Clarence Thomas is, by far, our most abused Supreme Court justice.
His affirmation listening to was, as he memorably put it, a high-tech lynching. Once on the court docket, he was allegedly incapable of considering for himself and was Antonin Scalia’s “lawn jockey,” as Emerge journal shamefully put it. He not often participated in oral arguments supposedly as a result of, within the phrases of an lawyer on the Georgetown Law Center, he “either does not care about the cases or can’t compete intellectually with his colleagues.”
Your sensitivity meter doesn’t have to be in overdrive to detect the racial condescension in these depictions of Thomas. Fair-minded authorized analysts way back deserted this slighting view and have acknowledged the originality, consistency and affect of Thomas’ work. But right here come the media and the Democrats to inform us that his intellectually brave jurisprudence is all about serving the slender pursuits of his political-activist spouse, Ginni.
In the aftermath of the 2020 election, she despatched hair-on-fire texts to then-White House chief of workers Mark Meadows urging him to battle what she believed was a stolen election. This proves, we are instructed, that Clarence Thomas’ work on the court docket is corrupt, and he both has to recuse himself from election- or Jan. 6-related circumstances or be impeached.
The recusal argument is absurd. Ginni Thomas wasn’t get together to any election-related litigation. She didn’t write an amicus transient in any of the litigation. She didn’t even give Meadows any authorized recommendation, apart from to maintain Sydney Powell entrance and middle (a nasty concept that wasn’t acted on).
Ultimately, Ginni Thomas didn’t have any extra or any much less curiosity in election-related litigation than another Republican who believed President Donald Trump’s claims of fraud, and there have been numerous thousands and thousands of them.
Critics of Thomas level out that he dissented when the court docket turned away a meritless problem by the state of Texas of election practices in different states. Yes, however the dissent mirrored Thomas’ well-considered view that the court docket shouldn’t summarily dismiss so-called authentic jurisdiction circumstances, and he was joined by Justice Samuel Alito, who shares his view. Both Thomas and Alito additionally dissented when the court docket turned away a go well with filed by Nebraska and Oklahoma to stop Colorado from legalizing marijuana, and in one other such case, Arizona v. California.
Thomas dissented, too, from the Court’s rejection of Trump’s emergency utility to block the discharge of White House data relating to Jan. 6. In this, Thomas was alone. We can’t know his reasoning, as a result of he didn’t clarify himself. Thomas has a strong view of presidential energy, although, and it’s commonplace for him to go his personal means.
In the 2020-2021 time period, Thomas authored extra concurrences and dissents than another justice, together with extra solo concurrences and solo dissents.
As Nina Totenberg of NPR put it not too way back, in a passage dripping with disapproval, “He is the only justice willing to allow states to establish an official religion; the only justice who believes teenagers have no free speech rights at all; the only justice who believes that it’s unconstitutional to require campaign funders to disclose their identity; he’s the only justice who voted to strike down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act; and the only justice to say that the court should invalidate a wide range of laws regulating business conduct and working conditions.”
But we are supposed to consider that his unexplained sole dissent within the Trump data case have to be corrupt.
Some time in the past, the revered Supreme Court watcher Tom Goldstein wrote that if “the measure of a Justice’s greatness is his contribution of new and thoughtful perspectives that enlarge the debate, then Justice Thomas is now our greatest Justice.”
At the top of the day, this newest controversy gained’t dent Thomas’ formidable popularity as a jurist, but it surely’s one other mark towards his perfervid critics that haven’t any decency or scruple.