Those with the courage to vote against bills with "wonderful" names.
"Even the name of it is wonderful: The Voting Rights Act. Who is going to vote against that in the future?"My dear friends, the Oscars are behind us, and now it's time to honor those who made real contributions to America.
-Justice Antonin Scalia, 2/27/13
I'm talking, of course, about those brave, Republican Members of Congress who showed the fortitude to conquer a task that even one of our most fearless champions, Nino Scalia, thought almost insurmountable. And they did it not once, but twice!
That is why we have established the Antonin Scalia Award for Legislative Courage, a tribute to those who stand up against laws that help others stand up (even laws that have really "wonderful" names).
It takes true conviction to oppose bills with names that identify the meritorious things the bills actually do, as Justice Scalia noted yesterday. And, as the good Justice also noted, it only gets harder as time goes on, and those entitlements--whether racial or gendered--become more entrenched in our society. These votes are real profiles in courage, and such courage deserves to be honored.
Yes, friends, fourteen courageous men--and one sassy lady--have served us faithfully for so long that they not only stood up to vote against the Voting Rights Act reauthorization in 2006, but also--just this morning!--took the exceptional step of voting against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.
To vote against the Violence Against Women Act? That's rare. To vote against the Voting Rights Act? That's rarer still. But to vote against both bills, even though they both have such wonderful names? Justice Scalia would think that would be next to impossible. By Scalia's logic, these must be the bravest fifteen legislators in America. And today, we honor them.
Without further ado, your 2013 winners of the Antonin Scalia Award for Legislative Courage:
Joe BartonIn addition to congratulating those intrepid legislators for opposing both voting rights and domestic violence prevention, the Awards Committee would also like to wish a hearty "good luck!" to those who will be seeking Senate seats this cycle, including two of my favorite fellas from Georgia, Congressmen Gingrey and Price, and that always amazing Cornhusker, Steve King. I hope they remember to wear this award proudly. (If they forget, I'm sure we'd all be happy to help hang it 'round their necks.)