Clarence Thomas Arguably the most powerful judge in the country’s Supreme Court.
In 1991, after Thomas became the second African-American to become a deputy judge, his powers were almost unbelievable to almost no one except him and his wife.
Virginia “Ginny” Thomas.
Despite being an attorney, he received approval from the U.S. Senate
Anita Hill Explosive workplace sexual harassment allegations against him.
rarely speak during oral argumentNonetheless, he practically communicates through prolific written statements that reflect a complex mix of self-help, racial pride, and the original intentions of America’s Founding Fathers.
He is not the Chief Justice.
John Roberts Jr. teeth.
However, with nearly 31 years of service, Thomas is the longest serving judge in office and will have the longest court tenure ever.
June Jordanpioneering poet and cultural critic, Observed When President George HW Bush nominated Thomas in 1991, people said, “The focus was on who the candidate was rather than what he did or does.”
As a scholar of political theory and black politicsI argue that we have learned nothing from this important insight. conservative activism
under increasing scrutiny As his wife, a conservative activist, testified on Sept. 27, 2022, before a House committee investigated the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol, she still believes the false allegations That the 2020 election was rigged against Donald Trump.
According to documents obtained by the commission, Ginny Thomas
Helps coordinate effort keep the former president donald trump at the company. Her efforts include sending her emails as well as Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows State officials from Arizona and Wisconsin are also included.
Of particular concern to the January 6 Commission is Thomas’ testimony.
her email When John Eastmanher husband’s former legal clerk, is believed to be the legal architect of Trump’s last-minute bid to overturn the 2020 election.
In my view, the intertwined lives of Clarence and Ginny Thomas highlight the harrowing underside of their personal bond. namely, the ambiguity of their professional and private lives that seems to be destroying the independence of the executive and judicial branches of government.
in this light,
Thomas’ only objection It would be even more alarming if Trump turned over the documents to the committee on January 6th. “What he’s done and what he’s going to do”
Clarence Thomas has developed a clear judicial philosophy and view of the world and of his place within it.
From what can be gleaned from his own writings and speeches, his vision
black nationalism, capitalism, conservatism, Originality and his own interpretation of the law.
Since Thomas was approved, his ideas and rulings have attracted many.
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Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Virginia Thomas arrive at the White House Dinner in 2019. Paul Morigi/Getty Images
However, his interpretation of the law is now at the center of the jurisprudence of the High Court.
in his concurring opinion to reverse the court’s decision
Law vs Wade, Thomas claimed Courts should reconsider overturning other relevant landmark rulings involving access to contraception Griswold vs ConnecticutLGBTQ+ Sexual Behavior and Sodomy Laws Lawrence vs Texas and same-sex marriage Obergefel vs Hodges.
In short, Thomas’ sentiment reveals a broader ultraconservative agenda that rolls back the social and political gains that marginalized communities have acquired since the 1960s.
Judgments in these cases relied on the due process clause of the 14th Amendment, which was “clearly the wrong decision,” writes Thomas.
thomas explained“We need to reconsider all of the substantive due process precedents of this court, including those of Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefel … We have the ‘correction of error’ established in these precedents. ‘I have an obligation.’
Recent Supreme Court Decisionsupon Second Amendment Rights, Miranda rights, campaign finance regulation When tribal sovereigntyis also evidence of Thomas’ influence on the country’s Supreme Court. long game
his memoir and public speechThomas identifies as a self-made man.
Although he has benefited from the Affirmative Action Program and his skin color has influenced his Supreme Court nomination, Thomas is adamantly opposed to such efforts to redress past racism. Like other prominent black conservatives, Thomas argues that it is group-based preferences that reward those seeking government leniency over individual initiative.
Aside from the institutions of the Catholic Church and the guidance of his grandfather Myers Anderson, Thomas claims that he earned his achievements through hard work, diligence, and his own initiative.
In a 1998 speech, Thomas
foretold his judicial independence And he made it clear that he did not attend the National Bar Association, the largest black bar association in the United States, to defend his conservative views or further anger his critics.
“Rather,” he explained.
“I have come to state that I am a man and that I am free to think for myself and to act as I please,” Thomas continued. But more than that, I’ve come to say it.Isn’t it time to move on?”
But like many of Thomas’ intricacies, his own self-made narrative skews the thinking of the first prominent black Republican.
remain one of his intellectual heroes – Frederick Douglassportraits of politicians, abolitionists, and runaway former slaves hang on the walls of Thomas’ office.
self-made manDouglas objected to the idea that achievement can only come from personal upliftment.
“Rightly speaking,” writes Douglas. The term implies a past and present individual independence that can never exist. ”
law against the people
Thomas’ view of the law
doctrine of originalism of an immutable US Constitution rather than a living one.
Since the Declaration of Independence in 1776, for Thomas modern America has largely been a republic, where laws are made for the people through elected representatives. Unlike a pure democracy where the people vote directly and the majority rules, a republic protects the rights of the minority.
Its history dates back to ancient Rome,
republicanism A story that denounces domination, rejects slavery, and defends freedom.
But in my view, there is a flip side to American republicanism.
A long-standing basis for inequality Its core ideals were never intended to apply beyond a very small group of people.
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Consistency with America’s First Founding.
In my view, Thomas’s dangerously conservative activism runs counter to basic American principles.
US Constitution – “To form a more perfect union.”
Thomas’ judgment reveals a broader, ultra-conservative agenda that rolls back the social and political gains marginalized communities have gained since the 1960s.
This article is reprinted from conversationis an independent, non-profit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Neil Roberts, If you find it interesting, University of Toronto Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.
Neil Roberts does not work for, consult with, own shares in, or receive funding from any company or organization that benefits from this article.