Scalia mocked the so-called “Cornhusker Kickback” without seeming to know that provision was stripped out of the law two years ago.
Scalia also joked that the task of having to review the complex bill violated the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
“You really want us to go through these 2,700 pages?” he quipped. “Is this not totally unrealistic, that we are going to go through this enormous bill item by item and decide each one?”
The comments did not sit well with Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), a member of the Gang of 14, which in 2005 established guidelines for considering judicial nominees.
“I am concerned that Justice Scalia’s comments call into question his impartiality and instead suggest judicial activism,” Nelson said.