January 22, 2013

Justice Scalia was wearing his Sir Thomas More hat.



Did you notice?

84 comments:

Mary Martha said...

I noticed... because I am Catholic and a fan of St. Thomas More.

Most amusing was how few people got the reference. Even after a member of the Thomas More Society posted that it was the hat they had given Justice Scalia.

Time for some people to watch 'A Man For All Seasons' and try to figure out what the Justice was communicating.

Quayle said...

And the scene looked a lot like the trail of Sir Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons.

He was surrounded by liars and jackals who would say and do anything to gain favor with the King.

sparrow said...

Saw it at the Catholic websites I haunt.

Baron Zemo said...

He should have worn a Thomas à Becket outfit.

I can just see Barry telling his minion's "Will no one rid me of this turbulent judge?."

Baron Zemo said...

I would buy some more life insurance if I were the justice.

Nonapod said...

I don't doubt that Obama has a few things in common with Henry VIII, perhaps a sense of monarchical entitlement and power, the willingness to defy precedences and rule by fiat.

Lyle Smith said...

It's not that significant. It's not like he was dragged off to the tower to be executed.

People need to be wary of their analogies. Obama isn't Henry VIII by a long shot.

chickelit said...

Was it furloined?

Baron Zemo said...

Not yet. But give Barry some time. I don't put anything past him.

Renee said...

A Man of All Seasons... I wonder what law students would think of the movie now?

Palladian said...

Excellent!

That's the best Holbein painting in America. It hangs at the Frick Collection in New York City.

From Inwood said...

I agree completely with Mary Martha.

From Inwood said...

Palladian

Holbein's portrait of Erasmus is on the same wall in The Frick & is equally excellent, IMHO

mccullough said...

The hat he wore to the 2009 inauguration looked like a combination of a beret and a kufi.

This hat looks better. He woe look great in a jester hat. Maybe he can don it at the State of the Union.

Alex said...

It was probably for the best that King Henry VIII beheaded More. That was a necessary step on the way to the Reformation.

ricpic said...

Hans Holbein took up his brush to do Sir T. More justice.
Why is it a masterpiece? He didn't add a moustache.

YoungHegelian said...

@Lyle,

Obama isn't Henry VIII by a long shot.

So true. I mean, Obama's waaaaaay skinnier.

MadisonMan said...

Love the comment at the linked-to article that says something along the lines of Did anyone ask him why he wore it? Wouldn't it be disappointing if he wore it so the people who game it to him could see it on TV!.

MadisonMan said...

*gave* it to him

(sigh)

DADvocate said...

I noticed his cape but not the hat.

Indigo Red said...

Maybe the weather was cold.

David said...

Scalia is talking through his hat.

mccullough said...

Has anyone dressed in drag for the inauguration? Maybe Guiliani in 2001?

harrogate said...

Scalia's sense of himself is as high as anyone in public office or the private sector I have ever seen. Just astronomical. Makes both Bush and Obama look like Sheriff Andy Taylor.

Don Pagach said...

Sometimes a hat is just a hat...

Lem said...

It is also possible that he wore the hat because it was cold?

Astro said...

I think Justice Scalia would correct you and say it was a Saint Thomas More hat, rather than a Sir Thomas More hat.

edutcher said...

Interesting how the Justices speak without words.

Revenant said...

My new theory is the Michele Obama was rolling her eyes and shaking her head at the memory of that dorky-looking hat.

This ain't RenFaire, buddy.

Hagar said...

I think that kind of hat was in fashion. The way Justice Scalia wore it, it did not look so much like Sir Thomas More as it did someone else whose portrait I have seen, but can' remember who.
Maybe Wolsey, maybe Cromwell (the other Cromwell), maybe Martin Luther himself.

Drago said...

harrogate: "Scalia's sense of himself is as high as anyone in public office or the private sector I have ever seen."

LOL

How anyone can say this in the age of obama is breathtaking.

“I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters,” Mr. Obama told Patrick Gaspard, his political director, at the start of the 2008 campaign, according to The New Yorker. “I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m going to think I’m a better political director than my political director.”

virgil xenophon said...

