Wednesday, 6 July 2011
The Clarence Thomas pick 20 years later: Disorder in the court
Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas meets with Republican Senator Strom Thurmond at the Capitol July 8, 1991 in Washington, DC (Photo by Terry Ashe/Liaison)By Earl Ofari Hutchinson
http://t.co/wbVOX9T via @thegrio
Justice Clarence Thomas was nominated by President George H.W. Bush 20 years ago this month to the Supreme Court. The nomination ignited one of the most divisive, contentious, and explosive Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings in this nation's history. The Senate eventually confirmed Thomas to the court. by the narrowest vote in a century
Thomas has not uttered a word during oral arguments before the court in the past five years.
Meanwhile his alleged misdeeds have mounted. First, there was his wife Ginni's fulsome earnings, which she received from assorted right wing foundations and think tanks, most prominently a right-wing activist outfit called Liberty Central.
Then there was the fact that Thomas had an apparent lapse of memory and failed to disclose her earnings. He subsequently found his memory after being ripped publicly for failing to come forward. But he did not reveal speaking fees and perks he got from a bevy of the same conservative groups that his wife worked for and had close political ties to.
Next, Thomas accepted gifts worth thousands and solicited funds for a museum in his hometown of Pin Point, Georgia from Harlan Crow, a Texas real-estate magnate and bank roller of right-wing causes.
Then there was the strong hint that Thomas committed perjury in his testimony to the Judiciary Committee during his court confirmation hearings. And that he compounded that by quite possibly lying under oath to Congress during the hearings about whether he sexually harassed former female staff members, most notably Anita Hill.
High Court Justice Thurgood Marshall who Thomas replaced retired from the court at 83. Thomas is 63 and he says he hopes to match Marshall's retirement age when he leaves the court. With reasonably good health, he'd have two more decades to wreak monumental legal, constitutional and personal havoc on the court and the nation. That's certainly been the case for his first twenty years.
His trademark has been farcical, insipid and more often than not lone wolf votes to defend torture against foreign and domestic prisoners, see-no-evil-hear-no-evil with all white jury convicting blacks, and strip searches of teens at schools, reflexive votes against racial and gender discrimination lawsuits, and defense of the rights of corporations and the rich.
This is all rooted in his static, arcane, Smithsonian unwillingness to change one "I" or "T" in the Constitution as originally framed. There is absolutely no doubt that if the constitutionality of the health care reform law winds up in the High Court's lap Thomas will not bat an eye based on past performance and his strict constructionist read of the Constitution vote to dump it.
Posted by Irishgreeneyes at 03:27