Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Justice Thomas is Starting to Scare Me Now

Not enough has been made of Clarence Thomas’s autobiographical glimpse into the angry bitter mind of our most unqualified U.S. Supreme Court Justice. The more we find out, the more I can’t help but feel he’s undermining the courts credibility. Sure Justice Scalia is an outspoken conservative activist, but Thomas’s inner demons seem more extreme and mean spirited.

In Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' autobiography, My Grandfather's Son, he describes the events surrounding his nomination as if he were a victim of Anita Hill’s sexual harassment claim against him. He betrays his hatred for liberal Democratic citizens when he rants about fearing the Ku Klux Klan’s lynch mobs but “my worst fears had come to pass not in Georgia, but in Washington, D.C., where I was being pursued not by bigots in white robes but by left-wing zealots draped in flowing sanctimony.”

But Thomas’ emotional well being should be a question. In a recent NY Times article, “He talked about his burdens and his dark moods and about seeking inspiration in speeches and movies. “I tend to be morose sometimes,” the justice said. But he said he had found solace in his den. “Sometimes, when I get a little down,” Justice Thomas said wearily…! Oh boy!

Justice Thomas doesn’t see a problem reminiscing fondly about a time when he could see “a flag and a crucifix in each classroom.” And even though it might be a fond memory, Thomas never seemed to become more enlightened when he reveals, “… how can you not reminisce about a childhood where you began each day with the Pledge of Allegiance as little kids lined up in the schoolyard and then marched in two by two with a flag and a crucifix in each classroom?”

If you had any question about Justice Thomas’ ability to apply a simple objective constitutional judgment in cases before the Supreme Court, this should provide the answer:
And though the dinner was sponsored by the Bill of Rights Institute, he admitted to an uneasy relationship with the whole idea of rights. The event … was devoted to the Bill of Rights, but Justice Thomas did not embrace the document, and he proposed a couple of alternatives. “Today there is much focus on our rights,” Justice Thomas said. “Indeed, I think there is a proliferation of rights. I am often surprised by the virtual nobility that seems to be accorded those with grievances. Shouldn’t there at least be equal time for our Bill of Obligations and our Bill of Responsibilities?” He gave examples: “It seems that many have come to think that each of us is owed prosperity and a certain standard of living. They’re owed air conditioning, cars, telephones, televisions.” Those are luxuries, Justice Thomas said.“ I have to admit,” he said, “that I’m one of those people that still thinks the dishwasher is a miracle. What a device.”
And like any authoritarian, he finds it insulting to have his opinions questioned.

Justice Thomas seemed a little sensitive to the sort of second-guessing that comes with the territory for those who sit on the Supreme Court. “This job is easy for people who’ve never done it,” he said later. “What I have found in this job is they know more about it than I do, especially if they have the title ‘law professor.’ ”
If only we could just do away with these know-it-all educators.

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