LOL! Young Hegelian beat me to the punch! Yeah, otherwise not a "dimes worth of difference" between the two of them in terms of sense of entitlement and privilege and overweaning narcissistic hubris..

Drago said...

Alex: "It was probably for the best that King Henry VIII beheaded More. That was a necessary step on the way to the Reformation."

A "necessary step on the way to the Reformation"?

Wow.

Yep, that old Reformation would have been stopped dead in its tracks if Sir Thomas More wasn't....

wyo sis said...

Maybe it's just a private little "tip of the hat" along the same lines as Obama's middle finger head scratch, but with finesse and dignity.

Revenant said...

A "necessary step on the way to the Reformation"? Wow.

I wouldn't say his death was necessary. His removal from power, certainly; his death, no.

It is worth remembering that More didn't respect freedom of conscience any more than the men who killed him did.

chickelit said...

harrogate said...
Scalia's sense of himself is as high as anyone in public office or the private sector I have ever seen. Just astronomical. Makes both Bush and Obama look like Sheriff Andy Taylor.

That sort of animosity can only derive from resentment over some legal opinion of Scalia's--likely one where Scalia was in the minority. In Harrogate world, even dissent is not tolerated.

Jason said...

@Lyle Smith:

It's not that significant. It's not like he was dragged off to the tower to be executed.

People need to be wary of their analogies. Obama isn't Henry VIII by a long shot.


Well, until Scalia makes a movie. Then all bets are off.

garage mahal said...

On the topic of fashion:

Michelle Obama Not So Keen On President's New Bangs.

Hard to unsee that.

Baron Zemo said...

That's exactly right. I put nothing past Obama and his minions.

They will stop at nothing and the lapdog press and low information bread and circus public will not say a word.

It is going to be a very troubled four years.

chickelit said...

LOL garage! Even the headline (without clicking) has double entendre!

garage mahal said...

I would like to see a movement of putting bangs on former First Ladies. We'll simply call it "Banging First Ladies".

X said...

it's a sweet hat. does anyone know what it is called? I want one and nothing's coming up for "Thomas More hat".

Petunia said...

Better than that badly-dyed weave Beyonce was sporting on her head.

Nomennovum said...

I heard Marco Rubio was seen at the ceremony wearing a sombrero talking to Elizabeth Warren who was sporting a tres chic Indian headdress by Givenchy.

Nomennovum said...

And Eric Cantor was wearing some kind of undersized beanie on his head!!!!11!

Quaestor said...

Palladian wrote:
That's the best Holbein painting in America.

I think it's the best Holbien painting -- period. The Sir Thomas More is the best work of the artist at his peak. Evidently Hans Holbien was wont to flatter his subjects too much. His portrait of Anne of Cleves was so idealized that Henry Tudor was shocked by the visage of the real woman. And his experimentation with poses and lighting varied the outcomes as well. Many of his early portraits are full face, the subject humorously starring straight out at the viewer. The Thomas More painting is from his middle period which featured more experimentation and realism. In my opinion his outstanding work from that time is the Sir Richard Southwell and the Sir Thomas More, the former being the best.

His later work is very uneven. Consider his well-executed but uninteresting portrait of the infant Edward VI and the same subject twelve or thirteen years later -- a crude amateur effort by comparison. Holbien was known to have taken on students (a group which have come to be called the English School) and sometimes let them work on the low-cost jobs. (The totally whacked-out left hand of the Thomas Cromwell might be such as case. Thanks to the extravagance of Henry VIII and the mismanagement of Somerset Edwards's court was broke. Perhaps a student project was the best they could afford.) Be that as it may by 1540 Holbein's best days as an artist were behind him.

Chip Ahoy said...

I thought it was a Galileo hat.

Hats are cool. I have a few berets. I like to wear them like the Army.

I had a black one on at Cherry Creek and a very attractive woman approached me and asked me if I wouldn't mind telling here where I got it. And I told her, "No hold on because you're not going to believe this. At Army/Navy surplus in Englewood. They have a box stuffed with these hats in different colors and sizes. They're like a dollar."

I lied. They're like $10.00.

traditionalguy said...

Irene knits them.

Lem said...

