Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« Thou Shalt Not Call 'Shotgun' ... | Speaking of Fictional Characte... »

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Case for Torture

posted by on June 19 at 11:21 AM

Wait a minute… didn’t US Supreme Court Justice Scalia lose his shit when some of his colleagues brought up European laws and constitutions during deliberations?

And now Scalia is citing Jack Bauer—a fictional character in a television show—to bolster his case in support of torture?

“Jack Bauer saved Los Angeles. … He saved hundreds of thousands of lives,” Judge Scalia said. Then, recalling Season 2, where the agent’s rough interrogation tactics saved California from a terrorist nuke, the Supreme Court judge etched a line in the sand.

“Are you going to convict Jack Bauer?” Judge Scalia challenged his fellow judges. “Say that criminal law is against him? ‘You have the right to a jury trial?’ Is any jury going to convict Jack Bauer? I don’t think so. So the question is really whether we believe in these absolutes. And ought we believe in these absolutes.”

Says Andrew Sullivan

Earth to Justice Scalia: Jack Bauer does not exist.

RSS icon Comments





Posted by seattle98104 | June 19, 2007 11:33 AM

Until I read this, I never knew it was possible to laugh and cry at the same time...

Posted by Hernandez | June 19, 2007 11:37 AM

scary scary times we live in, no?

Posted by brandon | June 19, 2007 11:38 AM

Fuck Dan, don't get your panties in a bunch. Why don't you read the original article. This had nothing to do with "deliberations", it was simply a panel discussion amoungst judges where someone else brought up the Jack Bauer hypothetical and Scalia responded. It was hardly a judgement from the bench.

Posted by DOUG. | June 19, 2007 11:40 AM

The supreme court is legally wrong to say precedents from other countries don't count. First of all you can cite non-binding precedents. Alabama precedents are cited in other states all the time, although they are nonbinding-- in other states.

Second, international law including treaties and customary law is CONSTITUTIONALLY part of the supreme law of the us.

Posted by Jack B. | June 19, 2007 11:44 AM

You know who ought to be convicted? The Noid. He ruins pizzas!

Posted by Ziggity | June 19, 2007 11:45 AM

It's still a representative of the finest legal tradition in the history of the world using a vile, manipulative TV PROGRAM to justify the use of torture. Scalia is very upfront: he digs torture. He doesn't have a problem with indefinite detention without charges. He's a disgrace to the robes and a threat to the Constitution.

Posted by Fnarf | June 19, 2007 12:02 PM

Fnarf @ 7,

You just described virtually everyone in the US Federal Government today.

Posted by Original Andrew | June 19, 2007 12:06 PM

Why does everyone at the stranger hate America?

Posted by ecce homo | June 19, 2007 12:12 PM

Rest in Peace, oh final scrap of Justice Scalia's sanity.

Posted by east coaster | June 19, 2007 12:15 PM

Superman, however, would never stoop to torture. Which leaves me in a bit of a moral quandary. Which fictional hero should I look to for guidance?

Posted by flamingbanjo | June 19, 2007 12:18 PM



Posted by Mr. Poe | June 19, 2007 12:23 PM

Who is Jack Bauer and what has he done with my freedom

Posted by Tost | June 19, 2007 12:24 PM

Scalia's an asshole for many reasons, but he did write the 2004 dissent in Hamdi v. Rusmfeld, stating that the US government could not detain a citizen as an enemy combatant without charges.

Posted by DOUG. | June 19, 2007 12:33 PM

Not to speak for Ecce, but I'm pretty sure that was sarcasm, Mr. Poe.

Posted by Tiffany | June 19, 2007 12:42 PM

Comment #6 wins my coveted and just-invented Best Comment of the Month Award.

Posted by Tone | June 19, 2007 12:44 PM

Fnarf, say what you will about Scalia, but 24 (as a work of fiction, not as a basis for governmental policy) rules!

Posted by Levislade | June 19, 2007 12:47 PM

@17 Ick, 24 is just "The Bachelor" with heavy explosives.
Who's going to get catty with the president?
Who's Jack going to give his torture ring to?
Who's going home (to hell) this week?

Posted by dirge | June 19, 2007 1:05 PM

Jack Bauer never retreats, he just attacks in the opposite direction.

Professor Charles Xavier from X-Men once tried to read Jack Bauer's mind. Now he's sitting in a wheel chair.

When someone asks him how his day is going, Jack replies, "Previously, on 24..."

Posted by Jack Bauer Facts | June 19, 2007 1:11 PM

If they can write in a Constitution and work on protecting liberties, I'll just climb in my TV.

It really isn't a matter of where he said it (although I thought it was months ago), it's that he's a strict constuctionist and is thinking like a 12 year-old in public. Plus, he's talking like a cowboy. If they wrote crap lines likee it onto 24, it would be too corny. Thank god they serve for life.

If you didn't know that, it's the answer to your question 'why hasn't gonzalez fired Stevens, Breyer and Ginsberg?'.

Posted by vegetable lasagna | June 19, 2007 1:11 PM

This post overlooks the difference between refusing to look to international jurisprudence for guidance and relying on a TV character to bolster an argument: Bauer's 'merican.

Posted by Whoa... | June 19, 2007 4:14 PM

It really, really sucks that people like Scalia, and Rush Limbaugh are sitting at home watching 24 (a show I love, adore, and watch religiously) and thinking "Yeah man, that Jack Bauer he's got the right idea." Fuck its SUPPOSED to be entertainment not strategic planning. Kiefer Sutherland is horrified by that shit.

Posted by JessB | June 19, 2007 9:28 PM

I guess Scalia also forgot that the terrorist nuke in season 2 was sponsored by right-wing elements in the government that faked evidence to force the US into a war in the Middle East to benefit a consortium of oil companies.

Or that unless your name is Jack Bauer, torture has always proven to be an ineffective interrogation technique on the show.

Posted by Aexia | June 20, 2007 8:45 AM

A problem with TV shows is that the hero never acts on false information that the torture victim makes up just to get the torture to stop.

Another problem with TV shows is that the hero never misses the opportunity to save the world by spending 3 hours torturing some guy who doesn't know anything.

Posted by anon | June 20, 2007 11:07 AM

ucgx kuaoc itan ukqdiyo lwroica vzuj aqhuvw

Posted by upyhblwj lvqse | June 25, 2007 3:27 PM

ucgx kuaoc itan ukqdiyo lwroica vzuj aqhuvw

Posted by upyhblwj lvqse | June 25, 2007 3:29 PM

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 14 days old).