Justice Antonin Scalia has enjoyed a reputation as a deep thinker on legal issues, but by recycling right-wing talking points during oral argument on the Affordable Care Act -- such as the “broccoli mandate” and “Cornhusker Kickback” long promoted by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh -- he may be gaining a new reputation: the Court's first talk-radio justice. At the very least, his channeling of right-wing media at oral argument lends credence to the charge by Charles Fried, President Reagan's Solicitor General, that the five conservative justices' opposition to the Affordable Care Act is about “politics, politics, politics.”
Fried has been “scaldingly critical” of Scalia and other conservative justices for their willingness to “traffic in some of the most well-worn Tea Party tropes about Obamacare” according to the Washington Post's Greg Sargent. Sargent quotes Fried:
I was appalled to see that at least a couple of them were repeating the most tendentious of the Tea Party type arguments .... I even heard about broccoli. The whole broccoli argument is beneath contempt. To hear it come from the bench was depressing.
Indeed, Scalia's rhetoric during oral arguments will sound familiar to Dittoheads and regular Fox viewers.