Liberals would have preferred Scalia be more circumspect... and wear a more appropriate hat next time.

virgil xenophon said...

@ChipAhoy/

You live in Cherry Creek? I lived there circa 1967 when stationed at Lowry for a short course in AF Intelligence..I know, I know, I wouldn't recognize Denver now. Last time I was thru was when Stapleton was still operational around 81/82 iirc on trip from Louisville to business conference in Rapid City..

Chef Mojo said...

One thing that ticked me off about Eric Cantor was his snapping a pic during the inauguration and putting it up on Facebook, saying to the effect of "Look where I am!"

That's pretty tacky. I see this a lot from politicians of all stripes these days, and it's just dumb.

Give the event some dignity, man. Of course it would help if various participants weren't faking it, but there you go. Cantor shouldn't be adding to the tackiness.

Lem said...

Wear a hat of a different caliber.

Lem said...

Thats something that people do now CM. He is a politician. He has to adapt.

gadfly said...

And then again, there remains the time honored tradition of wearing a hat when it is cold "because you lose more heat through your head than the rest of your body."

RunnerJeffM said...

Maybe he's just rocking the juris doctorate look.

http://capsandgownsdirect.com/doctoralregalia/jd.html

It is fun observing all the loonies at the WaPo getting a little breathless. Rehnquist with chevrons on his gown! I say CHEVRONS! Like he owned the place!

virgil xenophon said...

@CM/

Echoing Lem, I'm afraid our culture has become so debased by the "social media" crowd/mentality that Cantor would be criticized by his voters if he had NOT played the "social media" game..

virgil xenophon said...

@RunnerJeffM/

Hey, I liked the effect of those chevrons! :) (says this old USAF Fossil)

Quaestor said...

X wrote:
it's a sweet hat. does anyone know what it is called?

It's a Renaissance form of biretta, known to the English as simply an "eared cap". I think Scalia's admirers got gypped. The hat just isn't right for the "Thomas More" look.

Here's Jeremy Northam wearing a fine example of an eared cap showing what it should really look like.

Despite Mann's infamous hockey stick The Medieval Warm Period was real and it was followed by an ice age from which we are just now emerging. (We can but hope, ice cores from earlier glacial ages show that "false springs" were commonplace.) England in the early 15th century was a damned cold climate, if you could afford warm clothing you wore it, thus the heavy gowns with fur collars, the hats with pull-down ear protection. etc.

harrogate said...

chickelit,

It stems less from his opinions, actually, than from some of the speeches I have seen and read. Though holding very regular conservative views that you see every day on Fox News, he seems to think that because he is the one saying them, he's "teaching." That's how he frames it. Just read some transcripts.

But really, in all fairness, I was responding to the idea Althouse put out here. For the sake of argument, what if her premise is correct. I mean here's this guy. He belongs very solidly in the mainstream thinking of one of the country's two dominant political parties. If such a guy is wearing a hat to conjure More, then he's a parody of a parody.

Some others have said, maybe he just wore the hat cause he's cold. Maybe. Or maybe he just likes weird hats. But if he means to convey "Man for All Seasons," who would be shocked by this? Not this guy.

Quaestor said...

Correction: 16th century. Was going to write "England in the early 1500's... " then decided on a different style in that sentence and failed to fix the numbering.

Quaestor said...

It was cold during the late Plantagenet period, but the early Tudor age was really chilly.

Quaestor said...

Lyle Smith wrote:
People need to be wary of their analogies. Obama isn't Henry VIII by a long shot.

True, but the shot falls closer to the mark than Lyle Smith thinks. Obama hasn't dealt with his opposition (his myrmidons don't flinch at calling them "enemies") has finally as did Henry Tudor, but his lust for naked power and disrespect of constitutional restraints are similar. What separates Obama from Henry VIII is the former lacks the patriotism which lay at the heart of the king's policies.

harrogate said...

"What separates Obama from Henry VIII is the former lacks the patriotism which lay at the heart of the king's policies."


Ahhh, the brazen assurance of the pseudonymous. Authors of posts such as the above know full well he they would be laughed out of most rooms with sane adults in them, and not taken seriously again, if they said these things out loud. But here the threads are filled with such comments, written by people who really seem to think: nailed it.

