Capitol Alert

Kamala Harris to Antonin Scalia: ‘don’t hate the playa; hate the game’

California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris speaks at the UCLA Law Review Symposium in Los Angeles.
California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris speaks at the UCLA Law Review Symposium in Los Angeles. AP

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, dissenting to the legalization of same-sex marriage, literally dismissed the nation’s most populous state.

Harris reacts to a comment about California from Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia at a press conference on the court's gay marriage ruling Friday, June 26, 2015.

“California does not count,” he wrote, parenthetically, in describing the origins of coastal colleagues (never mind that the majority opinion in the case was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, a Sacramento native). California Attorney General Kamala Harris was quick with a response when asked about the slight.

“Don’t hate the playa; hate the game,” the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate responded, presumably implying that the justice should take his frustrations out on the judicial process or U.S. Constitution; not on the Golden State.

Scalia’s comment came in a section of the dissent where he criticized the court’s lack of regional diversity, among other attributes, writing “Four of the nine are natives of New York City. Eight of them grew up in east- and west-coast States. Only one hails from the vast expanse in-between.”

Harris said Scalia has “caused many people to question the dignity of the court when he makes statements such as the statements he’s made in connection with this case. And that’s unfortunate.”

Speaking more broadly about the implications of the high court’s decision, she called it a vindication of sorts for California. Harris had refused to defend a voter-approved ban on gay marriage, which the court overturned two years ago.

“We have been validated,” she said. “We have been saying all along that marriage is a fundamental right. We have been saying all along that the United States Supreme Court, the highest court of our land, has articulated that marriage is a fundamental right 13 times before today. And today would be the fourteenth time.”

Christopher Cadelago: 916-326-5538, @ccadelago

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