Clarence Thomas - Associate Justice
Associate Justice Clarence Thomas
"Government cannot make us equal;
it can only recognize, respect, and
protect us as equal before the law."
By Clarence Thomas
As a lensmaster, I am hoping my lens on Clarence Thomas will influence people to study the man and give him a fair hearing. I have truly enjoyed reading about him and feel that, through the media, he has not been given a fair representation of who he really is and what he stands for.
Two articles that will enlighten those who are not familiar with Justice Thomas are:
1. Reading the Constitution Right by Stephen B. Presser at the City Journal.
2. Clarence Thomas is in the Right Seat by John Yoo, who was a former clerk for Thomas. Mr. Yoo's article is posted on CFIF.org.
With that said, please enjoy my lens and I would appreciate hearing from you.
History about Thomas:
Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice, was born in the Pin Point community of Georgia near Savannah June 23, 1948. He married Virginia Lamp in 1987 and has one child, Jamal Adeen, by a previous marriage. He attended Conception Seminary and received an A.B., cum laude, from Holy Cross College, and a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1974. He was admitted to law practice in Missouri in 1974, and served as an Assistant Attorney General of Missouri from 1974-1977, an attorney with the Monsanto Company from 1977-1979, and Legislative Assistant to Senator John Danforth from 1979-1981.
In 1982, Clarence Thomas became the chairman of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which was designed to enforce anti-discrimination laws that cover race, sex, gender, and age discrimination in the workplace. Thomas served two consecutive terms as chairman, despite having previously sworn he would never work at EEOC. Over the eight years he served as chairman, Thomas shifted the focus of the commission from large class-action suits to individual cases of discrimination.
In 1990, President George Bush appointed Thomas to the Washington, DC, Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals, a common stepping stone to the Supreme Court. Thomas filled the seat left vacant by Robert Bork, an unsuccessful nominee to the Supreme Court. Thomas wrote only 20 opinions in the year he served on the court, none of which involved controversial constitutional issues. Despite this comparatively limited experience, Bush nominated Thomas to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall on July 1, 1991. In announcing his choice to replace Marshall, Bush implausibly argued that "the fact that he [Thomas] is black has nothing to do with the sense that he is the best qualified at this time."
Senate confirmation was gained only after intense public controversy over charges of "sexual harassment" brought by Anita Hill, Thomas's former employee. Since joining the Court, Thomas has tended to vote with the more conservative justices.
Refs:www.supremecourtus.gov & answers.com
Thomas believes that he would have been guilty of racism if had voted in favor of affirmative action programs. He explains that Whites broke God's law by discriminating against blacks and believes that affirmative action violates the same Christian law.
It was "God's law," says U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, that led him to make controversial rulings against affirmative action.
The only Black U.S. Supreme Court justice told his longtime friend, conservative columnist Armstrong Williams, that "I cannot do to White people what an elite group of Whites did to Black people, because if I do, I am just as bad as they are. I can't break from God's law just because they did. ...
Clarence Thomas Talks to Students
Justice Clarence Thomas has not asked a question from the Supreme Court bench since Feb. 22, 2006. He speaks only to announce his majority opinions, reading summaries in a gruff monotone. Glimpses of Justice Thomas in less formal settings are rare.
But he turned up in a Washington ballroom the other night to respond to questions from the winners of a high school essay contest. His answers and the remarks that preceded them provided a revealing look at his worldview these days.
Justice Thomas talked about his own school days, reminiscing fondly about seeing "a flag and a crucifix in each classroom." He talked about his burdens and his dark moods and about seeking inspiration in speeches and movies. And though the dinner was sponsored by the Bill of Rights Institute, he admitted to an uneasy relationship with the whole idea of rights.
Airline Passenger Surprises Students
High school seniors Terrence Stephens and Jason Ankrah, star football players at Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg, Md., were sitting on a plane returning from a recruitment session at the University of Nebraska when they struck up a conversation with the man sitting next to them.
Their seat-mate just happened to be a major Cornhuskers fan.
When they started chatting, Stephens and Ankrah didn't have a clue they were holding court with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
"I was amazed this guy knew so much about us as football players and as people," said Stephens. "That was shocking. I felt honored to be known by someone of his caliber. He was just a regular old guy, sitting in coach, which really shocked me."