Saint Croix said...

Justice Breyer was wearing one too. I know because I saw Breyer's hat first. And I was thinking all sorts of French-related insults. And then I saw Scalia and I said, "Oh. That's all right, then."

Quaestor said...

What Obama has done to this country is no accident. By the time he leaves office our national debt will exceed 20 trillion dollars. This profligacy is a deliberate policy to reduce the United States to impotency on the international stage, a fate Obama and his mentors (Bill Ayers, Bernadette Dohrn, Jeremiah Wright, et al.) believe it richly deserves.

Saint Croix said...

Article on Scalia and the gift from the Sir Thomas More society.

That article just annoys me. Scalia is really glib on abortion, glib and slipshod.

In his Carhart dissent, for instance, Scalia says it's infanticide in the first paragraph.

In the seventh paragraph, he's talking about his "bemusement." That's quite a word choice in an opinion discussing a child's death.

A skeptical reader might think that Scalia doesn't believe it's an infanticide at all!

And if a child is being murdered, one wonders why our law doesn't forbid it. Why don't the murder statutes apply, since the baby is outside the womb?

Nobody in Carhart discusses the murder statutes, or how close these abortionists are to being charged with murder.

This sort of incompetence invited the Gosnell murders. Why not kill newborns, since it's a constitutional right to kill the partially born? And even the dissent doesn't take the homicide argument seriously.

Sir Thomas More, he is not.

Palladian said...

His later work is very uneven. Consider his well-executed but uninteresting portrait of the infant Edward VI and the same subject twelve or thirteen years later -- a crude amateur effort by comparison.

Quaestor, the second painting you linked is NOT a Holbein painting. It's a crude amateur effort because it was painted by a crude amateur. And twelve or thirteen years after painting Edward Vi as a child in 1538, Holbein's work would have been very uneven, since by that time he'd been dead for 7 years.

Your assessment of Holbein's "unevenness" may be because you're including poorly or spuriously attributed works in his oeuvre.

I also don't think Holbein was ever really a flatterer, even in the portraits of Anne of Cleves that you mentioned, as it was a distinctly minority opinion (mainly Henry's) that she was unattractive. If Holbein did flatter her in that instance it was probably only due to pressure from Thomas Cromwell.

Baron Zemo said...

What leads you to believe that Obama is a patriot harrogate?

tiger said...

I find this just awesome.


I like Justice Scalia and it will be sad day when he leaves the bench.

Palladian said...

What leads you to believe that Obama is a patriot harrogate?

Simple! Obama is on his team. Isn't that how it usually works?

Baron Zemo said...

You are such a sports guy Palladian.

You are correct sir.

He is rooting for the laundry.

There is no crime he could commit that would turn harrogate off.

chickelit said...

@harrogate: Thanks. I take it you don't care much for Thomas More, huh?

I'd hate to hear your spirited defense of Lavoisier's execution.

Palladian said...

I'd hate to hear your spirited defense of Lavoisier's execution.

La République n'a pas besoin de savants ni de chimistes!

Besides, imagine the magnitude and multitude of crimes against Gaia enabled by his work!

Hagar said...

Harrogate thinks Obama is on his team, but that is not necessarily so.
Harrogate's "team" could just be a convenient vehicle to carry Obama to where he can do what he wants done.

ken in sc said...

Obama isn't Henry VIII by a long shot.

Henry was an accomplished horseman, hunter, and competed well in the jousts. Obama can barely ride a girl's bicycle.

BTW, the Sir Thomas More hat was an ancestor to today's mortar board academic cap.

harrogate said...

chickelit,

I am not understanding how my comment leads you a conclusion of my opinion of More. I'm only responding to the idea at the heart of the post by Althouse. It's Scalia that I was talking about, not More.

Alex said...

So what if Scalia is a fat fucking greaseball?

chickelit said...

@harrogate: Well I'm not seeing what you're calling the "heart of what Althouse posted"." she put a photo, a comment "Did you notice" and a link.

