Justice Antonin Scalia murder rumors are making their inevitable rounds across the internet. If you learn anything from being in online media for more than a decade, you know that it’s impossible for a tragedy to occur without some conspiracy theory to come along behind it.
There are the Sandy Hook doubters as well as people who deny that reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed by a disgruntled ex-colleague during a morning show broadcast from WDBJ-TV in August of last year.
Recent doubters have tried to lay blame at the president’s door, leading many to believe they are strictly conservative as seems to be the case with the Scalia Murder theory, but it’s a phenomenon that crosses ideological lines.
Case in point: liberal theorists were certain George W. Bush was behind the 9/11 attacks from 2001.
In the past, these theories could be dismissed and cordoned off to crazy websites, but it was surprising to see Business Insider wade into these often turbulent waters earlier in the week when they outlined the claims behind the Scalia Murder theory.
To be fair to BI‘s Allan Smith, he took a straightforward approach in relaying what is known about the events surrounding Scalia’s death on Saturday (Feb. 13), only he did so from the angle of explaining why the conspiracy theorists are now saying what they’re saying.
Essentially, the evidence of a possible Scalia murder scenario boils down to this: he was found with a pillow over his head, had declined a security detail for the weekend, and was pronounced dead over the phone by Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara, who told a Dallas television station that the Supreme Court judge died of a “myocardial infraction” (aka heart attack) before changing her story to “his heart had stopped” when speaking to the Washington Post on the matter.
Finally, it was determined that there would be no autopsy for the conservative Supreme Court Justice.
That word “conservative” is necessary here because it explains the motivation of many, who are now pushing a Scalia Murder narrative. Liberal news site Right Wing Watch has a list of five high-profile conservatives, who believe that it’s possible foul play was involved in the Justice’s death, and that (who else?) President Obama was behind it.
Among the five named, rocker, pro-gun activist, and NRA member Ted Nugent had this to say.
“Who can possibly trust our evil rotten runaway criminal government at this heartbreaking point in time?”
Other theorists unrelated to the five named have speculated that this gun may have been used to carry it out.
There are two key factors driving the Scalia Murder theory, the first of which is responsible for pretty much every conspiracy theory, no matter how ludicrous it may seem.
The World Wide Web is a wonderful thing because it encourages the free flow of information and ideas, but it also gives voice to less mainstream forms of messaging.
Throw social media into the mix, where so many people share things from a friend they trust without investigating the material, and it’s not long before people are denying mass shootings and showing their “irrefutable” proof that the whole thing was a hoax because of “gun control” or to “get revenge on Saddam Hussein” or to “appoint a fifth liberal Justice before his term ends.”
Nature of the beast, in other words.
President Obama’s “Conflict of Interest”
The second reason is completely unique to President Obama. His hastiness to get Scalia’s post refilled is understandable on one hand because it is his presidential right. However, as Kentucky Senator Rand Paul aptly points out in a report from Think Progress, Obama has a number of conflicts of interest at this point in his administration.
“The president has said he has the power basically to create immigration law out of nothing,” Paul said. “He says he has the power to basically cripple entire industries like coal without ever having been given that power by Congress. So see, we have a Constitutional debate on whose powers is it, the president or Congress? And I think the president sort of has a conflict of interest here in appointing somebody while we’re trying to decide whether or not he’s usurped power.”
Is it fair that President Obama gets that power when there are so many justifiable questions that he is overreaching?
Furthermore, there are a number of liberals who believe Supreme Court Justices should be elected positions, but when they actually have an opportunity to do so — vote for a Justice by voting for the next president to determine once and for all where the country’s ideological shift is in 2016 as opposed to 2012 — they fall back to an idea they were against until it seems like it will work in their favor.
This is at the core of conservative conspiracy theorists, and while they are almost certainly wrong in believing a Scalia Murder plot existed, they and liberals are so divided as countrymen that it’s easy for this kind of thing to proliferate.
What do you think of the Scalia Murder conspiracy theory, readers?
[Image via Flickr Creative Commons / Ted Eytan]