Clarence Thomas - the Virtures of Debate. - the Federalist Society
RACISM - Thomas on Racism.
"...I know I am black. But I knew that a long time ago. I don't have to keep telling people that I am black. I don't have to limit myself just because I am black".
DO YOU KNOW YOUR SUPREME COURT JUSTICES? - How many reside on the bench? What are there names?
Can you name the US Supreme Court Judges? Current U.S. Supreme Court Justices
Chief Justice - John Roberts
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
David Hackett Souter
John Paul Stevens
Be truthful. Did you know their names?
MY GRANDFATHER'S SON
My Grandfather's Son (The book)
If you enjoy biographies, I believe you will enjoy My Grandfather's Son. Clarence Thomas gives a true analysis of his self, how his family's heritage affected his growing up, the development of his character, how he saw racism (looking at the white man, how he perceives him and the white man perceives the black man). Clarence let's us see inside a man who became bitter, but did not like himself because of it and had the foritude to know he didn't want to remain bitter.
Clarence shows us a man who is not afraid to admit mistakes and to admit humility. He speaks of the importance of having a role model, the importance of having a sincere friend. A man who carried about the conditions of the black man in America but could see all issues. He is a man who wanted to solve problems and would listen to anyone who would be able to "talk sense" about the issues.
Great Stuff on Amazon
Link Along With Me.
- On The Issues
Great site for political issues for all candidates.
- Political Facts
The good, bad and ugly on the candidates. Gives their "flip flops", "truths" and "lies" polls and details.
"Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot". Clarence Thomas The job of a judge is to figure out what the law says, not what he wants it to say. There is a difference between the role of a judge and that of a policy maker... Judgin
- American Thinker
Articles: November 11: The Prayers of Clarence Thomas By Charles J. Sykes Predictably, the mainstream media focused on the anger in Clarence Thomas's searing new personal memoir. A front page story in The Washington Post was headlined: "Justice Tho
- SEEING THROUGH THE LENSES
A lensmaster's point of view.
Thomas' Ruling on the Boy Scouts Organization
Boy Scouts may exclude gay scoutmasters.
Justice Thomas joined the Court's decision on BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA v. DALE on Jun 28, 2000:
The Boy Scouts is a private, not-for-profit organization engaged in instilling its system of values in young people. It asserts that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with those values. Mr. Dale is an adult whose position as assistant scoutmaster of a New Jersey troop was revoked when the Boy Scouts learned that he is an avowed homosexual and gay rights activist. Dale alleged that the Boy Scouts had violated the state statute prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in places of public accommodation.
(Rehnquist, joined by O'Connor, Scalia, Kennedy, & Thomas)
Applying New Jersey's public accommodations law to require the Boy Scouts to admit Dale violates the Boy Scouts' First Amendment right of expressive association. An intrusion into a group's internal affairs by forcing it to accept a member it does not desire [is an] unconstitutional burden. However, the freedom of association is not absolute; it can be overridden by regulations adopted to serve compelling state interests.
Real freedom meant independence from government intrusion.
"Daddy," as the boys called him, "wouldn't listen to any excuses for failure," Thomas writes. "'Old Man Can't is dead; I helped bury him,' he said." When the disillusioned seminarian was radicalized by the King assassination, rage turned him from Myers' self-reliant model. But in praying remorsefully after a riot at Harvard, he decided, "Daddy had been right all along: The only hope I had of changing the world was to change myself first."
The Clarence Thomas of those days was still a man of the left who voted for George McGovern. Yet in dorm debates with fellow law student John Bolton (who would later serve the current President Bush as U.N. ambassador), Thomas grasped what his uneducated grandfather always knew:
"I saw \[that\] real freedom meant independence from government intrusion, which in turn meant that you had to take responsibility for your own decisions. When the government assumes that responsibility, it takes away your freedom - and wasn't freedom the very thing for which blacks in America were fighting?"
Democrats ask for investigation into Clarence Thomas
Twenty House Democrats on Thursday asked for a federal investigation into Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' failure to disclose his wife's income, charging that he may have violated the court's ethics rules.
In a letter to the arm of the court system responsible for overseeing judicial practices, the lawmakers called into question Thomas' impartiality toward President Obama's health care overhaul, just as the landmark legislation is headed to the top court.
Does Government Have a Role In Telling People How To Live Their Lives?