But really, in all fairness, I was responding to the idea Althouse put out here. For the sake of argument, what if her premise is correct. I mean here's this guy. He belongs very solidly in the mainstream thinking of one of the country's two dominant political parties. If such a guy is wearing a hat to conjure More, then he's a parody of a parody.

I guess took your "parody of a parody" to mean Scalia is a parody of another parody (More). Or that you don't like Scalia and you don't think he lives up to More. But others would disagree here.

Anyways, I'm through tonight and don't wish to argue. You can have the last word. It leads nowhere and is a waste of time IMHO.

Palladian said...

Or that you don't like Scalia and you don't think he lives up to More. But others would disagree here.

I'd rather be subject to Justice Scalia's judgment than to Thomas More's.

Saint Croix said...

I'd rather be subject to Justice Scalia's judgment than to Thomas More's.

Why? More's point is that we should follow our law. That's Scalia's point, too. And Hugo Black's.

My criticism of Scalia is not jurisprudential. I fault Scalia for failing to live up to his jurisprudence. He's a textualist who has agreed with socialists to shrink the definition of "person" so that some live human beings are outside the class. And, thus, outside our law.

More would never do that. Neither would Black. These are men who would follow our law.

The moral comparison for Scalia is not Sir Thomas More, but Pontius Pilate.

Mick Havoc said...

All of the Vergers in High Church Episcopal congregations wear that hat still.

Saint Croix said...

In his Casey dissent, Scalia writes:

The whole argument of abortion opponents is that what the Court calls the fetus and what others call the unborn child is a human life. Thus, whatever answer Roe came up with after conducting its ‘balancing’ is bound to be wrong, unless it is correct that the human fetus is in some critical sense merely potentially human. There is of course no way to determine that as a legal matter; it is in fact a value judgment. Some societies have considered newborn children not yet human, or the incompetent elderly no longer so.”

Scalia believes that abortion is infanticide. But he also believes that states can kill babies if they want to. Indeed, in his Casey dissent, Scalia positively invites states to start killing newborns if they want to, or the "incompetent elderly."

Scalia denies the very young and the very old the equal protection of the laws. He defines them as sub-human and outside all legal protections.

Sir Thomas More, he is not. Yes, Scalia brings up pro-life theories, as a hypothetical. But they do not influence his jurisprudence. He is quite willing to allow babies to be murdered by the state. And he invites us to kill the old, as well! All because Scalia apparently thinks we can dehumanize on the basis of age.

Scalia's thinking on the equal protection clause is tiny and insignificant. He has no thoughts on it.

A wonderful writer, but a nihilist at heart.

Saint Croix said...

Pro-lifers applaud Scalia because he brings up the comparison to slavery in his Casey dissent.

Justice Scalia, why make a comparison to slavery, the most vile period in our history, if you are unserious?

If you don’t think the baby is a baby, shut up about slavery.

If you do think the baby is a baby, then you should be fighting tooth and nail for her right to life. Not only should you do that as a moral matter, but as a legal one.

Or have you not noticed that our Constitution outlaws slavery, and forbids the dehumanization of human beings?

In your Carhart dissent, you write:

I am optimistic enough to believe that, one day, Stenberg v. Carhart will be assigned its rightful place in the history of this Court’s jurisprudence beside Korematsu and Dred Scott.

But Fred Korematsu was a person. Dred Scott was a person. You continue to define the babies who are murdered as legal non-persons. Thus you give intellectual cover to the murder of innocents. I am not one of your fans, sir.

Ann Althouse said...

"I think Justice Scalia would correct you and say it was a Saint Thomas More hat, rather than a Sir Thomas More hat."

The truth is that the reason I used "Sir" is that it was the caption on the Hans Holbein painting, but now that you're making me think about this, being a lawyer-type person, I think of this new argument. Tell me what you think of it:

It's a Sir Thomas More hat, that is, a hat that he wore in his role as a knight. There is no "saint hat," or if there is -- maybe you get issued a hat in Heaven -- it's not that hat.

It's like, say a cowboy died and was later beatified and we had a picture of him in his cowboy hat. Cowboy Bob. If I adopted his hat, it would be a Cowboy Bob hat, not a St. Bob hat.