by Scott Creighton
UPDATE: I wonder what Justice Scalia, a strict constitutionalist, thought about the TPP, the TTIP and their Investor-State Dispute Settlement provisions? Because not only do these provisions undermine US law as it stands, but they also supersede the constitution and even rulings of the Supreme Court.
Obama and the leaders of 11 other nations signed the TPP earlier this month. Obama was granted Fast Track authority, but the corporate bill of rights passing as a “trade deal” will still have to be approved by the senate in an up or down vote. It will pass and Obama will sign it leaving just one obstacle: it will certainly be challenged in the Supreme Court on the grounds that it is not constitutional.
Scalia was apparently brought out to the ranch owned by a vulture capitalist to meet with 35 substantial business people shortly after Obama signed the TPP and Obama’s offering to take Scalia’s place is a pro-business neoliberal shill?
Interesting timing, right?
Justice Scalia was found lying with hands folded on top of the sheets. It was first reported that he was found by a housekeeper, then the story changed and he was found by the owner of the ranch and “a friend”. By time they called anyone about the death, Scalia was already cold and they failed to inform any of the authorities of the identity of the deceased. Justices are provided security by the US Marshal Service which didn’t appear to be on the scene at the time of Scalia’s passing. The cause of death was determined to have been by “natural causes” by local officials “over the phone” based on “credible information” provided by that same ranch owner and “a friend”. At first officials said he died of a heart attack but now that official says she “misspoke”. The hearse carrying Scalia away was a “decoy” and the family has opted out of an autopsy.
Scalia was brought there to meet with 35 “substantial business people” and Obama has offered up a “business friendly” judge as a possible replacement for him on the court. A business friendly judge who defended Enron, Rio Tinto and Exxon mobile back in his days of practicing law. He’s a favorite of both sides of the One True Party, the Business Party of America.
This past Saturday at 11:00am local time, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Antonin Scalia was found dead “lying in perfect repose” (“His hands were sort of almost folded on top of the sheets,” John B. Poindexter, the property’s owner) in his bed at Cibolo Creek Ranch in Texas. The ranch is a sprawling 30,000 acre retreat favored by the rich and famous for it’s exclusivity and privacy.
John B. Poindexter, owner of the Cibolo Creek Ranch, is a well known backer of Democratic Party candidates. He made his money as a vulture capitalist: running leveraged buyouts of US manufacturing firms, liquidating most, keeping a few. Basically, he’s Gordon Geeko.
In 2006 he tried to buy 46,000 acres of Big Bend State park so his rich clients could enjoy the scenery without having to bother with the huddled masses being there as well. He would have got it, quietly like most of his other vulture capitalist deals, but the press got wind of it and the plan was nixed.
Antonin Scalia was an intellectual giant, it is said. He was a constitutional originalist, one who believed in taking the constitution at it’s word as opposed to trying to assign implied meanings to it’s language. He was also instrumental in the formation of the majority ruling that defined the 2nd amendment as granting individual citizens the right to own firearms for the defense of themselves and their homes. Ever since then, the “militia” argument has been dead in the water, at least as far as the courts are concerned.
The Supreme Court is facing some major decisions this session involving affirmative action, abortion, immigration and ObamaCare. Scalia is a conservative in a court that was leaning that direction 5 to 4.
On July 7th of 2015, Paul Waldman wrote an op-ed for The Week which turns out to be a little haunting in it’s prescience.
“Liberals won an unusual number of victories in the Supreme Court term that just finished, given that conservatives have a 5-4 majority on the court. In fact, according to a tally by SCOTUSblog, the liberals prevailed in a remarkable 19 out of the 26 closely divided cases the court decided this term.
But Republicans can take heart, because things are likely to go back the way they were when the court reconvenes in October. Which is all the more reason why the court will probably be as big an issue in the 2016 presidential campaign as it has ever been. And if it isn’t, it should be.” Paul Waldman
Well, now it is a big issue in the 2016 presidential campaign, isn’t it?
Antonin Scalia had just arrived at Poindexter’s ranch just hours before on Friday along with 35 other guests, some also from Washington. Poindexter and Scalia did not know one another:
“Justice Scalia and Mr. Poindexter had met just once, in Washington, and the justice had traveled to Texas after a friend of Mr. Poindexter’s suggested inviting him… Many of those at the ranch during the weekend, Ms. Hodge said, were from Washington, but others were from San Antonio, Houston and Kerrville.” New York Times
At the time of writing, a compete guest list has not been made available. Nor does this researcher know exactly who it was who suggested Poindexter invite Scalia to the ranch.
“(Poindexter) said he invited Scalia to the ranch on the suggestion of a mutual friend, a lawyer, who came with Scalia.
He declined to identify the lawyer or any of the other guests, except to say that they were “very substantial business people,” but not big names in politics.
“There is no political angle here,” he said. “It was strictly a group of friends sympathetic to the justice’s views.”” LA Times
It’s very nice of Poindexter to inform us that there is no political angle to a bunch of substantial business people getting together with an influential Associate Justice of the Supreme Court the night of his mysterious passing. Nothing to see here. Just move along.
Not all the guests stayed after Scalia was found dead lying neatly with his hands crossed on the sheets.
While the press once again uses the primary season as a distraction, muddling on and on about obstructionism and opportunism, some rather interesting details and contradictions are quietly emerging from Texas surrounding this story.
At first we were told the housekeeper found Justice Scalia.
“Guevara said she misspoke when she previously told local TV station WFAA that Scalia died of a heart attack.
Scalia, 79, was on a hunting trip with friends at a West Texas resort. Housekeepers reportedly found the justice dead in his room after he failed to show up to breakfast. huffington post
Then it was reported that it wasn’t a housekeeper that found the body, but instead, Poindexter himself along with “a friend” of Scalia’s. Was this the same friend who suggested Scalia come out to the ranch?
“The next morning, Justice Scalia did not appear for breakfast, and Mr. Poindexter went to look for him.
“I knocked on the door loudly,” said Mr. Poindexter, who said Justice Scalia and the other guests had been staying at the ranch free for the weekend. “I had him in a very large room — a suite — and I thought he might be in the bathroom.”
Just after 11 a.m., Mr. Poindexter and a friend of Justice Scalia’s tried the door again, again to no answer. They entered the room, and it took no medical training, Mr. Poindexter said, to recognize that Justice Scalia was dead.” New York Times
It’s not altogether to concerning that initial reports differ with regard to who found the body. A journalist might not have done their homework or someone acting as a spokesman for the ranch in the early stages of the story may have spoken to reporters before getting all the facts. These things happen and to make too much out of them at a time like this is irresponsible.
However, check this out:
“No identity or clue was given that this was not another body found by hunters in the desert,” David Beebe, a justice of the peace, wrote in an email Saturday night.
Judge Beebe said County Judge Cinderela Guevera had ultimately pronounced Justice Scalia dead by telephone and “ruled it natural causes based on credible information.” She did not respond to messages on Sunday.” New York Times
That declaration is likely to remain the official word regarding Scalia’s death because there will be no official autopsy.
“A gray hearse arrived Saturday — a decoy, Van Etten said, to distract the news media. It wasn’t until about midnight that a van arrived to spirit the body away.
Scalia’s body was taken by a caravan of 20 law enforcement officers three hours west to Sunset Funeral Home in El Paso, where, after the family opted against having an autopsy, it was being prepared to be flown back to Virginia, according to Chris Lujan, a funeral director manager.” LA Times
We are being told the official cause of death was a heart attack but as of this moment, I can’t find confirmation that it’s listed that way on his death certificate and the person who at first claimed he died of a heart attack, now claims she “misspoke”
So what was the cause of death?
Officials have released the scene of his death and reporters are crawling all over the place down there. They even released a photo of the bed Scalia died in. It is unmade, the sheets rumpled up. A pitcher of water sits on the nightstand beside the bed.
So much for an investigation.
Poindexter made a very interesting, cryptic statement regarding Scalia’s passing which I think deserves some attention:
“It was an honor to have had him,” he said. “He was surrounded by 35-odd admirers. He was at a beautiful location, which he remarked upon several times as being very much to his taste. He was doing what he liked to do, which was being outdoors. He had no apparent pain or distress in his death. While an absolute tragedy, it could have happened at worse places and worse circumstances than it happened here.” LA Times
What is the meaning behind this statement? When he says these were all substantial business people who were there and folks who were “admirers” of his, does that mean he hosted this meeting for Scalia with the intention of giving these business people an opportunity to meet him or to influence him? Whatever the case may be, it is apparent that the get-together was centered on Scalia himself and it seems kind of odd that his heart would just happen to give out at such a time.
