Critics ignore the unique, powerful intellect that Justice Thomas brings to the court. He is the justice most committed to the principle that the Constitution today means what the Framers thought it meant.
At times, this can cause him to lean liberal. He agrees, for example, that the use of thermal imaging technology by police in the street to scan for marijuana in homes violates the Constitution's ban on unreasonable searches. He opposes the court's effort to place caps on punitive damages. He has voted to strike down literally thousands of harsher criminal sentences because they were based on facts found by judges rather than juries, as required by the Bill of Rights. He supports the right of anonymous political speech, and wants advertising and other commercial speech to receive the same rights as political speech.
So was it Justice Thomas's anger, or lack of intellect, that made him rule in favor of the rights of criminals, the press and the plaintiffs bar--one of the Democratic Party's largest financial supporters?
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
The Real Clarence Thomas
The Real Clarence Thomas, by John Yoo: