The Justice Is Blind: Scalia Declares Chicago-Style Pizza To Be “Tomato Pie”

scalia184220px-GinoseastdeepdishThrough the years, I have put up with a lot from Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, who I have always said has retained an admirable level of consistency and intellectual honesty in his views even though I often disagree with him. Nevertheless, I have criticized his conduct in public, including his enthusiastic embrace of being a conservative “celebrity justice” (here and here), shocking elitism in speaking with law students, and making public comments on issues before the Court (here and here). Yet, I have always tempered this criticism with a degree of respect for Scalia’s consistent adherence to a jurisprudential foundation that is missing with some of his other colleagues. However, he has finally gone too far. I am done. This week, Scalia did his usual ill-considered comments about issues before the Court but added in a speech in Chicago (my home town) at the Union club about Chicago-Style pizza. To the boos of the audience, Scalia declared that Chicago-Style pizza is not pizza but some form of “tomato pie.” It is not just injudicious but downright sacrilegious. In my view, Scalia has crossed the line into potentially impeachable conduct in his attack on this highest form of pizza and should be removed faster than one of those pathetic New York wafers that people fold and call pizza.

Making this all the more shocking is Scalia’s former work as a professor at the University of Chicago.

Scalia began with discussion of the role of God in government and by extension constitutional law — an issue that is before the Court this session. He insisted that “it is contrary to our founding principles to insist that government be hostile to religion. Or even to insist, as my court, alas, has done, that government cannot favor religion over non religion . . . It is a matter of believing, as our founders did, that belief in God is very conducive to a successful republic.”

After invoking God’s domain, however, Scalia then moved to the truly sacrilegious: seemingly embracing New York pizza while calling Chicago pizza “tomato pie.”

Now, I am Italian and a native Chicagoan and I am fully aware of the traditional thin crust pizza found in Italy. However, pizza is a category of food, not a single exclusive term for one style. Indeed, Scalia’s intolerance for different forms of pizza seems consistent with his views in other areas like privacy and marriage.

Consider the lunacy of this position. Gellato is a wonderful ice cream that truly surpasses all other forms but it is not the only ice cream. Ice cream is a category of frozen dessert usually made from dairy products. Likewise, pasta comes in a variety of forms. One would not call fried dough the only “true” pasta, even though it was referenced in this form in the First Century.

Pizza, my dear Scalia, is like marriage. It evolves and can take different shapes. Additionally, I would be the last to suggest anyone should “shut their pie hole” because I also believe that free speech takes on new and expanded meaning. Indeed, the disrespect shown pizza by Scalia reflects the same hostility shown to theories of evolution.

Chicago pizza is the highest form of evolution of pizza — a majestic combination of cheese, sauce, and dough that resulted from years of experimentation and consumer demand. Like the evolution of the horse from the tiny Eohippus in the early Eocene, pizza evolved with stronger crust and brilliant engineering advances. It is to New York pizza what the John Hancock is to a lean-to.

Scalia’s comments were not just injudicious but incomprehensible for anyone who has experiencing the exquisite experience of the Chicago-style pizza. As a food critic, Antonin Scalia is a wash out.

As many of us look at Scalia’s possible removal from the Court for demonstrated incapacity, Chicago needs to banish him from our shores. Call it our own high-fat Fatwa. Let him go watch his favorite football team (the Cowboys!) and eat his tomato wafers in that forsaken city known as the Big Apple. The city of Big Shoulders likes our pizza equally big and deep, thank you.

Source: Chicago Tribune

84 thoughts on “The Justice Is Blind: Scalia Declares Chicago-Style Pizza To Be “Tomato Pie””

  1. I love both kinds of pizza; however, it has been ages since I have had a Chicago pizza. Any one know where I might get one in Tacoma, Washington?

  2. Annie, They look like medium blistered crusts but not Chicago style deep dish pan pizza..

  3. ALL Italian food is simple, w/ just a few FRESH ingredients. The more complicated, and the more ingredients an American puts on a pizza, the lower their intelligence. It’s been proven in numerous peer reviewed studies!!

  4. ALL Italian food is simple, w/ just a few FRESH ingredients. The more complicated, and the more ingredients an American puts on a pizza, the lower their intelligence. Just sayn’.

