Scalia’s Dissents—the Musical

Guitars and singing underscore the right-wing Supreme Court justice’s arguments against marriage equality and ObamaCare.
Jun 28, 2015· 1 MIN READ
Samantha Cowan is an associate editor for culture.

It’s been a rough week for Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia.

While the 16.4 million Americans who have health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act and the 60 percent of Americans who support marriage equality cheered the latest SCOTUS rulings, Scalia was in the minority on both cases. And although the Chief Justice did not select him to write the official dissenting opinion, the 79-year-old from New Jersey couldn’t resist chiming in with his unique brand of manufactured indignance, bravado, and insult.

To bring his latest screeds to the masses, rock band Coheed and Cambria created a video for Funny or Die, turning some of Scalia’s most bizarre lines into a song, with helpful subtitles pointing to the passages in each dissent so viewers can follow along.

Singer Claudio Sanchez almost makes Scalia’s words sound like poetry against backing harmonies and delicate guitar melodies, but the lyrics border on the nonsensical.

The quartet pulls in some of the more imaginative phrases, such as calling the Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act “interpretive jiggery-pokery” and “pure applesauce” and Scalia’s direction to “ask the nearest hippie” about how marriage infringes upon the freedom of intimacy.

Sanchez croons about “the threat to American democracy,” which brings attention to one of the most surprising passages in Scalia’s single-sex-marriage dissent.

“A system of government that makes the People subordinate to a committee of nine unelected lawyers does not deserve to be called a democracy,” Scalia wrote, seemingly questioning the role of the Supreme Court itself. He goes on to call the panel on which he has been for 33 years privileged, unrepresentative, and therefore not fit to make a decision on marriage equality at all.

Funny how none of that concerns him when he’s in the majority.