And I don't think that government has a role in telling people how to live their lives. Maybe a minister does, maybe your belief in God does, maybe there's another set of moral codes, but I don't think government has a role.
Thomas Ruling on Hate Crimes
The Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007
Project on Criminal Justice
The Cato Institute
Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
The Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007
April 17, 2007
Download a podcast of Timothy Lynch's testimony
Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the committee: My name is Timothy Lynch. I am director of the Cato Institute's Project on Criminal Justice. I want to thank the committee for inviting me to testify on the question of whether Congress should enact additional hate crimes legislation.
I believe the proponents of hate crimes legislation have good and honorable intentions. They would like to see less bigotry and more good will in American society. While I share that goal, I believe Congress should decline the invitation to enact hate crimes legislation for both constitutional and practical reasons.
Justice John Marshall observed that Congress had "no general right to punish murder committed within any of the States" and that it was "clear that congress cannot punish felonies generally." Unfortunately, as the years passed, Congress eventually assumed the power to enact a vast number of criminal laws pursuant to its power "to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes."
In recent years, Congress has federalized the crimes of gun possession within a school zone, carjacking, wife beating, and female genital cutting. All of that and more has been rationalized under the Commerce Clause. 2 In United States v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549 (1995), the Supreme Court finally struck down a federal criminal law, the Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1990, because the connection between handgun possession and interstate commerce was simply too tenuous. 3 In a concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas noted that if Congress had been given authority over matters that simply "affect" interstate commerce, much if not all of the enumerated powers set forth in article I, section 8 would be surplusage. Indeed, it is difficult to dispute Justice Thomas' conclusion that an interpretation of the commerce power that "makes the rest of Â§8 surplusage simply cannot be correct."
This Congress should not exacerbate the errors of past Congresses by federalizing more criminal offenses. The Commerce Clause is not a blank check for Congress to enact whatever legislation it deems to be "good and proper for America." The proposed hate crimes bill is simply beyond the powers that are delegated to Congress.
Read more: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines/051600-02.htm
Thomas on the Constitution
Reading The Constitution Right by Stephen Presser (City Journal)
In his article "Reading The Constitution Right", Presser identifies how Thomas is a constitutionalist:
"After being appointed by President George Bush in 1991 and 16 Court terms later, Thomas has quietly proved himself to be a serious constitutional thinker, who displays-for those sympathetic with his conservative jurisprudence, anyway-both great independence and considerable wisdom. Thomas forcefully rejects the notion, long favored by liberals, that the Constitution is a "living document" and that Supreme Court justices should creatively adjust the meaning of its terms to afford more protection to minorities, to invent such unenumerated rights as the "right to privacy," and in general to promote "progressive" ends that the Left can't seem to win at the ballot box. Instead, he has become the Court's most persuasive exponent of "originalism"-the view that justices should interpret the Constitution as meaning what it did to those who read the document when it was framed. Since originalism is the jurisprudence most compatible with our republican form of government and the intentions of the Founding Fathers, it's looking as though the first President Bush got it right after all when he declared, upon nominating Thomas, that he was "the best man for the job."
Presser relates Thomas to Scalia. "Thomas is no Scalia clone; in fact, he's even more committed to originalism than is the elder justice. Scalia, for instance, has said that he might temper his originalism to accommodate long-standing Court precedent. Thomas believes that, when given the chance, the Court should right its past errors-even if it means overturning "settled" law."
THIS LENSMASTER'S COMMENT: We need more judges who are willing to correct past errors in the judicial system. Visit my lens Judicial Supremacy
Freedom for Everyone
But what I believe is that if a person's individual rights or right to be a part of our economic system is violated under statute, we aggressively go after it. But we don't issue mandates to businesses that you've got to do this and you've got to do that.
By Clarence Thomas
JUDGING THOMAS - What Do You Think?
Clarence Thomas is such a controversal character, I thought it would be interesting to see what our Squidoo readers think about him.
For me (your lensmaster), I believe he is one of the better experts on the Constitution. I do believe this is why many people do not like him, especially in the Political arena. He is not afraid to speak what he believes.
Quote by Thomas
“I am often surprised by the virtual nobility that seems to be accorded those with grievances,” he said. “Shouldn’t there at least be equal time for our Bill of Obligations and our Bill of Responsibilities?”