  5. ” Baked at 375 until the house smells like a pizzeria. About 30 minutes or so. ”

    That’s a compelling argument. If only every debated ended as well.

  6. My homemade deep dish pizza is made with spelt sour dough, (NO WONDERBREAD) placed in a hot 12″ cast iron skillet. Then I start with thin layers of plum tomato, mozzarella, Italian sausage, onions, red, green and yellow peppers, mushrooms and some more mozzarella. Topped with thin sliced pepperoni, Minced garlic throughout layers. Baked at 375 until the house smells like a pizzeria. About 30 minutes or so. Let cool a bit slice and top with grated Parmesan cheese and red hot pepper seeds.

  7. We need to be clear about terms here. There is thin crust pizza and thick crust pizza – which you can also get in NYC.

    Then there is deep dish pizza which is like taking the sauce and toppings for the finest pizza and putting it in a pie shell made from wonder bread – uhhhh, excuse me I am feeling nauseous!

    If it was deep dish pizza that Scalia was fed then I am surprised he didn’t order the place pad locked right then and there. It would have been one of the few defensible decision he ever made.

  8. Pizza from Napoli (the city most proud of its pizza) has a thick crust.

    But honestly, to call American pizza “pizza” because “pizza” is a category of food is as dishonest as the Bush administration’s sophist use of re-defining language.

    Bravo, onorevole Scalia, per il coraggio per affrontare la realtà!

  9. Kids want to saute, to cut the pizza, to see how the ingredients come together. If you let them do the fun stuff, they’ll develop skills and interests that will stay with them forever.
    Guy Fieri

  10. You engage in Supreme jocularity as America suffers collectivism and a profound loss of freedom. In the Preamble, the Founders limited government to Justice, Tranquility, Defense and General Welfare as they charged it with securing the Blessings of Liberty for us and our posterity. Government is limited to security and infrastructure as citizens “pursue happiness” in free and open markets of the private sector. Their private endeavors, businesses and industries, including those of education, charity and healthcare, are the “blessings of liberty.”

    The Constitution provides for governance within the parameters of the Preamble. The Preamble is not only binding, it is the context of American governance. The Preamble is not subordinate to the Constitution, it prevails over the Constitution. Certainly the Justices of the Supreme Court can read the words of the Preamble as any grade school student can. The high court is charged with issuing decisions that agree, not disagree, with those words. It is antithetical that the Justices have the authority to venture off on ideological tangents which diametrically oppose the literal words of the Founders.

    The Supreme Court was established to find one or nine ways to agree with the Preamble and Constitution. The only possible function of the nine is to coalesce, persuade each other and agree with the words of the Founders. It is not the function of the nine to disagree with the Founders or nullify the Preamble or Constitution, or any word, sentence, paragraph or section thereof. It is the charge of the Supreme Court to persuade itself and form its decisions to fit the words of the Founders, like it or not. That of the Supreme Court is not an exhaustive activity. The Supreme Court is not a showcase of intellect. The Supreme Court is not the legislature. The Supreme Court is not the amendment process. Either the Supreme Court is constrained by the literal words of the Founders in the Preamble and Constitution or it may deviate from those texts and arbitrarily affirm any ostensible or real ethical, moral, political or ideological belief or opinion in holds.

    The Supreme Court may, for example, uphold any or all forms of redistribution of wealth even as the Founders deliberately included General Welfare and deliberately excluded individual welfare in the Preamble. By contrast, the Communist Manifesto not only included but mandated redistribution or individual welfare. Do the Justices believe that Karl Marx did not know what he was writing? Do the Justices believe the Founders did not know what they were writing?

    The Supreme Court far exceeds its mandate. The singular American failure is the absence of penalties and corrective action enforceable against nullifying opinions of Justices and nullifying decisions of the Supreme Court.

  11. Eating thick crust pizza is like eating a loaf of bread. Add pepperoni, cheese and tomato and you have an open faced sandwich, nothing more.

    As is often the case, Scalia is right on this one, too. The only true pizza is the thin crust, Neopolitan version. Scalia is not only Italian, but he was born in Trenton, New Jersey and raised in Brooklyn. No one can challenge his bona fides when it comes to pizza. Everyone else back off.

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