There was an editorial in the LA Times about how Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg should retire from the Supreme Court at the end of this term to give Obama time to name a like-minded successor. It’s a shame because by all accounts at the age of 81, she is physically and mentally able to continue. Still, sometimes that’s what it takes to assure one’s legacy.
There was also an interview with Anita Hill on John Stewart. She has made a documentary on her 1991 testimony against Clarence Thomas. That is one brave woman! I’m so grateful she is willing to step forward again- lest any of us forget the shame of her experience. I will never forgive Arlen Spector.
For you youngsters, Anita Hill, a little-known law professor, riveted the nation with her accusations of Thomas’s sexual harassment, back in the day where no one uttered a syllable about these things in public places. Ms. Hill, a professor at Brandeis University, reiterated that Justice Thomas should never have been confirmed because that kind of behavior on Thomas’s part speaks to his ability to be a fair and impartial judge. She is sooooo right!
Today, Justice Clarence Thomas is the most radical conservative of the Supreme Court falling to the right of even Justice Scalia. His wife has vociferously advocated for both the Tea Party and against the Affordable Care Act causing Democratic members of Congress to ask the House Judiciary Committee to hold hearings on Thomas’ conduct.
Thomas is the only justice willing to allow states to establish an official religion; the only justice who believes teenagers have no free speech rights; the only justice who believes that it’s unconstitutional to require campaign funders to disclose their identity; and the only justice to say that the court should invalidate a wide range of laws regulating business conduct and working conditions.
Thomas was instrumental in the dismantling of a key provision of the Voting Rights Act and if he has his way, he will bury another pillar of the civil rights movement: affirmative action. He finds affirmative action to be divisive, unconstitutional and harmful to their recipients. Thomas’ constitutional philosophy is that all Americans should be treated as individuals and not as members of a racial or ethnic group. Thomas is fighting for a colorblind America. From his mouth to God’s ears, someday it will happen, but we are far from that today.
Thomas as the only justice to consistently return to what he sees as the original intent of the 1789 Constitution to have no partisan policy preferences. How does a black judge justify this with a Constitution that classifies slaves as three-fifths of a human being? He just does.
Thomas believes that Reconstruction after the Civil War when the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments abolished slavery, empowered newly freed slaves and protected their right to vote purified the Constitution and rendered it colorblind.
His entire judicial philosophy is contrary to his own biography where he benefited from affirmative action as a poor boy from the south, making it into Yale Law School. As his grandfather taught him: blacks should be self-reliant, stop complaining about racism, and play the hand fate dealt them.
He is the only justice who asks no questions in court and the worst of all, being 63 years old, probably will serve for another 20 years.