We are told he was surrounded by 35-odd admirers, leading business people with a stake in several upcoming Supreme Court decisions. What he wasn’t surrounded by was his usual security detail. They had stayed home.
After Scalia’s body was discovered, the ranch alerted the U.S. Marshals Service, which is responsible for protecting the justices when they travel outside Washington, although Van Etten had not noticed them around Scalia at the ranch.
“He was very unassuming. He didn’t want his entourage of marshals to stay here with him,” Van Etten said. LA Times
So now we have an unprotected Supreme Court justice found dead under unusual circumstances, pronounced dead over the phone and who will have no autopsy before being laid to rest.
One last thing:
A map appeared to be set under a bottle of water.
“When I went to straighten his room up after he was removed this morning, I noticed he had a map of the property next to his bed,” Poindexter said. “He had obviously been looking at it before he went to bed.” LA Times
From what I understand, an unprotected Justice Scalia left the festivities of the evening early, retiring to his chambers to get some rest after meeting with these substantial business people who were there because of Scalia. They say he left their little meeting at 9pm only to be found dead of “natural causes” the next morning. The cause of death determined by someone over the phone and there will be no autopsy. The heart attack story was someone “misspeaking”. His body is “spirited” away in secret as if the press is going to do anything to it and the scene is opened up to reporters and the owner of the ranch to do with as they please almost immediately. In fact, the pitcher of water was still sitting next to the bed.
I don’t know enough about poisons to make any guesses regarding what could have been in that pitcher, if indeed foul play was involved in Scalia’s passing. But it seems to me, any powerful public figure heading down to Texas unprotected to meet with a bunch of substantial business people in a remote location who turn up dead might just trigger a little more curiosity from the authorities than Justice Scalia’s passing engendered.
Did he really die of a heart attack peacefully in his sleep, lying there as if posed to imply that was the case?
Or did he get angry at being ambushed by a bunch of neoliberal corporatists at the ranch and head off to bed expecting to leave the next day, even more dead set against whatever it was they were pushing him to do?
It’s hard too say and we will never know because as we have learned in the past, Big Business is never questioned or suspected the way any one of us are these days in the Shining City on the Hill. Especially not in Texas.
Did something nefarious happen to Justice Scalia Friday night? Who knows. We never will. What happens behind the closed doors of the captains of industry stays behind the closed doors of the captains of industry. Even if what happens, happens to Supreme Court justices, civil rights leaders and presidents. After all, we are a country of priorities, are we not?
While the MSM focuses on what Donald Trump or Marco Rubio have to say about the matter, I thought you might like to know a little more about Justice Scalia met his end. Ironically, Scalia was Italian. The first Italian to sit on the Supreme Court and this whole thing sounds a little too much like that scene from Goodfellas where Tommy gets brought out to be “made” and gets whacked in a rec room instead. Personally, I would like to know who that lawyer was who brought him out there to meet all those substantial business people without any security. Might be something interesting to know.
In the corptocracy we all live in these days, the sins of our leading business people are well known but ignored. They lobby for wars and regime change operations with indifference, they unleash weapons of economic destruction on the country at will for their own profits and ideological leanings and they sell poison to their own customers with impunity knowing full well they will never be held accountable for their actions.
Presidents are killed. Senators are killed. Activists are killed. False flags are staged. Nothing is beyond the pale for these reactionary ideologues who sense the time is now for the birth of their New World Order nation.
And as it just so happens, when President Obama chimed in on the death of Justice Scalia, he offered up a suggestion as to his replacement practically before Scalia’s body was packed up and “spirited” away in the dead of the night. Perhaps there is a clue lingering in his choice of a former Bush and Obama Justice Department appointee who was backed by none other than Ted Cruz on his last judicial nomination.
“One possible contender to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court is an Indian-American appeals court judge, Sri Srinivasan, who has pro-business credentials and a stellar resume.”…
“In private practice, prior to his appointment to the appeals court, Srinivasan successfully represented former Enron Corp CEO Jeff Skilling in a Supreme Court case.“…
“Srinivasan also represented Exxon Mobil Corp in a lawsuit alleging human rights abuses in Indonesia, and mining giant Rio Tinto in a similar case about its activities in Papua New Guinea.” Reuters
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