Sunday, April 02, 2006

O'Reilly: Only "nutty left wants Scalia to recuse himself"

On the March 28th edition of The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly, O'Reilly falsely stated that only the "nutty left wants Scalia to recuse himself." This is certainly not true, as many non-liberals have joined the fight to have Scalia recuse himself from the Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld case that questions the legality of the military commissions set up in 2001 by George Bush for detainees of war crimes.

A number of people are in on the Center for Constitutional Rights and Representative John D. Conyers's fight to have Justice Scalia to recuse himself from the case, including retired conservative Fox News judicial analyst Andrew P. Napolitano, and a group of retired military officials.

Justice Anthony Scalia has dismissed the idea that detainees have any rights. When asked if they have any rights under the Geneva Convention or ither international conventions, Scalia replied:

"If he was captured by my army on a battlefield, that is where he belongs. I had a son on that battlefield and they were shooting at my son and I'm not about to give this man who was captured in a war a full jury trial. I mean it's crazy."

The president of the Center for Constitutional Rights said:

"This is clearly grounds for recusal. I can't recall an instance where I've heard a judge speak so openly about a case that's in front of him -- without hearing the arguments."

And O'Reilly's own colleague from Fox News, Napalitano, certainly not from the "nutty left", said on The Big Story with John Gibson from March 28th:

"So, look, here's the rule. If a judge or a justice has formed an opinion about a case, based upon some effect on the family member, you got to get off the case. In -- in this particular instance, there is no provision to force him off. "

....

"But when you go into a court, you expect the judge to have an open mind, not to have decided the case before it's even argued. "

....

"But, remember, their job [the lawyers involved in the case] is not to change his mind from one position to another. Their job is to take him from a position of neutrality and win him over. "

....

"I think, morally, he must [recuse himself]."
And he speaks with certainly no bias against Scalia, also stating that he "love[d]" Scalia, and later, "He's a great man. He can deal with this."

And the original transcripts from The Radio Factor from March 28th:

O'REILLY: Finally, chief justice -- not chief justice but Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made some comments about how captured terrorists should be treated by the USA. Now, the Supreme Court is going to hear -- going to hear a case where the crazy left wants all of the captured terrorists to be tried in civilian court, no matter where they're caught. This is insane. But that's what the far left wants. Now, Scalia was in Switzerland and said this.

SCALIA (audio clip) We are in a war here capturing these people on the battlefield. We never gave a trial in civil courts to people captured in war. We captured a lot of Germans during World War II, and they were brought not to Guantánamo, but to the soil of the United States. We didn't give them a trial.

O'REILLY: All right, so obviously, Scalia's not going to vote for civilian trials for terrorists, and I don't think most of the other Supreme Court people will either. But now, the nutty left wants Scalia to recuse himself from the vote. You know, it's just the same -- on and on and on and on. But these nuts -- aye-aye-aye.

Read: http://mediamatters.org/items/200603310003

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