached, and don't notice when the terrorists they desperately seek have set up shop just blocks away from them

C. Constantly letting terrorists escape when the bad guys use techniques like the old, they-got-in-their-SUVs-and-just-drove-away trick. In short, CTU is a pretty good approximation of FEMA, or the TSA. Or, of course, the Department of Homeland Security.

On the other hand, the staffers at CTU can be captured and tortured with a power drill to the shoulder one minute, and be back at their work stations the next, without so much as a whimper. Government employees, and no doubt unionized. Also, their cellphones work absolutely everywhere, even in the cargo hold of a jet at 20 thousand feet.

By the way, Judge Scalia, Jack Bauer (and by that I mean the fictional character) knows when he's breaking the law--it's just that he does it anyway. He's always willing to face the legal consequences because he knows torture is, in theory at least, illegal.

It's shocking to hear a Supreme Court justice utter statements like: "Jack Bauer saved Los Angeles!...Are you going to convict Jack Bauer?" but you have to admit it is consistent with his world view.
Shelley Lewis is author of the book, “Naked Republicans: A full frontal Exposure of Rightwing Hypocrisy and Greed” (
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