Why fulminate against Justice Scalia?
In part it's because his ideas are, to liberals, so very dangerous. Children-- and young jurists-- cannot be allowed to read these things; they might get ideas! As you say, the Left cannot endure real competition between constitutional theories, since their own interpretations are so far removed from any plausible theory.
But there's a practical political motive here as well. If Scalia can be successfully painted as an extremist, then liberals will be halfway to their goal: convincing the public that the greatest danger to the Constitution lies in the appointment of such "extremist" judges to the Supreme Court. And liberals, with ample help from their media colleagues, have been very successful with such efforts in the past-- Robert Bork being the most conspicuous example. So the incredulous op-ed columns about Scalia's dissenting opinion should be seen as a warm-up for the main event.
This is a classic use of the Big Lie technique. You rally opposition to a Court nominee by saying he's an extremist, then line up the extremist groups to lobby against him. You say there must not be a "litmus test," all the while imposing your own "litmus test." You insist that a Republican President should not impose his will on the Court, and then you impose your will on the Court.
Unfortunately, this approach often works.
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