Reporter-turned-liberal columnist Dana Milbank is incensed that Antonin Scalia is, well, being himself. The Washington Post scribe -- who infamously appeared on a February 2006 Countdown with Keith Olbermann in hunting gear to mock Vice President Dick Cheney, who accidentally shot a friend during a hunting excursion -- slammed the Reagan-appointed associate justice for "verbally lacerat[ing] anybody" who "was [not] a champion of the Arizona [immigration] crackdown."
"Scalia's tart tongue has been a fixture on the bench for years, but as the justices venture this year into highly political areas such as health-care reform and immigration, the divisive and pugilistic style of the senior associate justice is very much defining the public image of the Roberts Court," Milbank complained in his April 26 column.
Of course, to the extent the Roberts Court is "defined," it's the liberal media that play a huge role in the public's definition, simply by virtue of the spin the media gives to Court rulings. What's more, such spin is rarely predicated on a careful examination of the Court's rulings.
"Technically, Scalia was questioning counsel, but at best the queries were rhetorical. At times he verged on outright heckling," Milbank carped.
Should the Court uphold Arizona's immigration law, don't expect Milbank to do much beyond heckling the Court by picking bits and pieces out of the opinion that he feels are "divisive and pugilistic," particularly if Scalia is the justice penning the Court's ruling.