It is possible to mourn a man while celebrating the dimming of his ideas. Democratic discourse at its highest levels demands that of us.
From all accounts, Justice Scalia was a witty man who loved life to its fullest. He will be missed by many people, and I hope everybody that loved him finds peace in their own way. I hope he rests in peace.
With that said, respect for his death does not mean one should automatically respect his ideas. Justice Scalia stood for a rigid interpretation of the Constitution that bordered on fundamentalism when it came to justifying regressive beliefs--while often switching his views when it was politically expedient, such as when he carved out entire sections of the Voting Rights Act.
His ideas are the last remnant of the link to the disaster that was the legal and economic reasoning of the Reagan Administration. I will openly celebrate the fact that it is likely whoever gets nominated in his stead will be more pragmatic and more data-driven, and less ideological.
America is a worse place today because a man who dedicated his life to studying its ideals has died.
But America will be a better place tomorrow because ideas like the one Scalia held will eventually fade. America and the Constitution are strong because the founders made pragmatism for the future their sacred principle. America is strong because the Constitution and its interpretation changes. Regulations are meant to be extensions of laws, laws are meant to embody the spirit of a nation, and what has always made America beautiful has been her willingness to live in the future.