Justice Clarence Thomas — A Political Partisan In A Justice’s Robe
Justice Clarence Thomas is a political partisan in a Justice’s robe.
Justices come to the Supreme Court with conservative, liberal, or moderate judicial philosophies. Obviously, they also have their own private views of politics and public policy.
But, when a Justice openly brings his private views on political matters into the public arena, he seriously damages his credibility as a Justice and the credibility of the Supreme Court as a whole.
That is what Justice Thomas has done.
Thomas’s public comments have revealed to the American people his political partisan bias and his self-serving memory. Thomas’s actions have revealed his situational ethics.
Thomas has attacked the actions of pro-choice liberals, but ignores the far worse actions of pro-life conservatives. He publicly defends the improper actions of Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Republicans regarding a Supreme Court nomination. And, he has ignored basic conflict-of-interest standards in voting to support former President Trump in a recent Court decision.
This comes at a time when public approval of the Court has reached a new low. A Gallup poll last September found public approval of the Court at a new low, with 53 percent expressing disapproval and only 40 percent approving. A Monmouth University poll this month found a similar majority disapproved of the Court.
> Justice Thomas On Roe v. Wade Protests
In a recent appearance sponsored by conservative groups, Justice Thomas expressed his outrage over the demonstrations held at the private homes of Justices in response to the apparent decision in the Dobbs case, likely coming soon, to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Talking about conservative pro-life supporters and contrasting them to liberal pro-choice supporters, Thomas said, “You would never visit Supreme Court Justices’ houses when things didn’t go our way. We didn’t throw temper tantrums.”
Really? One may object to demonstrating at a public official’s home, but let’s look at what pro-life supporters did when things weren’t going their way.
According to an amicus brief in the Dobbs case: “There have been thousands of violent incidents including blockades, invasions, chemical attacks, arsons, bombings, death threats, stalking incidents, shootings, sniper attacks, and cold-blooded murder.”
Where was Justice Thomas’s outrage about the death and destruction caused by pro-life activists, including at least 11 murders and 26 attempted murders?
> Justice Thomas On McConnell’s Make-Believe “Rule”
At that same appearance, Justice Thomas defended the extraordinary refusal of then-Senate Majority Leader McConnell in 2016 to consider, let alone give a hearing for almost a year to, President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick Garland. Echoing McConnell, Justice Thomas claimed Senate Republicans were just following a rule proposed by Senator Joe Biden that there should be no hearing in the last year of an Administration.
There is, of course, no such rule. Senate Republicans were simply engaged in a raw, partisan power grab and McConnell made up the “rule” to create cover for his blocking a Supreme Court nominee presented by a Democratic President.
McConnell’s “rule” magically disappeared when Judge Amy Coney Barrett was nominated by President Trump just weeks before the 2020 presidential election. McConnell rammed Barrett through the Senate confirming her just days before the election.
Justice Thomas, of course, had nothing to say about that.
> Justice Thomas On His Own Conflicts Of Interest
You would think that Justices, as the final arbiters of the Constitution and the laws of the land, would scrupulously uphold basic standards of conduct. Yet Justice Thomas ignored his clear conflict of interest when he cast the lone dissenting vote in an 8–1 decision requiring President Trump to turn over documents to the House Committee investigating the January 6 attack and the effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
He should have recused himself from the case since his spouse Ginni Thomas was actively involved in supporting Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. He did not.
Justice Thomas has expressed concern about the “deep damage” done to the Supreme Court by the leak this month of the draft opinion that would overturn Roe. But Justice Thomas needs to face up to the fact that he is doing his own deep damage to the Court by acting as a political partisan while wearing the robe of a Justice.